“The cooperation in the realm of education, be it university-to-university linkages, academia-industry collaboration or the number of Pakistani students studying in China, are all reflective of the confidence and stability of the unique ties between Pakistan and China,” highlighted Ms. Afifa Shajia Awais, Education Attaché of Pakistani Embassy in China.
At the 2023 “Shared Aspirations, Beyond Khunjerab PASS” Pakistan Theme Day China-Pakistan Education Cooperation Promotion Conference held by Pakistan China Center at SCO Demonstration Area (SCODA) on Saturday in Qingdao, Ms. Afifa Shajia Awais noted that the growing economic ties between the two countries have laid the groundwork for partnerships in the education sector.
The number of Pakistani students studying in China stands at a good 26,000 and 25 percent of them are recipients of different types of scholarships offered by the Chinese government. These students are enrolled in a wide range of disciplines such as medicine, engineering, and information technology, and pursue sub-specializations and hyper-specializations in specific domains.
Expressing her gratitude to the Chinese government for offering scholarships and facilitation to Pakistani students on a preferential basis, she stated that “the educational institutions are not only providing high-quality education, imparting useful skill-set but also providing a unique cultural experience to our youth who will act as ambassadors of goodwill between the two countries in the future.”
The Ministry of Education of both countries is actively engaged with each other and bringing educational institutions into a network of collaborative paradigms. Ms. Afifa Shajia Awais stated that the recent establishment of the CPEC University Consortium Exchange Mechanism was tantamount to the opening of a new chapter in bilateral exchanges and cooperation. “It has provided an organizational platform for positive and progressive cohesion of the education institutions. Under its umbrella, the last 5 years have seen surprising registration of more than 100 universities from both Pakistan and China.”
China’s economic prominence has grown globally, making it an important player in world politics. She underlined that Pakistan looks towards China to learn from its miraculous growth and development story as there are great lessons to be learned.
Zheng Shi, president of the SCO Economy and Trade Research Institute, noted that since the inauguration of the China-SCO Institute of Economy and Trade, 11,800 people from 43 SCO countries including Pakistan, and countries along the Belt and Road, have attended the training. He hopes that “through the China-Pakistan Education Cooperation Promotion Conference, we can further deepen understanding, build consensus and create a practical version and realistic model for international educational cooperation.”