ISLAMABAD, Jul 17 (APP): Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Prof Dr Ahsan Iqbal Monday said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) meant Pakistan’s entry into global supply chain. He stated this while addressing the inaugural ceremony of first Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education, held here at Air University jointly organized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and China Association of Higher Education. The one-day forum on “Challenges of Equitable Access and Quality in Higher Education” was addressed by eminent speakers from the higher education bodies of the two countries and attended by the faculty and students from the universities at Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Speaking on the occasion, the minister appreciated the efforts of Higher Education Commission (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 added.
He welcomed the Chinese scholars to Pakistan which he hoped would explore new avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries. The minister said that the government was fully supporting higher education commission which aimed at capacity building of existing Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) to prepare suitable human resource for CPEC and promote cultural harmony between the two countries. Earlier, in his welcome address, Executive Director of HEC, Dr Arshad Ali thanked the Minister for his wholehearted support for higher education, which he emphasized was not a goal but a pre-requisite in a knowledge-based economy. The Forum focused on three areas including 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 started with a welcome note from the 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.
The leader of the Chinese delegation, Ms. Xiaomei Wang, highlighted the need for greater cooperation between the academia of the two countries. The distinguished speakers of the Plenary Session included Dr Sohail H. Naqvi, VC LUMS; Xiaomei Wang, Deputy Secretary General of China Association of Higher Education; Imtiaz Ali Rastgar, Chairman Rastgar Group of Companies; Fan XiaoXian, China Association of Higher Education, and Dr Mahmood ul Hassan Butt, Consultant, HEC (Moderator). The learned speakers in the first Parallel Session were including Dr Naveed Akhtar Malik, VC Virtual University; Prof Guangli Zhou, Deputy Dean, School of Education Renmin University; Dr Iqrar A Khan, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; Mengjli Han, Graduate School of Education, Dalian University; Dr Shahid Rashid, Executive Director, Centre of Excellence CPEC; and Dr Samina Amin Qadir, Vice Chancellor, Fatima Jinnah Women University (Moderator). The speakers at the Second Parallel Session included Hassan Daud, Project Director, CPEC; Ming Xiaochang, Jiangsu Society for Research in Higher Education; Prof Dost Muhammad Baloch, VC Lasbela University, Dr Muhammad Asif Khan, VC, Karakoram International University, Gilgit; and Dr Razia Sultana, VC Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar (Moderator). 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.