Brian Sanders, Ambassador of New Zealand, called on Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister and incharge, Higher Education Commission (HEC), here on Thursday.
They exchanged views for continuing and expanding the HEC collaboration with the higher education sector of New Zealand as well as its industry.
Expressing satisfaction over the existing HEC scholarship programmes with New Zealand, Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali said the HEC wants to accelerate the pace and scope of this cooperation.
“We want to send more HEC scholars to New Zealand, especially in those fields where New Zealand has more expertise like dairy farming, livestock, agriculture, environmental science, social sciences and other such subjects,” she said.
It was agreed that the new approach would be “cluster technology-research development” tying up universities and industries from both the countries.
There will be a follow-up meeting in late September where in concrete proposals in line with the priority areas identified by HEC would be discussed. Mr. Moin M. Fudda, Honorary Consul General of New Zealand for Pakistan, Dr.
Sohail H. Naqvi, Executive Director, HEC and Dr. S. Mahmood Raza, Adviser (HRD) HEC also took part in the discussion.
Begum Shahnaz Wazir Ali emphasized that in addition to scholarships, other linkages should also be strengthened such as collaboration between the selected university departments of the two countries, apart from involving the industry from both countries, faculty exchange, joint research ventures and technology transfer.
“During the last few years, the HEC has concentrated on developing faculty base.
Now our focus is on academia linkages with industry, agriculture and other areas that are important for the socio-economic growth of the country.
We want to blend the university research with the market requirements, and for this purpose the young students and researchers are being encouraged to work on the areas of national and commercial importance,” she added. Brian Sanders, Ambassador of New Zealand, lauded the initiatives taken by the HEC for the development of higher education sector in Pakistan.
New Zealand has been sharing some of her experiences with the HEC and that they were interested to further enhance this collaboration, he said.
He gave a briefing about the higher education sector of New Zealand as well as the state of the industry, agriculture and other important areas, which might be of interest for future cooperation.