The announcement was made by Minister Planning, Development and Reform Ahsan Iqbal who explained the Pakistan-US Knowledge Corridor during a video conference session with vice chancellors of universities from across the country.
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC and Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC were also present on the occasion.
The Pakistan-US Corridor was conceptualized in June 2015 as a result of US-Pakistan Education, Science and Technology working group under the bilateral strategic dialogue.
The government envisions enhancing enrollment in tertiary education up to 5 million by 2025 as universities are a shortage of 30,000 PhD qualified faculty members.
The minister said that 10,000 PhDs educated in the best US would give spectacular results. “The Government is committed to increase access to higher education and for that purpose sub-campuses and virtual campuses are being established at district level so as to enable aspiring students to gain higher education at their doorstep,” he said.
He said that the horizontal expansion would not be achieved at the cost of quality, and that an advisory service in universities would be established to hunt for prospective students and coached how to gain admission abroad, prepare research profile and counselled for admission.
Iqbal identified the main responsibilities of a university including instruction, quality research, creating knowledge, encouraging innovation and industry linkage for contribution to the economy and university community relationship. He also shared the recently setup Technology Innovation Fund (TIF) which will enable new PhDs to carryout research and win a competitive grant to bring about economic impact.
He directed the HEC to immediately devise an action plan to ensure the young scholars returning to the country after completion of PhD are offered appropriate positions especially in our existing universities to enable them to contribute in the economic development of the country
Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed gave an overview of HEC’s efforts for developing human resource and providing state-of-the-art facilities to the higher education institutions. He hoped that US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor will greatly help in building the knowledge economy.