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Conference on Higher Education and Research

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Islamabad: With the constant onslaught of new technologies and trends coupled with rapid demographic changes, there is a need for collaboration and convergence between knowledge-based organizations in countries striving for socio-economic growth and prosperity. This will lead to the development of a competitive knowledge and information-based economy, so vital to reap the demographic dividend in Pakistan and prosper in today’s interconnected world.

This is the core idea behind the organization of the first-ever National Conference on “Setting Standards for 21st Century Pakistan” being held in Islamabad today (Thursday). The conference will be addressed by scientists, academics, parliamentarians and business leaders such as Dr. Samar Mubarakmand, Dr. Atta-ur-Rahman, Malik Riaz, Mr. Farooq Sattar, Mr. Shaukat Tareen, Mr. Hussain Dawood, Dr. Maria Sultan and Vice Chancellors of leading public and private universities.

The conference will emphasize that a knowledge-based society and its economic growth are completely dependent on the generation of intellectual capital which is itself dependent on higher education.

As the youth are the biggest stakeholders in the process, there is a dire need to provide this youth significantly enhanced and equitable access to quality higher education. Innovation, research and commercialization provides for a synergistic way forward linking the creative output from the universities to the needs of the community and the economy. Focusing on soft power will enable knowledge creation and transfer and benefit the nation at large by building strong communities and economies.

What Higher Education Commission has envisioned for 21st century Pakistan is to bring quality and culture of learning, research, creativity, innovation and commercialization across Pakistani higher education institutions. However, in order to prepare Pakistan for the 21st century challenges, it is highly imperative to Inculcate a culture of merit and good governance, create a sustainable national policy ensuring university-society and university-industry linkages, build and encourage university-society and university-industry partnerships, foster a spirit of public-private partnership, create an entrepreneurial culture in academic institutions and support organizations, enable public and private sector investment in new technologies and technology-based companies, champion the role of universities in community and economic development, and drive a paradigm shift where human resource is the core asset.

It must be understood that the universities are not stand alone entities. They play an important role in creating opportunities and businesses for people producing a new generation of leaders, and benefitting the society as a whole. In other words, the concept of knowledge based economy is driven by university leaders abreast with the latest trends of learning, innovation and development.

The emerging concept of promoting university-industry technology transfer is considered the main impetus behind the success of emerging economies worldwide. For fast-paced economic growth, technology-based companies partner with research universities for talented people, new knowledge, and innovative technology. In this regards, universities in fast developing economies have significantly increased the volume of their research and technology transfers in just a few decades.

Streamlined research, generated by strategic academic processes that build strong societies and economies has now entered a takeoff phase of commercialization. Business and Technology Incubators are being established in universities across Pakistan to promote university-industry collaboration. Universities have initiated different research projects related to agriculture/business/industrial needs, which is shared with the related stakeholders and other sections of the society.

The National Conference on “Setting Standards for 21st Century Pakistan” showcases innovative university – industry linkages and provides a platform to intellectual, industrial, business and academic leaders of Pakistan for dialogue to determine how universities may truly work to Build the 21st Century Pakistan.

For more information, contact:
Aayesha Ikram
Director (Media)
Higher Education Commission
Sector H-9, Islamabad
Tel: 90402404, 90402412
Email: aikram@hec.gov.pk
Website: www.hec.gov.pk

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