ISLAMABAD   -   First batch of Pakistani students of transportation engineering under China Road and Bridge Corporation scholarship programme completed their masters’ degrees, a statement said on Thursday.

The Higher Education Commission in a statement said that the graduation ceremony for the first batch of Pakistani students of transportation engineering was held at the College of Transportation, Southeast University, China.

The igher Education Commission and China Road and Bridge Corporation had inked a document of understanding for this programme for Pakistani students in 2017.

It is the first postgraduate level plan in transportation sector for countries along the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and is strongly supported by the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission and the HEC, the statement added.

Ye Chengyin, Deputy General Manager China Road and Bridge Corporation, Ren Lijian, Vice Principal, Southeast University and other guests attended the ceremony wherein 10 Pakistani students were issued graduate certificate and were awarded special souvenirs.

Currently, the second batch of 29 Pakistani students is also studying in the SEU while the third batch of another 29 students is planning to study for masters degrees from September 2019.

Speaking during the ceremony, Chengyin said that under the guidelines of BRI, the CRBC would try its utmost to be a pacesetter in infrastructure connectivity as well as pioneer and contributor in enhancing people-to-people ties.

China Road and Bridge Corporation started cooperation with HEC and Southeast University in 2017, initiating the programme, “Inherit Pak-China Friendship, Hundred Talents Study Financing Programme” which will fully fund 100 people including in-service staff members for higher education in China.

It aims at developing professionals in transportation field in Pakistan and cultivates senior technical and management personnel for CPEC construction.

Lijian said that the SEU was a first-class university in China, which paid great attention to cooperation and exchanges with countries along the Belt and Road Initiative.

Representative of Pakistani students, Qamar Zaman Bhatti said that the SEU was his second hometown where he was kindly treated by teachers and students; learnt many new skills and made new friends.

He said that he would make all-out effort to contribute for development of CPEC as well as China-Pakistan friendship.