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Pakistani university presidents visit U Asia Campus in South Korea

As part of USAID’s Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA), the University of Utah Asia Campus hosted 11 Pakistani university presidents on a study tour of South Korea from March 13-17.

The weeklong visit was designed to help the vice chancellors learn more about the academic practices of Korean universities and public institutions and explore opportunities for educational cooperation.

The first half of the visit focused on project review and developing institution-specific work plans. Later, the visitors were introduced to innovative academic and research practices of the International Global Campus (IGC) in Incheon. The IGC hosts international higher education institutions such as the University of Utah, Stony Brook University, George Mason University and Ghent University of Belgium in one central campus.

The HESSA delegation had the opportunity to interact with the IGC management and governance team, visited the Incheon Startup Park (Korea’s first Silicon-Valley-style technology space) and also met the president of Incheon National University to explore linkages in higher learning and student exchange programs. An important feature of this international visit was a three-day workshop focused on initiating the development of university-specific strategic and business plans.

“We are grateful for Incheon National University’s warm hospitality and are excited to learn about Korea’s excellent higher education system and industry-academia collaboration through this leadership visit,” said Dr. Muhammad Aslam Chaudhry, chief of party for USAID’s HESSA.

A delegation of Pakistani university presidents visited the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, in August of 2022 to learn about best practices in U.S. higher education and university management systems.

USAID’s Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) exists to address Pakistan’s mismatch in supply and demand of workforce development. In 2021, the University of Utah was selected as the lead implementation partner of USAID’s HESSA, thanks in large part to the U’s experience with educational capacity building in Pakistan. Partner institutions include the University of Alabama and the Institute of International Education (IIE). Over the course of five years, the trio will work with 16 universities in Pakistan to strengthen their leadership practices; approach to curriculum, research and industry partnerships; and student life initiatives.