U.S. and Pakistani Academics Promote Higher Education Linkages at Texas Workshop

Islamabad, November 18, 2014 – Senior Pakistani academics from 23 universities met with 17 U.S. partner institutions in Denton, Texas, for a four-day workshop at the University of North Texas from November 12 to 15. The workshop allowed participants to promote community engagement, interactive teaching methods, collaborative research, and academic regional integration in both the United States and Pakistan.

The event, organized under the University Partnerships Program, was sponsored by the Embassy of the United States in Pakistan and is part of International Education Week, a joint initiative of the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education that focuses on the importance of international education and exchange worldwide.

Senior-level representatives from the U.S. Department of State, the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC), and the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan joined the delegation to highlight the importance of higher-education linkages between both countries. The U.S. Department of State’s Director for Public Diplomacy for the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Kathryn Schalow, opened the workshop by saying, “I am delighted to see the success of these partnerships. They have not only built capacity and skills but also relationships that will last long after the formal partnerships end.”

HEC Chairman Mukhtar Ahmed addressed the 52 participants in a videotaped message saying, “Initiatives in the Social Sciences need to work together and to learn from one another. U.S. and Pakistani education institutions are strategic partners.” The chairman underscored the importance of international linkages in achieving academic excellence and reinforced the HEC’s support to promote mutual collaboration between Pakistani and U.S. universities.

The University Partnerships Program is one of the flagship higher-education programs sponsored by the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan and provides over $18 million dollars in funding to 40 universities in Pakistan and the United States to create three-year partnerships. These partnerships focus on the social sciences and humanities to assist universities with professional development for faculty, curriculum reform, joint research, and to increase mutual understanding between Pakistan and the United States. Since 2012, approximately 250 faculty members, administrators, and students from both countries have participated in exchanges under this program.

The first University Partnerships Best Practices Workshop was held in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

For more information, please visit the U.S. Embassy’s Facebook VLOG under #USPakEd and #ISBtoTX.