Islamabad:Â (Parliament Times) U.S. and Pakistani officials recognized 33 Pakistani graduate students and three faculty members who will spend a semester at Arizona State University and Oregon State University in the United States.Â During their U.S.-sponsored exchange program, they will conduct research on Pakistanâ€™s most pressing energy challenges.
This academic exchange is funded through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)â€™s five-year, $127 million investment in the U.S.-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies Program.Â The aim of the program is to find innovative and practical solutions to Pakistanâ€™s energy, water, agriculture, and food security challenges.
â€œYou are now members of a growing cadre of Pakistani academics who are tackling some of Pakistanâ€™s most pressing challenges. This investment will certainly pay dividends in the future,â€ said Christopher N. Steel, USAIDâ€™s Education Director, during the recognition ceremony.
â€œThis exchange program is an excellent opportunity for Pakistani students and faculty to enhance their energy-related research skills and return to Pakistan to help mitigate the energy crisis,â€ added Dr. Mehmoodul Hassan Butt, Consultant, Higher Education Commission.
In all approximately 200 Pakistanis will spend a semester at American universities over the next four years.Â These exchange visits provide faculty an opportunity to enhance their teaching skills and to learn how to build successful partnerships between academia and the corporate sector, while students will focus on research and industry awareness.
A total of 56 students and 5 faculty members from NUST and University of Engineering &Technology (UET) Peshawar have successfully completed exchange programs so far and are currently working on energy projects.Â The USPCAS-E centerâ€™s goals include curriculum development, research, establishment of new laboratories and visitor programs. Under the umbrella of the Higher Education Commission, the centers at both NUST and UET Peshawar are expected to become Pakistanâ€™s premier sustainable energy research centers, producing the next generation of graduates in the field of applied energy research. This program will also set new standards for supporting the success of both women and disadvantaged youth in the engineering profession.