FJWU, DSU to cooperate for boosting educational ties

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WASHINGTON, Dec 02 (APP): Pakistan’s Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU) Friday signed a letter of intent with United States’ Delaware State University (DSU) paving the way for cooperation between the two educational institutions in several areas, including student exchange programmes. The signing ceremony was held at the Embassy of Pakistan in Washington, D.C., in the presence of Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US Masood Khan.

Th Dover-based Delaware State University is a public institution that offers access and opportunity to diverse populations from all over the United States states and the world. According to an embassy press release, the letter of intent would establish a framework for collaboration between the two universities to foster a more vibrant academic experience for students, faculty, and staff that will encourage mutual engagement at all institutional levels. The important areas of collaboration between two educational institutions are diversity and inclusion workshops, collaborative research on minority issues, student exchange programmes: joint community outreach programs, and networking events for minority academic professionals, according to the press release. Welcoming the agreement between the two universities, Ambassador Masood Khan called it a “huge stride” in cementing Pak-US educational ties. He expressed his appreciation for the role of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), saying the agency was ‘a partner of Pakistan for decades’ that has contributed directly and indirectly towards economic development of the country, especially in healthcare and education sector. Referring to last year’s devastating floods in Pakistan, Ambassador Masood Khan recalled the massive support extended by the United States government, particularly by USAID, noting that the agency also used its convening power to mobilize other countries in the reconstruction efforts. In this regard, he referred to the visit of the USAID Administrator, Samantha Power, and the Deputy Administrator for Policy and Programming, Isobel Coleman, to the remotest flood-hit areas and thanked them for showing solidarity with the people of Pakistan. In his remarks, Clinton White, Counselor for USAID, underscored the importance of the agreement that celebrates women’s empowerment, diversity, and inclusivity. “We are gathered here not only to celebrate partnerships, service to communities, and giving voices to everyone but this event marks the beginning of the next phase of working together,” White said. Professor Dr. Rahama Gill, head of FJWU delegation, termed the agreement a generous espousal of USAID that she said “would go a long way in establishing cohesion with other universities as well.” In their remarks, Ms. Zeineh Salahi, Deputy Assistant Administrator USAID, and Dr Antonio Boyle, Senior Vice President for Strategic Enrollment Management and International Affairs, at Delaware State University said that the collaborative efforts would not only benefit the minority populations within the two countries and institutions but also contribute to the broader goal of creating a more inclusive and equitable society. A panel discussion comprising participants from FJWU and USAID was also held with a focus on proposed initiatives and how the institutions can work together to create a more inclusive and supportive academic environment. The audience was informed about the upcoming mega-conference in Pakistan in February 2024 with the participation of 18 women universities from both Pakistan and the United States. The event concluded with the screening of USAID-funded Pakistani drama Sar-e-Rah that portrays the resilience of Pakistani women.