The Pakistan-U.S. Alumni Network (PUAN) launched a three-day international conference on “Mapping Education in the 21st Century” at the Serena Hotel today. Over 200 alumni of U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs from across Pakistan and South Asia gathered in Islamabad for the event, which was jointly sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad and PUAN.
Former Higher Education Commission Chairperson and University of Karachi Professor Emeritus Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman was joined by current HEC Chairperson Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed at the conference’s opening ceremony to kick off a program of interactive workshops, panel sessions, keynote speeches, and community outreach events. The conference brought together education professionals from a range of fields including teachers, administrators, policy makers, community activists, and development workers to share knowledge and experience that will allow them to better serve their communities.
American Ambassador David Hale addressed the conference participants, “As educators, you play a particularly crucial role in preparing young Pakistanis to tackle future challenges. Whether you are a teacher, an administrator, a legislator, an activist, or a development worker, your work is critical to improving Pakistan’s education sector. Thank you for your commitment and your service.” He also highlighted President Obama and Prime Minister Sharif’s commitment to expand education cooperation through the U.S.-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor established in 2015, which will foster research, innovation, and educational exchange between our countries. He praised the Government of Pakistan for its commitment of $25 million to fund up to 125 PhDs through the Fulbright program.
The United States invests approximately $40 million annually in exchange programs for Pakistani citizens and sends more than 1,300 Pakistanis to the United States each year to participate in academic and professional exchange programs. PUAN is an alumni network of students and professionals who have participated in U.S. government-sponsored exchange programs. With more than 19,000 alumni across Pakistan, PUAN is one of the largest alumni networks in the world.
PUAN regularly organizes events across Pakistan, including service projects, leadership training, roundtable discussions, and community engagement activities. To find out more about PUAN and the conference, visit: http://www.facebook.com/pakalumni.