Islamabad, March 12, 2019: Mr. Andrei Ermolovich, Ambassador of the Republic of Belarus to Pakistan visited the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and called on Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Muhammad Asghar, Executive Director HEC.
The two sides discussed a large range of academic issues pertaining to promotion of bilateral collaboration in the higher education sector.
The Executive Director informed the Ambassador that HEC is an autonomous institution working for uplift of higher education sector in the country. He said HEC pursues its objectives of promoting equitable access, enhancing quality, and ensuring relevance of higher education and research to national needs. He maintained that HEC started its journey with only 59 universities in the country, taking the number to 192 in only 17 years. He added that not only enrolment rate has gone high in the universities, but the number and quality of research publications has also remarkably increased. He said HEC values academic and research linkages with its partner countries, adding that HEC is keen to further strengthen relations between Pakistani and Belarussian institutions.
He stressed the need for measures to identify areas wherein Pakistani and Belarussian higher education institutions could develop collaboration. He highlighted the significance of promoting student exchange initiatives among higher education institutions of both the countries. He said Pakistan has a large number of students studying in foreign universities. "Pakistani students will be keen to go to Belarus for study and research," he underlined.
Ambassador Ermolovich appreciated HEC's efforts for development of higher education sector in Pakistan. He emphasised that Pakistan and Belarus have a great potential to work together in the higher education sector and initiate mutually beneficial programmes. He informed the Executive Director that many Belarussian institutions offer two-year preparatory courses to overcome language barriers for foreign students. He added that there are a number of courses taught altogether in English.
The Ambassador was accompanied by Dr. Alena Dastanka, Head of Academic Affairs Unit of the Belarusian State University.