Vice Chancellors from eleven out of sixteen HESSA partner universities departed for South Korea on an exchange visit under the USAID’s Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) being implemented by the University of Utah. The week-long visit is being hosted by the University of Utah, Asia Campus based in Incheon, Republic of Korea.
Seldom do Vice Chancellors get a chance to attend training programs, so this will be an unique opportunity for them to participate in a learning initiative aimed at developing university-specific business and sustainability plans, In addition, the visitors will be introduced to innovative academic and research practices being followed at the International Global Campus (IGC) in Incheon hosting prominent institutions such as University of Utah, Stony Brook State University of New York, George Mason University, and Ghent University of Belgium. The Pakistani higher education leadership will interact with the IGC management and governance team to gain better understanding of best practices in coordinating and strengthening institutional governance systems.
Vice Chancellors of partner universities representing all regions of Pakistan are attending this important study tour, except four universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who have missed this vital learning opportunity because they could not obtain NOC from the KP government. As a result, the HESSA partner universities of KP will lag behind in benefitting from the technical assistance being provided under the auspices of USAID’s HESSA initiatives.
Led by Dr Aslam Chaudhry, Research Professor of Economics at the University of Utah and Chief of Party HESSA, the study tour also aims to kickstart business and strategic planning for HESSA partner universities. Vice Chancellors will engage in training and discussions on topics such as development of business plans for university’s growth and expansion, strategy to achieve established goals and targets, partnership building and resource mobilization, and contingency planning.
Strengthening institutional capacities in strategic planning is crucial for sustainability and will enable the HESSA partner universities to establish programs that will provide students with good campus experience and make notable contributions towards enhancing graduate employability.