ISLAMABAD   -  As many as 32 engineering students from 27 universities across Pakistan were nominated by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to study in China. It was announced during the closing ceremony for ‘The Seeds for Future Programme 2020’.

Through the medium of a remote virtual event, Huawei Pakistan, working together with the HEC, took part in the closing ceremony.  The event was attended by Pakistan Ambassador to China, Moin-ul-Haque, Executive Director HEC, Dr Fateh Marri, Deputy CEO Huawei Pakistan Ma Libing and the 32 students.

This is the 6th year seeds for the future, happening in Pakistan, unlike previous years, when a whole batch of nominated students could travel to China for the study trip; this was the first time that the programme was moved online due to the obvious restrictions of COVID-19. 

Out of a pool of 1,173 applicants, 32 engineering students from 27 universities all across Pakistan were nominated by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The aim of the programme, which has been active in over 126 countries & regions since its inception in Thailand, is to nurture upcoming STEM talent from around the world. As a global ICT market leader, Huawei has taken it upon itself to promote local ICT industries as part of development in their operational regions.

During the one week online learning programme from 21st to 25th, September 2020, students from Kenya along with students from Pakistan received technical training from Huawei and industry ICT experts, who shared their expertise on courses covering a wide range of topics like the Chinese language, strategic leadership, 5G, cloud computing, AI etc. Students were required to finish a number of compulsory courses and get a minimum of 60 marks on the test at the end of the course. Out of the 32 students, 26 successfully passed the course and got the graduation certificate. 

The top two students, Muhammad Hamza from Barani Institute of Management & Sciences and Muhammad Shahzeb Khan from BUITEMS, Quetta secured a sponsored trip to China in 2021 with perfect scores. The top ten students also received other awards, like Huawei Free Buds, Huawei Pad and Huawei Nova 7i mobile phone.

Dr Fateh Marri Executive Director HEC, remarked that, “I congratulate the students who have secured distinctions in these courses, from over a thousand students, you are the few who have been selected to be a part of this programme. I’m thankful to Huawei and their very strong collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and universities across Pakistan.” 

He elaborated further that HEC had been focusing to promote use of technology in teaching and research. Establishment of consortium of over 60 universities from China and Pakistan for joint collaborations, establishment of over 20 ICT academies in universities and start of 100 smart class rooms being a few examples.

Continuing with this sentiment, Moin-ul-Haque, Pakistan Ambassador to China stated, “We are going through an era of digitalisation with technologies like 5G, AI, Cloud Computing, and Big Data that are poised to bring profound transformation to our lives. I would like to thank Huawei for enabling the technology that brought all these students together on one platform to conduct these courses, despite difficult times.”

Student representative Ume-Hani Usman from NED University, Karachi also shared her experience about the programme. She remarked that the programme was highly beneficial for us. Getting cutting-edge knowledge in the field of ICT, all the online courses were well-organised and designed in a way to deliver valuable knowledge of recent technologies along with personal development courses that widened our horizon of thinking and decision making in this era.

Ma Libing Deputy CEO Huawei Pakistan also shared his remarks, stating, “We want to help the upcoming generations reach their fullest potential by becoming tomorrow’s technology leaders, innovators, and pioneers. This programme is meant to further develop their inclusion in our global digital society.”

‘The Seeds for the Future programme’ has been a successful addition to Huawei’s social-enterprise partnership goal in Pakistan since the first batch of Pakistani students traveled to China in 2015. So far, 87 Pakistani students have been benefited from this programme.