The United States and Pakistan launched an initiative to strengthen higher education.

The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is partnering with the Pakistani government to launch a $19 million, five-year program to improve Pakistan’s higher education system and increase the employability of university graduates. This is another example of the breadth of cooperation between the United States and Pakistan to celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations.

The program will integrate the best practices in teaching, research, governance, and sustainability to benefit 15 Pakistani public universities, including five women’s universities. Through this program, universities will provide students with research opportunities, soft-skills training, and support services such as career counselling. The program will help align academic preparation with workforce needs through collaboration with industry.

“USAID is proud to collaborate with the Higher Education Commission on this program,” said USAID Mission Director Julie A. Koenen. “The Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) will build stronger Pakistani universities that offer students the education and research experiences to be more employable in the local market. This will prepare talented young people with the required skills to find jobs and launch their careers. It will also support industry needs, increase hiring and productivity, and stimulate further economic growth.”

HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri said, “HESSA is an innovative initiative expected to make notable contributions towards improving tts partner universities’ institutional and technical capacities, which impact the quality of our future scholars. I am confident that the nexus of U.S. universities with HESSA-partner higher education institutions will result in policy reforms that will benefit all universities in Pakistan.”

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

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