Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Ahsan Iqbal on Monday said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) meant Pakistan’s entry into global supply chain.
He stated this while addressing the inaugural ceremony of the first Pakistan-China Forum on Higher Education, held here at the Air University jointly organised by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and the China Association of Higher Education.
The one-day forum on challenges of equitable access and quality in higher education was addressed by eminent speakers from the higher education bodies of the two countries and attended by the faculty and students from the universities at Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister Ahsan appreciated the efforts of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for building the CPEC University Alliance and CPEC Consortium of Business Schools. “These efforts will help build collaborative linkages and intellectual connectivity which symbolize the spirit of CPEC,” he added.
He welcomed the Chinese scholars to Pakistan which he hoped would explore new avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries. He said that the government was fully supporting higher education commission which aimed at capacity building of existing higher education institutions to prepare a suitable human resource for CPEC and promote cultural harmony between the two countries.
In his welcome address, HEC Executive Director Dr Arshad Ali thanked the minister for his wholehearted support for the higher education, which he emphasised was not a goal but a pre-requisite in a knowledge-based economy. The forum focused on three areas including national role and contribution in improving quality of higher education; ensuring quality with large-scale increase in access and balancing quality of higher education in diverse regions.
The forum started with a welcome note from Air University Vice Chancellor Faaiz Amir and a scholarly exposition of the theme by CPEC Consultant Muhammad Asghar at HEC. Chinese delegation leader Xiaomei Wang highlighted the need for greater cooperation between the academia of the two countries.
The distinguished speakers of the plenary session included LUMS Vice Chancellor Dr Sohail H Naqvi; Deputy Secretary General Xiaomei Wang of China Association of Higher Education; Imtiaz Ali Rastgar, Fan XiaoXian and Dr Mahmoodul Hassan Butt. The learned speakers in the first session were including Dr Naveed Akhtar Malik, Prof Guangli Zhou, Dr Iqrar A Khan, Mengjli Han, Dr Shahid Rashid, and Dr Samina Amin Qadir.
The speakers at the second parallel session included Hassan Daud, Ming Xiaochang, Prof Dost Muhammad Baloch, Dr Muhammad Asif Khan and Dr Razia Sultana. The forum ended with a comprehensive summing up by Dr Muhammad Latif, and closing remarks by Xiaomei Wang. HEC Executive Director Dr Arshad Ali was the chief guest at the closing ceremony.