The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan signed a Document of Understanding (DoU) with the Edith Cowan University (ECU) Perth, Australia to jointly work under a collaborative arrangement on various academic and research areas.

Under the agreement, ECU will admit up to 15 HEC’s PhD scholars — who meet the HEC scholarship criteria and the normal selection criteria for entry to an ECU PhD course including academic and English language entry requirements as indicated on the ECU website — per year for five years, starting in 2023.

The major research areas being covered under the agreement include Engineering; Arts & Humanities; Education; Medical & Health Sciences; Science; Nursing & Midwifery, and Business & Law. The DoU signing ceremony was preceded by a detailed meeting of an ECU delegation, led by Executive Dean School of Engineering Prof Daryoush Habibi, with Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed briefed the delegation on the long history of academic and research collaboration between Pakistani and Australian institutions. He highlighted that Pakistan and Australia have a number of universities jointly working in various disciplines including Engineering, IT, Agriculture, and Business Management. He stressed the need for enhancing the scope of bilateral collaboration in the fields of science and technology, with joint research on food security, climate change, and energy.

Prof Daryoush Habibi appreciated the performance of Pakistani students and alumni at ECU and expressed a desire of increasing the number of Pakistani students and scholars at the university.

Lecturer School of Engineering Dr Rizwan shared a presentation on ECU, its world-ranking and academic programs. He said the core Engineering disciplines offered at the university include Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Energy.

He added that the university has four research groups including ThermoFluid Research Group, Geotechnical and GeoEnvironmental Engineering Research Group, Materials & Manufacturing Research Group, and Water and Environmental Engineering Research Group.

He said the HEC priority areas being covered at the ECU include sustainable energy, Information Technology and Telecommunication, advanced materials and manufacturing, advanced technologies, water management and sustainability, urban planning, climate change and environment, transport and smart mobility, and process technologies.

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Arshad Yousafzai is a Karachi-based journalist covering Education and Human Rights. He can be reached on Twitter @Arshadyousafzay

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