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US and Pakistani Institution to strengthen student support offices in Universities


Islamabad, July 8, 2024 (TDI): The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Pakistani higher education institutions are taking significant strides to transform student support services across universities in Pakistan. This initiative aims to equip students with the essential skills needed to thrive in today’s competitive global environment.


The 3rd annual summit, organized through USAID’s Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA), brought together over 100 officials and faculty from 16 partner universities across Pakistan.

This four-day event highlights the robust partnership between the United States and Pakistan, underscoring their joint commitment to enhancing access to quality higher education for all Pakistanis.

The opening session of the four-day event was chaired by Prof. Dr. Bushra Mirza, Member (R&D) Higher Education Commission of Pakistan alongside Ms. Maura O’Brien, USAID Deputy Mission Director.

Dr. Mirza emphasized the need for universities to foster student belonging. “It is important for higher education institutions to foster a sense of belonging, and empower students to navigate and shape their own futures.

As we gather at this summit, let’s reaffirm our commitment to creating inclusive and supportive environments where every student can thrive,” she added.

Ms. O’Brien highlighted the importance of soft skills in her remarks, stating, “By prioritizing soft skills building, universities can better prepare students to meet the demands of the modern workforce and enhance their career prospects.”

The HESSA activity is implemented by the University of Utah and supports the Higher Education Commission and 16 partner universities across Pakistan to improve institutional capacity to drive market-led education and research in Pakistan.

The summit covered six thematic areas vital to the support of higher education institutions in Pakistan: financial aid, student leadership, student microenterprises, career readiness, alumni engagement, and mental health.

The United States is committed to strengthening higher education in Pakistan and empowering all Pakistanis through quality education.

The first two annual summits in the series focused on student services and financial aid development.

For more information on USAID/Pakistan’s support in the education sector,

visit: usaid.gov/pakistan/education

The Diplomatic Insight is a digital and print magazine focusing on diplomacy, defense, and development since 2009.

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