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Pak-US linkage vital in social sciences: Chairman HEC

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ISLAMABAD: The university partnerships in Social Sciences and Humanities between the higher learning institutions of Pakistan and the United States are instrumental in providing a boost to the waning interest among academics and researchers in these fields. This was stated by Prof DrMukhtar Ahmed, Chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC) while addressing the Follow-up Workshop for Pakistan-US University Partnerships in Social Sciences and Humanities that began here on Wednesday.

These partnerships, a joint initiative ofHEC and the US Embassy in Pakistan, are an ongoing activity since 2012 and aim to establish long-term relationships between Pakistani educational institutions with those in the United States in Social Sciences and Humanities.

Under this programme, $1 million grant is funded by the US government and provided to American universities to establish a three-year partnership with a Pakistani university in Social Sciences and Humanities.

During the two-day workshop DrMukhtar Ahmed urged the participants to share their achievements and learn from each other’s experiences.The chairman thanked the US Government, particularly US Embassy, for their continuous support for development of Pakistan’s higher education sector and initiating these partnerships for promoting research.

“Cooperation with Pakistan in higher education is a priority for the United States. US- funded university partnerships betweenPakistani and American universities are enhancing curricula and research quality. In doing so, they will benefit future generations moving through the Pakistani higher education system,” said Thomas Leary, Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at the US Embassy in Islamabad.

All the University Partnerships are for three- year duration. The projects, which started in 2012, will finish this year. This include partner-ship between National University ofModern Languages, Islamabad and University ofNorth Texas in English Linguistics in Literature, and English Language Teaching; Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad and Ball State University in American Studies; AllamaIqbal Open University, Islamabad and San Jose State University in Distance Education, Computer Science; Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi and University ofTexas at Austin in Behavioral Sciences; Gender Studies, Mass Communications; University of Gujrat and University of Oklahoma in Mass Communication and Media Studies; Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University, Peshawar and Southern Methodist University in Psychology; Isra University, Hyderabad and Ball State University in Business Administration; Consortium of Five Pakistani Universities in KPK and the University of Kentucky in Business Administration. KPK universities include Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Kohat University of Science and Technology, University of Peshawar, Bannu University of Science and Technology, and IMSciences, Peshawar.

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