A delegation from the University of Palermo, Italy lead by  Prof Dr Micari Fabrizio, the rector, and accompanied by  Prof Dr Salvatore Casabona visited Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC)  on Saturday and  met with Prof Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid, the Chairman Sajid Zafar Daal, Secretary Higher Education Department, Govt. of Punjab, and representatives of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan were also present during the meeting.

The purpose of the meeting was to explore the possibilities of collaboration between the PHEC  and the Palermo University, Italy.

Discussing the possibilities of collaboration between two institutions, Dr Fabrizio said that the University of Palermo was one of the leading Italian universities, imparting quality education in various disciplines including medicine, engineering, Information technology, agriculture, social sciences, and basic and computational sciences.

“We have the best faculty and facilities at our university. There are plenty of opportunities for Pakistani faculty members, scholars and researchers to learn from the sage professors, equip themselves the best of the academic and research skills and find exposure to the latest trends in their fields of higher education”. he stressed.

“Collaboration between Punjab Higher Education Commission and the University of Palermo will help improve the quality of higher education at local universities, widen the opportunities of scholarships, student/faculty exchange, and sharing of expertise in the higher education sector in Punjab” he added.

Prof Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid,  on this occasion, said that Punjab Higher Education Commission had always been striving to bring qualitative reforms in higher education by strengthening universities/higher education institutions (HEIs) through the capacity building of their faculty and staff, developing linkages with the best global universities, and widening learning and career prospects for students and faculty through provision of various scholarships, fellowships, and grants. “The possible areas of the collaboration, besides student/faculty exchange, could also include the sharing of expertise in setting up science and technology parks, new start-ups, student incubation centers, and joints projects in HEIs in Punjab”. he elaborated.

Sajid Zafar Daal,  Secretary HED, welcomed the proposal for collaboration saying that the Government of Punjab was committed to bringing the higher education sector at par with global standards. He concluded that a memorandum of understanding  could be formally signed between the university and PHEC in this regard, however, after visiting the Palermo University and various facilities at its premises.

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