HEC teams up with Coursera to offer free training to youth

ISLAMABAD: As part of its ongoing commitment to equip Pakistani youth with the high-demand skills needed for jobs of the future, Higher Education Commission (HEC) has embarked upon the third phase of its partnership with Coursera through the Digital Learning and Skills Enrichment Initiative (DLSEI).

HEC launched DLSEI in 2018 in partnership with Coursera and the previous two phases of the programme witnessed a cumulative 0.25 million hours of online skilling across 12,000 learners. Some of the popular industry courses are in the areas of Project Management, Data Analytics, Programming and Social Media Marketing, and soft skills like negotiation, communication, public speaking and presentation.

In the third phase of DLSEI in 2023, HEC will sponsor skill development opportunities for Pakistan’s youth by offering free access to 5,300 online courses and 3,400 Guided Projects on Coursera across 11 domains in a view to rapidly deploy high-quality digital and human skills training at scale across the country.

In his remarks about the HEC-Coursera partnership, Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said that the objective of bilateral partnership is to ensure maximum utilization of the opportunity to provide Pakistani youth with online certifications and courses to enhance their skills.

He vowed that HEC and Coursera will strengthen the partnership by following a building-blocks-mechanism to gradually build upon their achievements. “Let’s work together for a common goal of benefitting mankind by equipping the youth with relevant skills,” he emphasized.

The Chairman said HEC believes in employing education as diplomacy to jointly solve the borderless problems facing the entire world. He urged local universities to adopt the Coursera courses and incentivise the course-picking students with special credits.

Director of International Governments at Coursera, Mr. Matt Klein said, “The youth today are graduating into a new labour market that demands new skills, reshaped by automation and the pandemic. Coursera is honored to partner with HEC to equip the next generation of talent in Pakistan with the skills and credentials needed to unlock their full earning potential in the digital economy.”

He maintained that it is gratifying to see that HEC, Pakistan is responding to the pressing trends by improving access to job-relevant education and skilling to deliver better outcomes for the country’s youth. He asserted that HEC’s vision and leadership will improve the lives of tens of thousands of students navigating the digital economy. He said it is Coursera’s privilege to be the learning partner of choice to make this vision a reality.

Coursera is a global online learning platform with a mission to provide universal access to world-class learning, with 110 million registered learners as of September 30, 2022. Coursera partners with over 275 leading university and industry partners including Yale University, Stanford University, Google, IBM, and Microsoft to offer a broad catalogue of content and credentials, including Guided Projects, courses, Specialisations, certificates, and Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. More than 7,000 institutions have used Coursera to upskill and reskill their employees, citizens, and students, including in high-demand fields such as data science, technology, and business.

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