Embassy hosts webinar on Pakistan-U.S. Educational Cooperation
The Embassy of Pakistan held a webinar on Pakistan-U.S. Educational Cooperation. The webinar comprised of eminent speakers including senior officials from the U.S. and Pakistan side as well as representatives of the academia.
Ambassador Dr. Asad M. Khan welcomed the participants and highlighted that education was the brightest spot and the glorious chapter in the history of Pakistan-U.S. bilateral relations. He shared that the number of Pakistani students in the U.S., which had reduced significantly over the past few years, had now resurged to over 8000. He emphasized the need for continued cooperation in the educational domain and thanked the U.S. government for its valuable partnership over the years.
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Cooperation Ms. Marie Royce said that Pakistani students were welcome in the U.S. and she encouraged them to consider the U.S. as their number one destination for higher education. She reaffirmed U.S. commitment to enhancing educational cooperation and said both sides need to continue to work together to achieve greater successes.
Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman of Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission was also a featured speaker at the webinar. He stressed on the significant role that U.S. universities and institutions have played in helping Pakistan to strengthen its higher education domain. He called for enhanced collaboration between Pakistan and the United States for the promotion of online education in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
The webinar was divided into two panels – the first was devoted to Challenges and Opportunities in Educational Cooperation. Distinguished panelists included Ms. Lisa Heller (U.S. Embassy), Ms. Rita Akhtar (USEFP), Dr. Farhat Haq (AIPS) and Mr. Atif Qarni, (Secretary for Education, Virginia).
The second panel covered the impact of COVID-19 on bilateral educational cooperation. It featured prominent educationists including Dr. Adil Najam (Boston University), Mr. Raza Rumi (Cornell), Dr. Ali Khan (LUMS), Dr. Furrukh Khan (LUMS) and Mr. Saeed Shafqat (FC College).
In their respective interventions, the panelists covered various aspects of educational cooperation issues and stressed the need to further enhance cooperation in this critical field. While COVID-19 had fundamentally altered the global scenario, the use of technology and virtual platforms was identified as the lynchpin to ensure continuity and broadening of the scope of educational cooperation in the coming years between both countries.
Questions from the audience were focused mainly on the possible impact of COVID-19 on Pakistani students coming to the U.S. and on how this vital linkage needs to be continued despite physical and health constraints.
Washington D.C., July 8, 2020