Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Prof. Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that the government is fully supportive of Higher Education Commission (HEC) aimed at capacity building of existing higher education institutes (HEI) to prepare suitable human resource for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and promote cultural harmony between the two countries.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the first Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education entitled “Challenges of Equitable Access and Quality in Higher Education” at Air University Islamabad, he appreciated the efforts of the HEC for building CPEC University Alliance and CPEC Consortium of Business Schools.
“These efforts will help build collaborative linkages and intellectual connectivity which symbolize the spirit of CPEC,” he said.
The Minister said, “CPEC means Pakistan’s entry into the global supply chain.” He welcomed the Chinese Scholars to Pakistan which he hoped will explore new avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries.
A welcome note was delivered by Vice Chancellor, Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir and a scholarly exposition of the theme by Lt. Gen. (R) Muhammad Asghar, Consultant CPEC at HEC. On the occasion, the leader of the Chinese delegation, Xiaomei Wang, also highlighted the need for greater cooperation between the academia of the two countries.
Earlier, in his address, the Executive Director of HEC, Dr Arshad Ali thanked the Minister for his wholehearted support for higher education, which he emphasized in not a goal but a pre-requisite in a knowledge-based economy.
The one-day forum focused on three areas: National Role and Contribution in Improving Quality of Higher Education; Ensuring Quality with Large-scale Increase in Access; and Balancing Quality of Higher Education in Diverse Regions.
The forum was jointly organized by the HEC and China Association of Higher Education. It was also addressed by eminent speakers from the higher education bodies of the two countries and attended by a large number of educationists and students.
The Forum ended with a comprehensive summing up by Dr Muhammad Latif, Adviser (R&D), HEC and closing Remarks by the head of Chinese delegation Xiaomei Wang. Dr Arshad Ali, the Executive Director of HEC was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony.