Going the Oxbridge route, Education City piques top ranking universities’ curiosity

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Efforts to attract international universities to the proposed Education City near Swabi seem to have proven fruitful, as four more international universities have expressed an interest in opening their campuses.

In addition to the University of Bradford, the University of Cambridge and University of Nottingham from England, University of Pennsylvania from the United States, and Victoria University from Australia have initiated talks with the Higher Education Department (HED) regarding outposts in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

An HED official, requesting anonymity, told The Express Tribune that a Pakistani delegation held a meeting with representatives of the institutions at the Education World Forum, an education seminar held annually in London, United Kingdom. The official said the delegation met around 40 representatives from international universities and were expecting a positive response from them. He added Chief Minister (CM) Pervez Khattak has asked for initial plans of the proposed city, which shows the government wants to complete the project as soon as possible.

“We had moved a summary, but the CM said the summary should be resent with the initial plans so the budget is also approved,” said the official.

K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, who was also a member of the delegation, said a memorandum of understanding would also soon be signed with Queen Mary University of London.

“The British government and universities have agreed to play a vital role in developing the project,” said Qaiser. “They also showed willingness to hold a seminar in Pakistan to call international universities to open their campuses in Education City.”

The speaker shared that the government plans on inaugurating the project next year. He added the city will be directly linked with the job market, so that unemployment can be overcome simultaneously.

On December 13, 2013, around 20 universities of national and international repute showed their interest in the project. The city, being built near Jehangira, will cover 30,000 kanals of land where National University of Science and Technology, Bahria University and a few other leading universities have already agreed upon opening campuses.

Source: The Express Tribune.