STAFF REPORT ISB: French Ambassador Martine Dorance has recently visited the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Secretariat and met with the commissions chairman, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed.

The ambassador was accompanied by Counsellor for Cooperation and Cultural Affairs Andre de Bussy.

Dr Ahmed briefed the Ambassador regarding achievements made by the HEC since its inception, as well as future projects planned by the commission to make higher education accessible in all regions.

The chairman gave an overview of the commissions progress on initiatives such as research, implementation of quality assurance criteria, steps to improve university governance, strengthening technological infrastructure, and building the capacity of faculty and management at universities.

He also shared HECs role as funding agency and regulator. He spoke about the need for applied research and establishment of a technology fund for applied research.

The chairman also sought Frances help in setting up more incubation centres for research. Both sides agreed to enhance collaboration, particularly short-term exchange programme for faculty and students.

The ambassador appreciated the performance of HEC in transforming universities and facilitating faculty, students, research scholars and university managements in meeting international standards of higher education. She also expressed her interest in enhancing academic links between the two countries, and spoke of a more structured approach to meet these goals.

Further, she informed the chairman that Pakistan Day will be celebrated in France, for which Dr Ahmed agreed to participate by engaging representation by vice-chancellors and students.

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