ISLAMABAD: A delegation of university representatives from Morocco, which is on a three-
day visit to Pakistan, met Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman Higher Education Commission
and senior management of HEC at the Commission Secretariat.
The delegation included President University of Fez, President University Hassan II in
Casablanca, Omar Assobhei Driss Mansouri and Acting Dean of the Faculty of Letters and
Sciences, Dhar El Mehraz, Abdelilah Benmlih. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed welcomed the delegates and
presented an overview of HEC’s initiatives and achievements during last 13 years. He explained
how government’s commitment helped to develop higher education sector and a considerable
increase in funding has brought remarkable changes in the sector.
The chairman said that primary focus of HEC has remained towards increasing access to quality
higher education as around 65 per cent of population is below the age of 25 years. “We believe
that investment in our youth will lead to development of human resource in all disciplines
ultimately helping in socio-economic uplift of the country. HEC has initiated a number of
programmes for faculty, research scholars and students to harness their potential.”
Dr. Mukhtar said that over 200,000 people have benefitted from different scholarship schemes
during the last 10 years. “Areas having direct impact on country’s socio-economic growth have
been prioritized. Encouraging and funding innovative and relevant research, entrepreneurship,
ensuring adherence to quality assurance criteria, developing physical and technological
infrastructure, improving governance at universities are some of the key areas where HEC has
put its maximum effort,” he said.
He said that Morocco and Pakistan enjoy a brotherly relationship. Both the countries may start
institution to institution collaboration, exchange programmes for faculty, staff and students as
well as joint academic and research programmes. He said that a delegation of Pakistani Vice
Chancellors may visit Morocco to explore opportunities for collaboration and benefitting from
each other’s expertise. He also mentioned that next VCs Forum of the Islamic countries will be
held in Rabat early next year.
The Moroccan delegates appreciated the hospitality of Pakistani people and agreed that
cooperation in higher education will play a key role in bringing governments and people of the
two nations closer to each other. They said both the countries have many challenges of similar
nature and joint research projects will be of great help for both sides.
It was agreed that there was political willingness on both the sides that makes it much easier for
planning and execution of joint academic and research programmes. During their stay, the
delegation will visit different higher education institutions in the twin cities.
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