VCs from Islamic countries vow to promote higher education (Dawn (Pakistan))

Vice chancellors from Islamic countries here on Tuesday vowed to work together to promote higher education in their countries.
At the end of a twoday vice chancellor forum, around 200 heads of universities through a declaration said they would share resources with each other and take joint steps to promote the higher education sector.
The third Vice Chancellors Forum of Muslim Countries, “Universities in the Islamic world: facing global challenges” discussed issues pertaining to them.
Pakistan on the occasion announced 1,000 scholarships for the students of other Islamic countries.
According to the declaration, 60 Pakistani universities will offer 1,000 scholarships to students from other Islamic countries from sessions starting in the 2015.
The forum was organised by the Comsats Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), Ministry of Science and Technology, Islamic Educational and Cultural Organisation and the Federation of Universities of the Islamic World.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Junaid Zaidi, Rector Comsats, said there were around 700 universities in the Islamic countries. “If one university offers 20 scholarships, will have 14,000 scholarships.” He said during the twoday event around 500 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed among the universities.
Pakistan announces 1,000 scholarships for students of other Islamic countries
The forum recommended a regular liaison among institutions of higher learning in the Islamic countries and convening the meeting of the forum for sharing the development and progress on a biannual basis.
The forum asked heads of universities to be cognizant of the challenges of globalisation, particularly in the areas of educational and scientific research, for devising strategies and mutual course of action for cooperation in addressing those challenges.
It also recommended the establishment of virtual centres of excellence enabling scholars and researchers for easy access in sharing the pool of knowledge and to promote exchange of students and faculty among participating institutions of higher learning.
Speaking to Dawn, Professor Dr Turki Obaidat, the vicepresident of AlZaytoonah University of Jordan, said the conference would strengthen research and knowledgesharing ties among the member countries.
“It will also help in the exchange of students and faculty besides reshaping the value of our students to accept opinion of others and hold dialogue to reach an understanding on different issues,” he said.
Dr Salisu Shehu Abubakar, a senior faculty member at Bayero University, Kano Nigeria, added that the forum was a major link between the Muslim countries. “This is an important forum which not only brought universities of Islamic world together but also the countries as well,” he said.
The heads of universities said the session provided an excellent opportunity to the participating universities to interact and develop professional linkages among each other.
There was a consensus that the forum would provide a platform to the university heads for fostering collegiality, strengthening cooperation and encouraging dialogues.
Vice Chancellor University of the Punjab Kamran Mujahid said: “Collective weakness is linked to collective inaction. Utter rot is the fate of those nations who don’t acquire Knowledge.”
The countries whose university heads attended the forum included Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kyrgyz Republic, Libya, Malaysia, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, Yemen, Gambia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Ivory Coast.