Dutch ITC University delegation visits HEC

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ISLAMABAD, JUN 7 /DNA/ – A delegation of the Faculty of Geoinformation and Earth Observation, University of Twente (ITC), The Netherlands visited Higher Education Commission (HEC) called on Chairman HEC Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed and other senior HEC officers.      

The visit of Dutch delegation, led by Dr. Mark van der Meijde, Head of the Faculty of Geoinformation and Earth Observation, University of Twente (ITC), aimed to explore opportunities of collaboration with the Pakistani universities, especially in the areas of natural resources, mines and minerals, geoinformatics and GeoAI, geoinformation processing, natural hazards management, Applied Earth Sciences, and water resources, etc.

The two sides agreed that the Dutch team will share a proposal in light of its visit to different Pakistani departments to jointly move forward with HEC and the Pakistani universities.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said that HEC is open to support the Pakistani universities to develop mutually beneficial joint programmes and initiatives with foreign partners. He said HEC executes various human resource, faculty development, and researcher facilitation programmes. He stressed the need for bringing together the academia and industry with the foreign partners to discuss the steps to move forward for collaboration in multiple areas of mutual interest. He also shared a presentation with the delegates on the natural resources of Pakistan.

Dr. Mark said the main domain of ITC’s expertise covers resource security, disaster resilience, urban futures, and GeoAI. He said the objective of their visit is to work with Pakistani institutions and find out areas for joint ventures. He said the goals of ITC include developing collaboration for training courses, technical support in remote sensing and geoinformation system, degrees programmes especially MSc in various fields and PhD.

He said that ITC is already collaborating with the University of Peshawar, particularly the National Centre of Excellence in Geology (NCEG) since 2005. He said that ITC has hosted many MSc and PhD candidates from Pakistan and have given numerous courses in Pakistan in the domains of geological, water, and natural resources, food security, disaster management, urban planning, and geo-informatics, etc.  

The delegation comprised Dr. Haralad van der Werff, Associate Professor and Bruno Portela, Lecturer, along side three alumni of ITC including Dr. Liaqat Ali, Director National Centre of Excellence in Geology, University of Peshawar (UoP); Dr. Muhammad Shafique, Associate Professor UoP; and Dr. Saad Khan, Assistant Professor UoP.

Mr. Awais Ahmad, Adviser (Quality Assurance) HEC and Ms. Aayesha Ikram, Director General (Scholarships) and Dr. Amjad Hussian, DG (Attestation and Accreditation) also attended the meeting.