RAWALPINDI – The first of eight university partnerships between American and Pakistani universities was initiated on Wednesday at Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU).

In this regard a ceremony was held at FJWU in which the US Embassy Public Affairs Officer Kathryn Schalow was the chief guest whereas FJWU Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Samina Amin Qadir and other faculty members were also present.

The partnership between FJWU and the University of Texas at Austin will concentrates on the professional development of FJWU faculty members, who will travel to Austin to work directly with their American counterparts.

In her remarks, US Embassy Public Affairs Officer Kathryn Schalow underscored the Embassy’s focus on initiatives aimed to improve the quality of education in Pakistan at all levels.

“Our goal is to unlock Pakistan’s extraordinary potential,” said Schalow, who also noted the significance of beginning the first partnership agreement with a top-tier women’s university.

She praised FJWU history of providing a quality education to the women of Pakistan, and quoted founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who said, “No struggle can ever succeed without women participating side by side with men.”

She stated that US Embassy Islamabad would invest $8.5 million in eight university partnerships over the next three years. Each partnership includes a faculty exchange and research component, and would be tailored to the needs of the specific programs and universities involved.

The partnerships would focus on a range of liberal arts subjects, including American Studies, Business Administration and Management Sciences, Mass Communications and Media Studies, Psychology, Social Anthropology and Women’s and Gender Studies, she mentioned.