US and Pakistan launch initiative to strengthen higher education


Islamabad,:  The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), is partnering with the Pakistani government to launch a $19 million, five-year program to improve Pakistan’s higher education system and increase the employability of university graduates.  This is another example of the breadth of cooperation between the United States and Pakistan as we celebrate 75 years of diplomatic relations.

The program will integrate the best practices in teaching, research, governance, and sustainability to benefit 15 public Pakistani universities across the country, including five women’s universities.  Through this program, universities will provide students with research opportunities, soft-skills training, and support services such as career counseling.  Through collaboration with industry, the program will help align academic preparation with workforce needs.

“USAID is proud to collaborate with the Higher Education Commission on this program,” said USAID Mission Director Julie A. Koenen.  “The Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) will build stronger Pakistani universities that offer the education and research experiences students need to be more employable in the local market.  This will prepare talented young people with the required skills to find jobs and launch their careers.  It will also support the needs of industry, increase hiring and productivity, and stimulate further economic growth.”  

HEC Chairman Dr. Tariq Banuri said, “HESSA is an innovative initiative expected to make notable contributions towards improving the institutional and technical capacities of its partner universities which shall impact the quality of our future scholars.  I am confident that the nexus of U.S. universities with HESSA-partner higher education institutions will result in policy reforms that will benefit all universities in Pakistan.”