A new body for developing higher education in Pakistan has launched The National Academy of Higher Education (NAHE) was unveiled at a conference in Islamabad on 12 June. NAHE is a new apex learning body for higher education (HE) development in Pakistan. It has been created to provide systematic support to HE reforms in the country and will focus on developing capacity in teaching, research, governance and leadership.
Advance HE has been involved in helping to define the thematic framework for the Pak-UK Education Gateway project, a joint programme from the British Council and Higher Education Commission (HEC) to enhance partnership between the HE sectors of Pakistan and the UK.
Alison Johns, Chief Executive and Becky Smith, Assistant Director International, of Advance HE were invited to attend the launch of NAHE with the President of Pakistan Dr Arif Alvi.
As a guest speaker Alison Johns reflected on the benefits of having a sector-focused body that supports and facilitates higher education by helping to shape its own future through the development of people and institutions.
She said: “This is the start of a collaboration which will see Advance HE supporting NAHE and the Gateway project as they establish themselves across Pakistan and in the UK.”
President Alvi and the Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mahmood addressed the conference showing the highest level of support and importance for NAHE.
The President noted the speed of change, the role of artificial intelligence and the need to look at using the tools of tomorrow rather than the tools of yesterday in terms of what we deliver in HE. On a personal note, he talked about the knack of communicating what one knows to transfer learning, and the knack for evaluating what you are doing and what has been done. He professed to be a lifelong student in the art of learning how to communicate well.
Minister Mahmood set out the need for developing leadership and management capacity, the importance of quality and to constantly review the curriculum, particularly in relation to employability.
Dr Tariq Banuri, Chair of the HEC, set out the three priority areas for development for higher education in Pakistan:
Quality – understanding and developing the quality of research and teaching beyond hard metrics
Relevance – of education and research
Access – to develop the nations skills base, economic growth and to open up HE to the broader population.
These strategic goals, which frame an ambitious strategy to 2025 will look to the newly launched NAHE to:
- Provide the brain power and thought leadership to look to the future and learn from experiences
- Build capacity through training and development
- Create communities of practice and excellence
- Monitor and evaluate systems for change and excellence
Delegates took part in three panel sessions on the themes of teaching and learning, research and university governance and leadership. Alison and Becky, along with Vice Chancellors and other invited guests, including representatives from Advance HE member institution, the Aga Khan University, shared thoughts on how NAHE could support HE development across these three key areas.
Read more information about how the NAHE will impact higher education in Pakistan
Read more about Advance HE’s involvement with the Pak-UK Education Gateway project