ISLAMABAD: Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmad on Thursday said that Turkey would provide technical expertise for the establishment of a technology park in Pakistan. While talking to a delegation of Turkish Council of Higher Education (CoHE), he said that Turkey has also sought help from Pakistan for strengthening Urdu departments in Turkish universities. The delegation led by Council of Higher Education (CoHE) President Prof Dr M A Yekta Sarac and others including CoHE Executive Member Prof Dr Hasan Mandal, CoHE Member Prof Dr Rahmi Er, CoHE General Board Member Dr Muhammet Emin Zararsiz, Akdeniz University Rector Prof Dr Mustafa Unal, Anadolu University Rector Prof Dr Naci Gundogan, Istanbul University Rector Prof Dr Mahmut Ak, Istanbul University Urdu Academian Prof Dr Halil Toker, Rector Mersin University Prof Dr Ahmet Camsari, Uludag University Rector Prof Dr Yusuf Ulcay visited HEC Secretariat. On the occasion, a MoU was signed by both the countries to enable collaboration in different fields. Both the sides agreed that Pakistan and Turkey have a number of similar priorities for higher education and both the countries need to uplift their potential in addressing future educational, scientific and technological challenges. Both the countries agreed to initiate joint research, faculty and student exchange programmes and setting up centres of excellence in the fields of respective expertise. It was also discussed that Turkish universities would initiate signature projects in Pakistan. Dr Mukhtar Ahmed briefed the visitors about the development of Pakistan’s higher education sector since HEC’s inception in 2002 and how different initiatives are taken by the commission to improve equitable access, ensure quality, develop human resource and promote relevant research have been conducted. The HEC chairman said that Pakistan and Turkey have agreements for collaboration in higher education sector adding that this partnership needs to be strengthened further. The CoHE president gave an overview of Turkey’s higher education sector. He appreciated the reforms brought by HEC during the last decade and hoped that their visit would strengthen the bilateral cooperation in higher education. He said that it is a good sign that Pakistan and Turkey have a strong basis of collaboration, which can be further expanded. He shared the Turkish experience and said that the access to education is increasing but they are well aware of the quality challenge that confronted them adding that at present there are 185 universities in Turkey and over 150,000 faculty members and around 6.8 million students. The vice chancellors of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), Fatima Jinnah Women University (FJWU), Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Air University, Riphah International University, Hi-Tech university and representatives of NUST, IST, CIIT and KP higher education additional secretary shared their areas of expertise.