With more than two million young people entering the job market each year in Pakistan, development projects like the CPEC brings with it a unique opportunity for employment and economic growth. However, in order to ensure that 64 million youth of Pakistan are qualified and able to take full advantage of new and existing economic opportunities it is imperative to ensure that the working age population is well prepared to take on the upcoming challenges.   

Over the years, Pakistan has vastly benefitted from the UK Education Sector through British Council initiatives. From knowledge exchange and leadership development programmes, to student and teacher training, scholarships and research collaborations the UK education sector has a proud legacy of assistance in improving the higher education sector in Pakistan. 

Given past collaborations and its track record in higher education, partnership with the rapidly reforming UK higher education and research system can prove to be beneficial for all parties involved. The UK can play a significant role in building strategic partnerships through policy dialogues, facilitating sector level collaborations, and institution to institution partnerships. While Pakistan will contribute to the UK higher education sector by increasing the total number of PhD, masters and undergraduate students in UK institutions, increased research projects and services, and growth in developing an expanded talent pool. 

HEC and British Council aim to reach out to over 1 million students through our programmes directly and indirectly. 150,000 teachers in 200 plus universities of both public and private sector across Pakistan will be engaged in next three to five years programme of Pak-UK Gateway.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion will be the cross cutting themes of the Pak-UK Gateway programmes, some of the collaborative areas will have especially designed interventions to address the EDI agenda. The aim of the Pak-UK Education Gateway is to improve the rigour and relevance of Higher Education sector in Pakistan.

Pak-UK Education Gateway has six main thematic areas:

Innovative, Impactful and Collaborative Research

Innovative and collaborative research in emerging disciplines of knowledge e.g., medical and allied health sciences, energy generation, distribution and conservation, climate change and water management, artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology big data and cloud computing, social sciences and humanities to name a few. This will include providing technical assistance for the establishment of centres of excellence for critically needed fields of education identified in HEC Vision 2025. 

  • Establish stronger links across the board between UK and Pak, among multiple areas, and between the industry, academia and government for collaborative research programmes
  • Establish a research excellence framework for Pakistan Higher Education Sector and improve the delivery and application of research  knowledge, tools and skills
  • Identify new sources of funding for  joint research programs between Pakistan and UK Universities
  • Engage the industry on board for the application of research and tap into new fields for more innovative research and industry/employer engagement
  • Build and encourage the research culture through various professional development programmes; capability building programmes for academics who choose research and scholarship as a career

 

Higher Education Leadership

To improve quality of governance and management through well trained Higher Education Leadership, this will include development of a leadership institute in Pakistan. The new model of the leadership programme will include local training programmes for strategic management and governance of world class universities through mentoring schemes and formal training. These will also include exposure to the UK institutions as well as other stakeholders. 

  • Identify problems that are shared by both the UK and Pakistan sectors and can be addressed together through mutual learning and sharing best practices
  • Create a critical mass for leadership development with the help of technology
  • Re-engage Pakistani Vice Chancellors who have already undergone scholarly exchange visits to cascade leadership training as alumni / mentors for future programmes
  • Expand the areas of collaborations around leadership development between the UK and Pakistan according to the needs and aspirations of their sectors
  • Establish strategic relationships between relevant institutions, apex and professional bodies in the UK and Pakistan for long term strategic partnership for leadership development 
  • Improve women participation in higher education leadership to foster their professional growth prospects in the HE sector. 

 

Quality Assurance and Standard Setting

Quality assurance and standard setting through development of Research Excellence Framework and Teaching Excellence Framework for the Pakistani Higher Education Sector as recently developed in the UK. Under this element, both British Council and HEC will work under following thematic areas; 

  • Evaluate curriculum content, linking it to international standards and accreditation bodies in order to determine key focus areas
  • Establish and implement a Teaching Excellence Framework for Pakistani HEIs
  • Increase the length of international research development programs for a desirable duration
  • Identify relevant links between Pakistan and UK accreditation and other professional bodies for long term quality assurance and benchmarking
  • Teacher Education Programme for improving quality of education in affiliated colleges
  • Recognition and awards for best performing teachers and researchers

 

Distance Learning and New Ways of Delivery of Higher Education

Allama Iqbal Open University in Pakistan has been established in collaboration with Open University UK in 1972. To re-establish that link and improve the provision of technology embedded distance learning within Pakistan. 

  • Develop innovative mechanisms to ensure quality Open and Distance Learning (ODL) 
  • Actively improve the perceptions of ODL in Pakistan and UK
  • Expansion of online and distance learning in Pakistan through ICT and advanced digital tools. 
  • Develop links with ICT / Digital Sectors in both countries for scaling up education through advance digital means.

 

International Mobility

Improve two way international mobility in HE and Increase number of scholarships on various models of collaboration between UK and Pakistani HEIs. This will include fully covered scholarships, Split PhD programmes bursaries and fee waivers for Pakistani students in the UK and vice – e – versa.

  • Partner with relevant institutions for two way students and faculty exchange programmes, both face to face and online
  • Ensure quality of students and academic quality of programs through mutually developed policy guidelines
  • Assess the impact of existing programmes and suggest future areas of mutual interests
  • Young scientists and talented researchers exchange programmes 

 

Transnational Education

The interest in transnational education between UK and Pakistani institutions is increasing and in order to address this both the parties are working for the development of international collaboration framework for Pakistan and UK. 

  • Launch and implementation of TNE Policy in Pakistan as well as in UK
  • Promote the TNE policy for Pakistan and UK both.
  • Develop a stronger degree validation process for both countries
  • Strengthen accreditation from both sides 
  • Encourage more collaborative program designs for UK and Pakistan both
  • Strengthen capacity of TNE education providers and review their quality on regular basis for Pakistan and UK both

 

Citizenship education and community engagement

The citizenship education and community engagement is a co-designed three credit course for undergraduate students developed through National Curriculum Review Committee (NCRC) of Higher Education Commission in collaboration with British Council encompassing inclusive development through local and global collaboration, focussing on wider engagement with community networks, volunteerism and social activities to act as change agents.

  • Roll out of the course in all HEI’s
  • Capacity building trainings
  • Exchanges of students
  • Active youth participation in social development