The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has offered 20 training programmes for faculty of Gambian universities to be organized during the next couple of years.

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed Chairman HEC had a meeting with a delegation from Gambia at the Commission Secretariat and made this offer. Yaya Sireh Jallow, vice-minister/ permanent secretary; Samba Sowe, Senior Science, Technology and Innovation Officer; Ousman Nyang, Deputy Vice-Chancellor; and Prof. Faqir Muhammad Anjum, Vice Chancellor, University of Gambia were the part of delegation.

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed shared with delegation efforts and achievements of HEC for promotion of higher education in Pakistan. He said HEC was set up in 2002 in Pakistan having only 59 universities that have now reached 188 with 4000 affiliated colleges. “Pakistani higher education institutions have about 3 million people studying in it, and the ratio of enrolment has now increased 9% as compared to 2.6% in 2002.”

Chairman said, “Currently her are 25% Ph.D. faculty in higher education system and we aim to raise it to 40% by 2025”. He said HEC is responsible to complement research with social needs by setting direction of research activities in higher education institutions. HEC has set up three centers of excellence on water, energy and food security and has plans to establish centers of excellence on climate change and artificial intelligence too. He said HEC to complement higher education has established a digital library with online access to over 200,000 books, Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialization and Business Incubation Centers.

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said, “We have connected universities through Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN) and video conference facility with the best ICT set up along with Technology Development Fund, Cloud Data Centre, Smart and Safe University Programme, Smart Classroom concept, and Tenure Track System”. He further said that Pakistan has skill universities and 2 other institutions under consideration. “HEC started with a focus on quantity, followed by quality. Now it focuses on social impact of academic milestones,” he stressed.

The chairman lamented “If even half of money spent on destructive science was spent in Africa, that would have turned into Europe,” he said and emphasized the need for investment in constructive science. He assured all possible assistance to Gambian universities.

Yaya Sireh Jallow cherished HEC for promotion of higher education in Pakistan. He said Pakistan and Gambia’s cordial relations will strengthen academic collaboration. He wished HEC and Gambian higher education institutions, seeking scholarships and training opportunities for Gambian faculty.

Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said, “HEC will conduct training in specific areas recognized by Gambia counting quality assurance, governance, science, technology, and engineering”.