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Muslim world leaders laud ‘OIC Educational Exchange Programme’

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Islamabad: Leaders of the OIC Member States at 12th Islamic Summit Conference lauded the Educational Exchange Programme launched by the OIC General Secretariat which is enriching the education experience of students as well as faculty. During the conference held in Cairo in February, they have called upon all Member States to actively support and participate in this programme.

The ‘OIC Educational Exchange Programme: Solidarity through Academia in the Muslim World’ is drawing increasing interest and participation from Member States and their public and private sector universities, said a news release issued here. A significant number of students from the OIC Member States is currently benefiting from the higher education scholarships offered under the Programme by high ranking universities in various Member States and many more offers are in the pipeline.

The OIC Educational Exchange Programme is based on the recognition of the central role of knowledge, higher education, research and science and technology in the advancement of the Muslim world. Accordingly, the OIC Secretary General has particularly focused on the promotion of cooperation between the OIC countries in these fields.

The Educational Exchange Programme derives its inspiration from the OIC Ten Year Programme of Action which was adopted in Makkah in 2005. The Ten Year Programme of Action articulates a new strategic vision for the OIC and has served as a roadmap to reform and expand the activities and programmes of the organization to become more relevant to the contemporary challenges facing the Member States.

The Programme, which aims at developing greater cooperation and linkages in academia i.e. learning, teaching and research, deals with the post-graduate, masters, doctoral, research levels and include i exchange of students, faculty members and researchers for short durations (6-10 weeks) between interested institutions of higher education in the Member States. Various elements of the Programme include scholarships, faculty exchange, distance learning, research projects, and specialized courses meeting the specific requirements of Member States.

Further details about the Educational Exchange Programme and currently available higher education scholarships as well as opportunities for faculty exchange are available at the OIC website www.oic-oci.org. Member States should encourage their relevant institutions and media to widely publicize the opportunities available under the Programme for the benefit of their students, teaching staff and researchers.

Networking and linkages between educational and research institutions can yield tremendous benefits in terms of sharing of expertise and experience, pooling of resources and research collaboration. Eighteen universities from the OIC Member States are now included in the top 500 World University Rankings Supplement of the QS for 2012.

These universities can pair up with other universities in the OIC Member States for exchange of experience and expertise. The ongoing cooperation between the four OIC universities (IUT-Bangladesh, IIUM-Malaysia, IUIU-Uganda and lUN-Nigeria) can serve as a model for cooperation between other universities in the Islamic world.

Besides other form of cooperation, the OIC document entitled ‘Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): A Guide for Assessment and Quality Enhancement for Universities in the Islamic World’ can serve as a guide for universities for achieving academic excellence.

Besides enriching the educational experience of the students as well as faculty and encouraging exchange of knowledge and ideas among them, the Programme can play a positive role towards promoting solidarity and fostering understanding and tolerance, among the Member States. Hence the Programme incorporates Islamic solidarity both as a means as well as an end and directly contributes towards furthering one of the fundamental objectives of the OIC Charter.

(Courtesy: Pakistan Observer)
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