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March 13, 2015

PEP, HEC to set up Student Startup Business Centres


March 13, 2015

THE Promotion for Education in Pakistan (PEP) Foundation, New York, Higher Education Commission (HEC) and various universities will set up Student Startup Business Centres (SSBC) to fund the selected projects of intelligent students to provide them self-employment opportunities.
This was announced by the National Forum on Higher Education 2015 jointly organised by Punjab University’s Institute of Social and Cultural Studies (ISCS) and PEP Foundation at varsity’s Pervez Hassan Environmental Law Auditorium on Thursday.
HEC Pakistan Chairman Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, PU Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran, PEP Foundation President Dr Khalid Iqbal, Dean Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences Prof Dr Zakria Zakir and VCs of various public and private sector universities participated in the event.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said Dr Khalid Iqbal’s idea of helping creative and intelligent students to start their own businesses was excellent which would be supported by the HEC. He said efforts must be made to bridge the gap between academia and industry as both were talking different languages. He said the HEC had promoted research culture in the institutions of higher learning because of which ranking of Pakistani universities was improving worldwide.
Dr Mukhtar said during the last year, Pakistani researchers had produced 8,000 impact factor publications adding now it was the time to think that whether our research was resolving the problems of our society? He said the HEC would fund such projects which would help solve our social problems adding we must provide equal educational opportunities to every child everywhere in the country including FATA if we wanted prosperity in Pakistan. He said last year, the government released funds to HEC as per its commitment and we had a support from the political leadership.
Dr Mujahid Kamran lauded the idea of Dr Khalid Iqbal to set up SSBCs and said with the support of

the HEC and universities, the project would meet success. He lauded Dr Mukhtar Ahmed for managing the affairs of higher education in a good manner despite facing shortage of funds. Dr Khalid Iqbal said Pakistani universities were producing graduates in a big number and students were facing problems because of unemployment. He said the idea was to provide entrepreneurship opportunities to students so that they could become employer instead of seeking employment.
He said under the SSBC, 30 universities had sent their letters of intent and 5-10 awards worth Rs six million each would be given. He said Rs two million would be provided by the PEP Foundation New York, Rs two million by the HEC and Rs two million by the university concerned. He said the objectives of the forum were to develop a university-industry dialogue and partnership and promote establishment of the SSBCs at universities where students were encouraged, trained and provided with initial financial support to establish the companies.

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