International Strategic Partnerships in Research & Education

  • Institution-to-Institution Strategic Partnerships 

Networked at the institutional-level, these partnerships are aimed at internationalisation of the institutions, capacity-building and building effective and sustainable impact. Currently 26 partnerships are running successfully across Pakistan and operating at the macro-level. These include sector bodies and government policy makers. 

During the last five years the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has invested significantly for research and innovation in public sector universities. Due to this great contribution and the positive impact it has had on academic advancement, the Government of Pakistan has recently approved an increased allocation of funds for research and development in the higher education sector. 

Pakistan IHE Inspire Partnerships

  • Transnational Education Programmes (TNE)

The Transnational Education Programmes (TNE) is an on-going and integral component of INSPIRE, which aims to build sustainable strategic relationships between UK and Pakistani Higher Education Institutions (HEIs).


The objectives of these partnerships are

  1. To establish mutually beneficial partnerships between HEIs in the UK and Pakistan.
  2. To increase awareness of the UK higher education system in Pakistan and vice-versa, and on this basis, to develop opportunities for long-term partnership.
  3. To develop joint and/or dual award programmes and the delivery of short courses at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
  4. To build sustainable, long-term partnerships between collaborating institutions.
  5. To strengthen the skills of higher education staff in both countries for developing and delivering collaborative programmes, including joint and dual awards.

Around 16 partnerships exist under the TNE programme between Pakistani and UK universities. INSPIRE awards for short courses support a variety of collaborative initiatives mainly in relation to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and similar programmes.

These include the following: 

  • Stand-alone programmes developed specifically for CPD students.
  • Courses that are also modules in postgraduate or undergraduate programmes.
  • Tailor-made courses designed for the specific training needs of a company or organisation and only available to their employees. 

UK awards are available for all successful students in the proposed programme (degree, diploma, certificate, CATS credits). 

The next call will be launched in partnership with the HEC in 2014/2015.

  • Leadership Programme 

The Leadership Programme is one of the flagship programmes of the strategic collaboration between the British Council and Higher Education Commission. This programme aims to arrange educational leadership capacity-building programmes across Pakistan. Different training workshops are organised for Vice Chancellors, Pro-Vice Chancellors, Deans and Rectors of universities and senior officials of the Higher Education Commission (HEC). These trainings are designed to improve the participants’ strategic planning skills and leadership, as well as enhance their capacities, in order to bring reforms in the Higher Education sector.


On-going leadership programmes include: 

  • Commonwealth of Learning: trainings for newly-inducted Vice Chancellors to be held in Vancouver, Canada by mid-September 2014.
  • Strategic Management Workshop: to be held in Pakistan in 2014 to increase the scale of leadership in 10 Pakistani universities. 

So far 13 leadership programmes have been held through collaboration between HEC and British Council, training up to 98% Vice Chancellors, registrars and senior HEC officials. 


Three leadership courses are underway, for the given audience or leadership groups:

  1. Second-tier university leadership (e.g. Deputy Registrar, Director Planning & Development HEIs)
  2. Senior management (e.g. Pro Vice Chancellors, Pro-Rectors, Registrars, Deans, Department Chairpersons)
  3. Newly appointed Vice Chancellors, as part of the induction programme organised by the HEC. 
  • Talented Researchers Exchange Programme 

This programme began in 2010 and was aimed at stimulating and nurturing young academic talent in UK and South Asia through exciting and relevant research opportunities in addition to international peer networking.


Around 900 young researchers have been trained in local workshops which were delivered by master trainers. This project was completed with great success, on the basis of which new programmes for capacity-building in research have been developed. More details can be found here.