Islamabad-The government is focusing on higher education on priority basis but ensuring quality and relevance of the education still remains a challenging task for the country, said education minister on Monday

Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Shafqat Mehmood said this while addressing the launch ceremony of Pakistan-UK Education Gateway held here.

Chairman HEC Dr. Tariq Banuri, British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew, Country Director British Council Ms. Rosemary Hilhorst, Secretary General, Association of Commonwealth Universities Ms. Joanna Newman and a delegation of 20 representatives of top UK universities currently on visit to Pakistan attended the meeting. 

The minister said that highly qualified individuals are jobless when their qualification is not relevant to the industry.  He said the launch of Pakistan-UK Education Gateway is an august occasion in the history of Pakistan-UK relations.

Minister said the two countries enjoy cordial relations, adding that the initiative will further strengthen the bilateral relations between Pakistan and the United Kingdom.

It is also imperative to develop skills of the youth in consonance with the job market needs, he underlined. He maintained that the government is going to complete its 100 days and it has identified areas to focus on for the socio-economic development.

The critical areas to be covered in the Pakistan-UK Education Gateway include split PhD programmes, full-fledged PhD programmes, student and faculty exchange, easy student mobility, involvement of funding agencies and research entities, quality and governance at higher education institutions, and capacity building through short training programmes.

There are seven elements of the Pakistan-UK Gateway. From Research Partnerships; helping to find PhD Scholarships for Pakistanis; supporting Leadership development and introducing Quality Assurance systems; bring more opportunities through Distance Learning; more Pakistani students studying in the UK; building on Pakistan’s position as a market for Transnational education and finally a compulsory three credit course on Citizenship- modelled on Active Citizens.         Dr. Banuri said Pakistan and the United Kingdom have developed outstanding academic relationship. As many as 386 Pakistani scholars have completed their PhD studies from UK universities in the recent years. 

 “It is a brilliant start. Yet, we want to take it not only to thousands but to tens of thousands,” he underlined.

He stressed the need for developing bilateral academic relationship in a way that helps Pakistan build its universities. He underscored that global parity is essential to help the future generations address the challenges.

He emphasised that all academic institutions need a strategy to enhance global engagement.

He said HEC has marked tremendous success in the last 15 years achieving a number of goals set at the time of its inception.  He said a tenfold increase in the enrolment ratio has been marked with proportional increase in the number of faculty members.  He added that the number of research publications has increased to 15 times since 2002.

 Ms. Hilhorst said, “the successful future of several million young people in our hands, as they have great expectations and aspirations.” She said through this partnership, we continue to bring the UK’s knowledge and expertise to Pakistan in support of HEC in their ambition to develop and build the capacity of higher education institutions in the country.  We look forward to working with the HEC and our UK partners in making this gateway a success and add value to bilateral and mutually beneficial relationships.



ISLAMABAD: Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mahmood addressing the launch ceremony of

Pak-UK Education Getaway.-APP