ISLAMABAD - President Mamnoon Hussain Thursday emphasized the need for developing a strong relationship between higher education and economic development and urged for quality assurance of the research being made in various fields in the national universities and degree awarding institutes. The President said this during his meeting with the second group of heads of leading universities and degree awarding institutes of the country here on Thursday at Aiwan-e-Sadr. The heads of universities who called on the President included Dr. Muhammad Masoom Yasinzai, Acting Rector, International Islamic University, Islamabad; Prof. Dr. Naveed Akhtar Malik, Rector, Virtual University, Lahore; Dr. Malik Akhtar Kalru, Vice Chancellor, NFC Institute of Engineering & Technology, Multan; Prof. Dr. Eatzaz Ahmad, Acting Vice Chancellor, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad; and Prof. Dr. Ahmed Yousif A. Al-Draiweesh, President, International Islamic University, Islamabad. Chairman, Higher Education Commission Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed was also present during the meeting. Highlighting the importance of higher education, the President said that education is the lifeline for the country and in the present digital world higher education holds a key to the socio-economic development of the country and emphasized the need for the universities to pay greater attention to devise educational and research programmes relevant to the present and future development needs of the country.He urged for increased focus on greater collaboration between the universities and the industry to promote research, job creation and preparing the youth of the country to efficiently meet the requirements of the market besides being able to compete at the international level. The President stressed for developing and strengthening linkages with the reputed international universities so as to benefit from the global experiences and expertise in various educational fields.The meeting was part of the series of the meetings the President has been holding with the educationist, heads of the universities and scholars from across the country to promote education and quality research in the country.The Vice chancellors and Rectors thanked the President for meeting and his keen interest in the promotion of education in the county. They apprised the President about academic activities, research development and other achievements, ongoing and future projects and plans and different issues of their respective universities. The President assured all possible support and patronage to the heads of the universities in the promotion of education in Pakistan. On the occasion he congratulated Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed on is appointment as Chairman HEC and expressed the hope that he would play his active role in the promotion of higher education in the country.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 18-Apr-2014 here.