OIC offers scholarships under education exchange program

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Students undertaking preparatory year building test of bacheloar program in Islamic University Madinah. (Photo Courtesy: IIUI Madinah)
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A picture taken on November 17, 2016 shows the national flags of the members of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states flying in front of the clock of the Abraj al-Bait Towers which overlooks the Grand Mosque in Makkah. (AFP/File)
Updated 15 November 2019

OIC offers scholarships under education exchange program

  • The scheme is highly beneficial for Pakistani students, says the HEC chairman
  • COMSTECH spends $250,000 annually on scholarships for Muslim countries

ISLAMABAD: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s education exchange program was highly beneficial since it allowed students to engage with scholars and experts in other countries, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan Dr. Tariq Banuri told Arab News on Thursday.
The commission recently advertised on its website the Turkish Cypriot Government’s scholarships under the OIC Educational Exchange Program, starting the next academic year.
According to the details provided by the HEC, five students from OIC member states, including Pakistan, would avail the opportunity to study at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels in the participating universities.
“Such international learning and knowledge propel students toward acceptance and understanding of an array of different cultural and community perspectives,” Dr. Banuri told Arab News on the phone, adding the exchange programs brought additional skills, cultural diversity and exposure to other problems and issues.
The HEC chairman informed that the competition for such scholarships was growing, noting that programs like these increased an individual’s “capability to compete in the global job market, created potential contacts for collaborative research and resulted in additional certifications and degrees.”
In order to promote dialogue among civilizations and to provide academic links between the 57 OIC member states, the international organization had started an education exchange program in 2005 which became fully operational in 2015.
Dr. Qasim Jan, adviser to the OIC Standing Committee on Scientific & Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) Islamabad, told Arab News that there was an immense need to promote cooperation in the field of education among Islamic countries, and the OIC education exchange program was a positive step in that direction.
“Education, especially in science and other technological disciplines, has become a nation’s basic need since a country’s economy is directly associated with technological developments in the modern world,” he noted. “If we look at developed economies like Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and other western European countries, they do not have much resources but are economic powers due to the knowledge economy that mostly derives from scientific education.”
Dr. Jan said that COMSTECH was providing substantial support to OIC member states in the field of science and technology. He also informed that his organization was contributing in the development of human resource to serve the Muslim world.
“We are spending $250,000 on scholarships annually which are provided to students from 57 Islamic countries,” he continued. “We have also been arranging trainings and workshops for people belonging to the OIC member states. The bulk of our budget comes from the Pakistan government, though we also get financial support from some OIC member countries, including Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.”


Shoura Council approves Saudi investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy

Updated 14 sec ago

Shoura Council approves Saudi investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy

  • Saudi Arabia announced $20 billion investment in Pakistan’s renewable energy in February 2019
  • Cooperation with Saudi with help Islamabad achieve its energy targets – AEDB chief

ISLAMABAD: The Saudi Shoura Council has approved a draft agreement between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on renewable energy development.

“The Saudi Shoura Council approves a draft MoU between Saudi Arabia and the government of Pakistan to study investment opportunities in the refining and petrochemical sectors,” the Shoura Council said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

“The government of Pakistan will certainly welcome the investment from international investors, including from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Dr. Rana Abdul Jabbar, chief executive of Pakistan’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB), told Arab News on Wednesday.

He said that renewable energy cooperation between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia was initiated in February last year when the draft memorandum was signed during the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“The government has already signed the MoU with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the development of renewable energy power projects in Pakistan,” Jabbar said.

During the crown prince’s visit, Saudi Arabia announced a $20 billion investment package for Pakistan, which includes the development of a petrochemical complex, renewable energy projects and investment in mineral resources. 

“The government of Pakistan is proactively pursuing the promotion and development of indigenous renewable energy resources through private parties’ participation,” Jabbar said, adding that the cooperation with Saudi Arabia is going to help the Pakistani government achieve its targets of 25 percent renewable energy share in the total energy mix by 2025 and 30 percent by 2030.

The targets are set in the Alternative and Renewable Energy Policy 2019 (ARE Policy 2019).