Pakistan Vice Chancellors Arrive for Canadian Study Tour

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Today, 19 Pakistani Vice Chancellors, representatives of the British Council and Higher Education Commission Pakistan, arrived in Vancouver, Canada for a ten-day study tour. The tour is hosted in collaboration with the Commonwealth of Learning (COL), the British Council Pakistan and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. The study tour aims to enhance the Vice Chancellors’ leadership, strategic planning and other capacities by learning from experiences of their counterparts from the leading universities in British Columbia, Canada.

“We warmly welcome the leaders of Pakistan Higher Education to COL and hope that this visit will lead to stronger ties between us and will strengthen cooperation between Canadian academics and universities in Pakistan,” said Professor Asha Kanwar, President and CEO of COL.

The study tour includes presentations and workshops from COL and some of British Columbia’s top experts and institutions. Vice Chancellors will also meet with the Provincial Government, Ministry of Advanced Education.

Nishat Riaz, Director of Education for the British Council in Pakistan, said, “we are delighted to hold our first leadership course in Canada. This is an excellent example of international collaboration as its organisers are joining hands to enhance the quality of education through better governance and leadership. I hope this is the beginning of a long-term partnership which will help further improve cultural and education relations among people and institutions”.

Access to higher education in Pakistan is seven per cent and only one million students per year get enrolled in universities.

“We are confident that with continued collaboration the understanding of international higher education systems will improve and in turn facilitate better management and improved performance of Universities in Pakistan,” said Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman, Higher Education Commission Pakistan.

Delegates will focus on the following six themes: developing strategic thinking and planning; strategic planning framework; good governance; financial management; academic innovation and research excellence.

A backgrounder and programme follow.



British Council Pakistan

British Council Pakistan has worked consistently with Higher Education Commission to make access to higher education easier for the average Pakistani. Sustainable development and institutional capacity building of the Higher Education Sector in Pakistan have been the primary objectives of these projects. Leadership Programme is one of the flagship projects of British Council. 14 programmes have been conducted for University Vice Chancellors and Senior Management in the UK.

Higher Education Commission Pakistan

The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan is an independent institution of primary funding, overseeing, regulating, and accrediting the higher education efforts in Pakistan. HEC is made responsible for formulating higher education policy and quality assurance to meet the international standards as well as providing accrediting academic degrees, development of new institutions, and uplift of existing institutions in Pakistan. Over the last 10 years the number of universities increased from 59 to 180.

Commonwealth of Learning

The Commonwealth of Learning (COL) is an intergovernmental organisation created by Commonwealth Heads of Government to encourage the development and sharing of open learning/distance education knowledge, resources and technologies.

COL is a world leader in open and distance learning (ODL) and open educational resources (OER). COL works towards the substantial and equitable increase in the number of Commonwealth citizens acquiring the knowledge and skills for leading productive and healthy lives, through formal and non-formal open and distance learning opportunities. Gender and eLearning are cross-cutting themes that underpin everything that COL does.

COL assists developing nations to improve access to quality education and training by helping governments to expand the scale, efficiency, quality and sustainability of learning by using appropriate technologies, particularly those that support open and distance learning.


Monday, 27th April
Welcome, Leadership and Knowledge Management

Tuesday, 28th April
Good Governance and International Engagement
University of British Columbia

Wednesday, 29th April
Strategic Planning, Research Excellence, ect.
Simon Fraser University

Thursday, 30th April
Partnerships and Exchange, etc.
University of the Fraser Valley

Friday, 1st May
Academic Innovation & Technology and Overview of BCIT
British Columbia Institute of Technology

Monday, 4th May
British Columbia’s Post-Secondary Education System
Ministry of Advanced Education

Tuesday, 5th May
BC Council for International Education, Langara College and
BC Council on Admissions and Transfer

Wednesday, 6th May
Open Education Resources, Innovation & Mobile Learning and Executive Education: Impact and Trends

Wrap up & Closing Remarks

Dinner hosted by the Consulate General of Pakistan

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