ISLAMABAD  - Under a special academic exchange programme, the faculty belonging to Pakistani universities would visit leading universities of America to enhance their capacities and knowledge in the disciplines of social sciences. According to details, American Institute of Pakistan Studies (AIPS), as a follow-up of recently signed MOU with Inter University Consortium for Promotion of Social Sciences Arts & Humanities Pakistan (IUCPSS), would facilitate the visit of 16 young faculty members to the American higher education institutions over the period of two years. This programme would particularly concentrate on the social sciences faculty belonging to member institutors of the consortium situated in smaller cities of the country.

Moreover, 12 thematic workshops, targeting junior faculty, would be organised in the disciplines of journalism, education, communication studies, computer science, library and information sciences which would be conducted by foreign experts. Through these workshops, special emphasis would be paid in developing the inter university research projects.

Dr Kamran Asdar Ali President American Institute of Pakistan Studies viewed that the program would be greatly helpful to strengthen the academic standards of post-secondary education in Pakistan.

Commenting over this development, Executive Director HEC, Prof. Dr Sohail H. Naqvi appreciated the initiative. He was of the view that the program would definitely have a long term impact on the enhancement of quality of higher education in social sciences and Humanities. He also assured cooperation of HEC for a successful implementation of this program.

The IUCPSS and the AIPS signed a MOU during the month of August 2012 to undertake collaborative efforts for promotion of Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities and Business Education in Pakistan.  The purpose of this cooperative agreement includes: promotion of cooperation between Pakistani universities and US academia, research, scholarship, sharing information and resources more efficiently and effectively.

Through this agreement the AIPS in collaboration with HEC and IUCPSS would organize doctoral dissertation writing workshops for Pakistani students and support/facilitate the mission of IUCPSS to form a National Social Science Research Council in Pakistan.

For the purpose AIPS would use its US institutional membership (consortium of 32 affiliated universities) to encourage and motivate junior and senior research scholars and faculty members to conduct academic research in affiliation with IUCPSS. The AIPS and IUCPSS also agreed to co-organize series of academic talks and seminars at selected IUCPSS member campuses. The AIPS would  encourage and facilitate academic partnerships between consortia-member universities of AIPS-US and IUCPSS-Pakistan including faculty exchange, student exchange, split degree and research, video conferencing and joint certificate/diploma programs. Both parties agreed to appoint Mr. Murtaza Noor as IUCPSS focal person for facilitation and coordination among IUCPSS member institutions and AIPS.

Under facilitation of HEC, IUCPSS has been formed by nine renowned and prestigious higher educational institutions of Pakistan including Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad University of Gujrat, Government College University Faisalabad, Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur, University of Baluchistan Quetta, Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur and COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Abbottabad

One of main functions of the consortium includes establishing linkages with national and international organizations for improving social sciences, arts and humanities and research activities in Pakistan. The consortium is also working for preservation of local culture/history, social values, regional art and promotion of tourism.