The British Council, Higher Education team organised a proposal writing workshop on 8 July 2010 in four cities across Pakistan including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar and on 10 July in Quetta through Video Conference. The workshop aimed to provide guidance and support to researchers and academicians in writing partnership proposals to establish institution to institution partnerships under the British Council and HEC’s INSPIRE – Strategic Partnerships project. There is a tremendous potential for intellectual exchange in Pakistan. The INSPIRE – Strategic Partnership programme endeavours to build a platform for Pakistani and British Higher Education Institutions meant for intellectual exchange and knowledge transfer in higher education. It also aims to strengthen UK – Pakistan links and provide opportunity for capacity building and sustainable impact.
The full day workshops focused on various aspects of proposal writing and specifically on the INSPIRE application process and included hands on proposal writing. One of the unique elements of the workshop was it being facilitated by professionals who had already been through the INSPIRE process and were able to guide participants by sharing their first hand experience. This was particularly helpful for those participants who were fairly new to the British Council. The workshops for both Sindh and Balochistan were organised in Karachi and were attended by 20 and 18 participants respectively; these workshops were facilitated by Dr. Anwar Siddiqui from the Aga Khan University, Karachi. The workshop in Islamabad was facilitated by Dr. Waheed Ul Haq from NUST College of EME, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and was attended by 32 participants from Islamabad and the Azad Jammu Kashmir region. The enthusiasm continued with more than 50 people participating in the Lahore workshop conducted by Dr. Kausar Jamal Cheema of Lahore College Women University. Qaiser Iqbal and Waqar Haider Awan facilitated the workshop in Peshawar with 21 Participants from all over the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwan province. The Higher Education team was able to carry out these workshops sessions despite difficulties ranging from sensitive security conditions to bad weather. Pursuing our commitment to providing equal opportunity and reaching out to a wider audience, the British Council organised a virtual workshop for the participants from Balochistan. In light of current security conditions in Balochistan, the British Council HE team decided to facilitate the workshop for participants there through video conferencing, with the help and support of HEC and University of Balochistan.
Through these workshops, the British Council aims to create awareness toward the INSPIRE programme and to provide guidance to prospective applicants; this will lead to high quality proposals being received and consequently high quality institutional partnerships being formed.