A 29-member delegation, headed by Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and comprising prominent academicians from Pakistani and AJK universities, has arrived in London to participate in the Leadership Development Study program of Pak-UK Education Gateway.
The Program being organized by British Council Pakistan in collaboration with HEC is aimed at preparing academics and administrators for the future by building their capacity in governance, academics and research. Another objective of the visit is to learn from the rich experiences of the British higher education system and the long history of the successes achieved by the universities in the UK.
Vice-Chancellor of the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJKU), Prof Dr Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi is also part of the delegation that will spend over a week in visiting various universities of UK, interacting with education leaders, policy makers and meeting with senior staff of apex bodies overseeing and regulating the institutions of higher education.
On arrival at London, the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Abbasi and other members of delegation attended an introductory session of the event where Chairman HEC Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed apprised the participants about the prime objectives of the leadership development program, a component of Pak-UK Education Gateway followed by a session on “Adding Value Through Good Governance and Putting Strategy Into Practice” conducted by David J Lock, a consultant of UK higher education.
Mr John Rushforth, Secretary, Committee of University Chairs, UK also delivered a session on Effective Governance in Higher Education that followed an interactive session and a visit to Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) where delegates met with senior faculty and administrators of the university.
Later, a dinner was hosted by Pakistan’s High Commissioner in London, HE Moazzam Ahmed Khan in honor of the members of the delegation. During the event Vice-Chancellor AJKU, Prof Dr Muhammad Kaleem Abbasi discussed the state of higher education in Azad Jammu and Kashmir and highlighted the problems being faced by this sector.
It is worth mentioning that the Pak-UK Education Gateway Program was launched three years ago as an important step towards the development of the higher education sector in Pakistan. Due to coronavirus pandemic and traveling restrictions, no face to face meeting could be held, however, it continued virtually during the pandemic and the close interaction of all partners in Pakistan and the UK resulted in achievement of several milestones and key objectives even during the times of lock down.