PARIS: A delegation of Higher Education Commission (HEC) led by Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC visited the Senate of France in Paris. They were received by Senator Françoise Cartron who is also the Mayor of Artigues-près-Bordeaux and Vice-President of the Aquitaine Regional Council. She was accompanied by Senator Pascal Allizard.

Senator Cartron and Senator Allizard were part of French Senator’s delegation that visited Pakistan in April this year to discuss issues related to bilateral cooperation in higher education. It was agreed then that both Pakistan and France have a strong basis of collaboration which should be further expanded.

Welcoming the HEC team, Senator Cartron briefed them about the history of French Senate known as “Palais du Senate” which is housed in the former palace. HEC team took a round of the building. The Chairman greatly admired the architecture adding that a lot can be learned from the French heritage.

Talking to the delegation, Senator Cartron highlighted the significance of education and culture in development of societies and how collaboration between countries in these areas benefit nations at large.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed appreciated the interest shown by the French Government for collaboration with Pakistan in different fields, particularly higher education. Both sides agreed that cooperation in higher education and research need to be further strengthened.

The chairman reiterated the fact that Pakistani institutions can learn a lot from French institutions in their respective areas. “Though your country has provided remarkable support in our faculty development programmes but scope of our collaboration has to be strengthened at institutional level,” he said.

He informed the Senators that 400 scholars have completed their doctoral studies from France while many others are pursuing it in various institutions across France. He also mentioned different HEC initiatives for transformation of universities and facilitating faculty, students, research scholars.