Pakistan-China Forum on “Challenges of Equitable Access and Quality in Higher Education”
The first Pakistan-China Forum on “Challenges of Equitable Access and Quality in Higher Education” was held at Air University, Islamabad on July 17, 2017. The forum was jointly organized by the Air University, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan and China Association of Higher Education. The first one-day forum was inaugurated by Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reform, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal and was addressed by eminent speakers from the higher education bodies of the two countries.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for Planning and Reform, Prof. Ahsan Iqbal appreciated the efforts for building 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 said. He welcomed the Chinese Scholars to Pakistan which he hoped will explore new avenues of mutual cooperation between the two countries.
The forum started with a welcome note from the Vice Chancellor, Air University, AVM (R) Faaiz Amir and a scholarly exposition of the theme by Lt. Gen. (R) Muhammad Asghar, Consultant CPEC at HEC. The leader of the Chinese delegation, Ms. Xiaomei Wang, highlighted the need for greater cooperation between the academia of the two countries.
The Executive Director of HEC, Dr Arshad Ali thanked the Minister for his wholehearted support for higher education, which he emphasized in not a goal but a pre-requisite in a knowledge-based economy. The Forum focused on three areas: 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 distinguished speakers of the Plenary Session included Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi, VC LUMS; Xiaomei Wang, Deputy Secretary General of China Association of Higher Education; Imtiaz Ali Rastgar, Chairman Rastgar Group of Companies; Fan XiaoXian, China Association of Higher Education, and Dr. Mahmood ul Hassan Butt, Consultant, HEC (Moderator). The learned speakers in the first Parallel Session were: Dr. Naveed Akhtar Malik, VC Virtual University; Prof. Guangli Zhou, Deputy Dean, School of Education Renmin University; Dr. Iqrar A. Khan, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; Mengjli Han, Graduate School of Education, Dalian University; Dr. Shahid Rashid, Executive Director, Centre of Excellence CPEC; and Dr. Samina Amin Qadir, Vice Chancellor, Fatima Jinnah Women University (Moderator).
The speakers at the Second Parallel Session included: Hassan Daud, Project Director, CPEC; Ming Xiaochang, Jiangsu Society for Research in Higher Education; Prof Dost Muhammad Baloch, VC Lasbela University, Dr. Muhammad Asif Khan, VC, Karakoram International University, Gilgit; and Dr. Razia Sultana, VC Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar (Moderator). The Forum ended with a comprehensive summing up by Dr. Muhammad Latif, Adviser (R&D), HEC and closing Remarks by the head of Chinese delegation Xiaomei Wang. Dr. Arshad Ali, the Executive Director of HEC was the Chief Guest at the closing ceremony.