Dr. Arshad Ahmad, LUMS Vice Chancellor, gave a keynote address on ‘Cooperation and Exchange Between Universities in Hubei and South Asia in a Post-Epidemic era’, at the recently held 2022 Presidents’ Forum of Hubei-South Asian Universities.
Participating at the Forum were 27 universities from many South Asian countries including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. Also in attendance were Mr. Yu Xuemin, Deputy Director-General of Hubei Provincial Department of Education, Prof. He Weijun, Party Secretary of China Three Gorges University (CTGU), Mr. Wang Junchang, CEO of Yunnan Nam Tabak Hydropower Development Co., Ltd., and Prof. Huang Yingping, Vice President of CTGU.
Dr. Ahmad spoke about the lessons one can draw from Chinese advancements and successes. “As partners in China’s Belt and Road Initiative in Pakistan, we look to China’s Double First-Class University Plan to provide inspiration to create and develop world-class universities and disciplines in Pakistan. In our case, China has been a good teacher,” he shared.
He elaborated that regional cooperation in high-impact sectors will play a key role. “The pandemic has made it clear that educational solutions must come through collaboration and through multidisciplinary expertise. Universities like LUMS are positioned to become more relevant and contribute more meaningfully to improve the human condition.”
Sharing the many successes of LUMS, Dr. Ahmad noted that the University’s vision for the first 35 years was to become one of the top universities in Pakistan. “Having achieved that, for the next 35 years we aim to become a top university in South Asia. With this vision, we know in our hearts that China wants us to succeed because strong neighbours are essential for mutual and reciprocal success.”
Vice Chancellor of Health Services Academy, Pakistan, Dr. Shahzad Ali Khan spoke about the impact of COVID-19 on Medical Education in Pakistan. “We need to teach our students that there is no ‘best’ health system. We now know that partnerships are key for all kinds of large-scale responses and that this response must come from a mix of disciplines which interact with medical systems,” he said.
Dr. Ahmad also participated in the 2018 1st Presidents’ Forum of Hubei-South Asian Universities held in Wuhan and Yichang, sponsored by Hubei Provincial Department of Education and organised by Hubei University and CTGU.