Islamabad - Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Huawei Technologies on Thursday inaugurated the new ‘Smart and Safe campus’ project which would help in linking all the universities together with technology.

The inauguration ceremony was held in the city where Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training Engr Baligh-ur-Rehman and Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed were present.

Regional President Huawei Middle East, Vice Chancellors, faculty members and IT experts from Pakistan and China also attended the ceremony.

The ceremony also celebrated 10 years of strategic partnership for promotion of higher education through development of ICT infrastructure in Pakistan.

The Minister Ahsan Iqbal said that education is the most critical resource for any nation in the age of knowledge economy.

He said the digitisation regime has revolutionised the whole fabric as witnessed by the rapid development of online education, online shopping and modern public transport.

“We have to embrace this paradigm shift in order to keep pace with the world,” he stressed.

The minister stated that Government of Pakistan aims at having 20000 PhDs in the next 10 years.

He also maintained that the government has increased the budget of higher education sector so as to give youth the best possible opportunities to acquire quality education.

“China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project will make the Pak-China friendship exemplary,” he said.

He urged HEC and Huawei to aim bigger so as to turn Pakistan into a technology hub for the regional and Central Asia. 

Federal Minister for Education Engr Baligh-ur-Rehman appreciated HEC for effectively using technology and utilizing the facilities of Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) to connect universities.

“This is the era of fourth industrial revolution which marks technology and collaboration, “he said.

Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed briefed about the background of HEC-Huawei strategic partnership.

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said the bilateral collaboration started in 2006 helped Pakistan have its ICT set-up.

“The ICT set-up in Pakistan now is second to none,” he affirmed. Chairman HEC informed that PERN has connected over 247 higher education institutions in Pakistan. He stressed the need for further improvement of cooperation between HEC and Huawei to prepare themselves for the future challenges.

During the ceremony, HEC and Huawei also signed a Memorandum of Understanding under on behalf of 13 universities, which have been selected on competitive basis for the award of Huawei Authorized Information Network Academy (HAINA) under which these universities will be equipped with advanced technology laboratories for human resources of universities and the nearby community.