‘Facing Global Challenges’: Islamic countries’ VCs to meet on August 26-27

This will be the third forum of heads of universities of OIC member states.

Our Correspondent August 08, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The third Vice-Chancellors (VC) Forum of Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) will be held in Islamabad on August 26-27 this year.

The forum is expected to be attended by over 300 VCs, rectors and presidents of universities and higher education institutions of the Islamic world and is expected to provide a platform to university leaders to develop collaborative links, strengthen cooperation and encourage dialogue among representative institutions.

According to a press release from the Higher Education Commission (HEC), the objectives set forth for the forum, titled “Vice Chancellors Forum 2014: Universities in the Islamic World: Facing Global Challenges”, include providing a platform to university leaders in OIC member states in forging linkages for initiating joint academic programmes, promoting research, pooling resources, offering scholarships, promoting exchange of students and establishing centres of excellence, among others.

The forum’s curtains raiser was hosted by the HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmad where ambassadors of Islamic countries were apprised of the aims of the event and encouraged to participate. Ambassadors of Azerbaijan, Indonesia, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Morocco, Malaysia and Kyrgyzstan attended the gathering.

Ahmad said education alone was the solution to problems in the respective countries. “The time is ripe for countries in the Islamic world to address issues such as in the energy and water sector and food security. We need to engage in research to eradicate diseases such as dengue, Ebola, etc.”

He also stressed the need to work in collaboration rather than isolation for further progress, citing the success of a liver transplant facility that is due to begin at Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi as a collaborative effort between Pakistani and Turkish academia following the previous forum.

This year, the themes proposed for the panel discussions include Fostering Links with Community; Sustainable Higher Education Systems; Sharing of Knowledge and Fostering Collaboration; Higher Education, Innovation and Entrepreneurship; International Landscape: Role of University Leadership; Higher Education: New Visions for Future; Role of Higher Education in Economic Revitalization; Mapping International Research Collaboration-Future Trends; Equality of Access and Role of Women in Higher Education and in Society and Partnering with Industry.

The forum is being organised by HEC, Ministry of Science and Technology, Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation, Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training and Federation of Universities of Islamic World.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th,2014.



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