Academics strongly supported the initiative for strong academic, research, and innovation linkages amongst higher education institutions in Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) countries. They were also of the view that through strong academic linkages, we can strengthen the overall aim and mission of BRI in its true essence.
Friends of BRI Forum, an initiative of the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, organised a webinar entitled ‘Building Academic Linkages within BRI Countries’ the other day. Security and Diplomacy Professor Dr Wang Li at the School of International and Public Affairs, Jilin University, China, said that through stronger cooperation between China, Russia, Pakistan, and Iran, peace and stability in the region can be restored and built-in region and beyond. He added that this would also promote cooperation with the BRI.
Belt and Road International Science Education Coordinating Committee Vice President Dr Manzoor Soomro said there is an urgent need to create strong academic and research linkages on science and technological advancements from China to BRI countries and vice versa.
EU-China Program Centre International de Formation Européenne (CIFE) France Director Dr George N. Tzogopoulos said that China and the EU can cooperate to promote strong linkages in all spheres.
Professor Dr Hong Mi of the School of Public Affairs at Zhejiang University, China, highlighted that given the Covid-19 pandemic, stronger partnerships were required amongst scientists and academics to curb the virus through sharing of knowledge and better understand the dangers posed by the deadly infection.
Vice Rector for International Cooperation, L.N. Gumilyov at the Eurasian National University, Kazakhstan, Professor Dr Zholdasbekova Akbota Niyazovna stated that BRI was warmly received in Kazakhstan and there is a strong partnership between Kazakhstan and China on issues of mutual trust, especially academic and scientific linkages.
Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University Vice Chancellor Dr Razia Sultana said that there is a need for greater collaboration amongst universities of BRI countries. She said this could best be done through innovation and scholarships for the exchange of students and faculties.
Head of the Centre for China Studies Allameh Tabataba’i University, Iran, Dr Gholamali Chegnizadeh indicated to create a network of universities and HEI on BRI countries to contribute innovatively towards BRI.
A visiting professor at the China Renmin University, China, Professor Zhou Rong said there is a need to produce more literature to share scientific knowledge among academics on BRI countries.
Kardan University, Afghanistan Head of Economics Department Qais Mohammadi said Afghanistan has huge potential to contribute meaningfully towards the overall objectives of BRI.
Students, researchers, academics and faculty members in large numbers attended the webinar from across the world. The event is a part of the series of webinars that IPDS and Friends of BRI Forum intend to host to promote strong links among BRI countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2021.