Largest higher education delegation from the UK visits Pakistan

The largest delegation of leading UK universities, education champions and experts led by the UK Government’s International Education Champion, Sir Steve Smith, has embarked on a five-day visit to Pakistan. This significant visit aims to strengthen educational ties between the two nations and explore opportunities for long-term, collaborative partnerships that go beyond student recruitment.

This visit builds upon the UK’s commitment to international collaboration in higher education.  The delegation co-organised by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, the British High Commission, British Council in Pakistan, the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) and the Department for Education (DfE), comprises of senior representatives from the UK government, British Council and from sixteen leaders of UK higher education providers and sector organisations who look forward to deepening, expanding and setting up new links with their Pakistani counterparts.

The delegation will focus on developing areas like Transnational Education (TNE), joint research initiatives, and faculty development programmes. This visit prioritizes establishing mutually beneficial partnerships between UK and Pakistani universities.

Dr. Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training in his statement welcomed the delegation and ensured that the Government of Pakistan is dedicated to propelling higher education forward and positively impacting people’s lives through research commercialization, innovation, and collaborative partnerships among government, universities, industries, and society. He stressed that with the transformation of Pakistan’s higher education sector, our youth and academia are primed for development, innovation, and change. 

Sir Steve Smith, the UK Government’s International Education Champion said “Building on the positive momentum of our work in Pakistan, I’m thrilled to lead this delegation. Pakistan’s dynamic higher education sector boasts impressive growth, and we see immense potential for collaboration. We are committed to fostering partnerships that create a lasting impact through knowledge exchange and joint initiatives.”

Jane Marriott, the British High Commissioner to Pakistan said “The UK and Pakistan share a long history of educational exchange, and this visit signifies our unwavering commitment to strengthening these ties further. By working together, our universities can address global challenges, cultivate future-ready graduates, and contribute to the continued growth of Pakistan’s higher education sector.”

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC said “Over the past two decades, Pakistan’s higher education landscape has evolved significantly due to reforms by HEC with the strong support of the government.”. He further added that Collaborating with UK universities aims at mutual enhancement in education and research, promoting access to quality education, and facilitating credit transfer and student mobility for societal and economic development. The visit of higher education leaders from the UK signifies a strategic partnership for sustainable cooperation and mutual benefits. 

The delegation will engage with a wide range of stakeholders throughout the visit, including representatives from leading Pakistani universities across the country, senior officials from the Federal Government and Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan, education sector leaders and experts

The visit aligns with the objectives of the Pakistan UK Education Gateway, a flagship programme launched in 2018. Funded jointly by the Government of Pakistan and the British Council, the Gateway facilitates collaboration across various areas, including those highlighted during the visit.

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