Diplomatic visit boosts links between UCLan and Pakistan

3 March 2022

An important representative of the Pakistan government has paid a fact-finding visit to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

His Excellency Muhammad Tariq Wazir, Consul General of Pakistan, was accompanied by UCLan Ambassador Lord Wajid Khan of Burnley. Over a working lunch the Consul General met UCLan’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin, UCLan researchers working with partners in Pakistan as well as current UCLan Pakistani students.

L-R: UCLan international hospitality management student Romesa Kamran; UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin; His Excellency Muhammad Tariq Wazir, Consul General of Pakistan; MA international relations student and Commonwealth Scholarship recipient Muhammed Siddiqi.

Prior to a tour of the UCLan campus, the Consul General heard from Professor of Nutritional Sciences Nicola Lowe who, in partnership with the Abaseen Foundation and Khyber Medical University, is conducting the first large-scale investigation* into the potential of biofortified wheat to reduce zinc and iron deficiencies among communities in Pakistan.

UCLan’s Ali Melling, Professor of Community Leadership, then explained the role the University is playing to develop a Centre for Civil Society and a local schools youth volunteering programme by working in partnership with the University of Gujrat.

Commenting on the visit UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin said: “It was fantastic to welcome the Consul General to the University for what we hope will be a growing and mutually beneficial partnership.

“I’m a passionate believer in the importance of multicultural communities and it’s a key reason why we are known as such a friendly and supportive University as our classes are made up of students from a wide variety of nationalities, cultures and backgrounds.

“We are ranked within the top seven percent** of universities worldwide with a mission that combines academic excellence and real-world teaching, providing our students with the skills and experience industry needs. We therefore believe we could be a very attractive option for Pakistani students considering a university education in the UK.”

The University’s high profile visitor also met Pakistani students Muhammad Siddiqi, studying on UCLan’s MA International Relations programme, and Romesa Kamran, who is working towards a BA (Hons) International Hospitality Management degree.

Romesa, brought up in Dubai UAE, but with roots in Lahore, Pakistan, said: “It was truly an honour to meet His Excellency Muhammad Tariq Wazir and I was grateful to have the opportunity to share my perspective about the UCLan student experience as an international student from Pakistan. I certainly look forward to greater plans for Pakistani students in the near future.”

L-R: Professor Ali Melling; UCLan Vice Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin; His Excellency Muhammad Tariq Wazir, Consul General of Pakistan; Professor Nicola Lowe; UCLan Ambassador, Lord Wajid Khan of Burnley; UCLan Deputy Chief Executive, Ruth Connor.

Fellow student Muhammad Siddiqi from Lahore, who is also the recipient of a prestigious Commonwealth Scholarship, added: “I believe the meeting was fruitful and will open doors for collaboration between Pakistani universities and UCLan, giving new opportunities to Pakistani students.”

Commenting on the visit His Excellency Muhammad Tariq Wazir, Consul General of Pakistan, added: “I want to thank UCLan and Lord Khan for arranging this visit which is my first to a UK university since the pandemic began. In my view it is imperative for educational partners to have a presence in Pakistan, so it was good to learn about the research partnerships UCLan is already growing. I believe there is great potential for us to develop our relationship further and I look forward to future partnership discussions.”

The University is poised to extend its partnership operations in Pakistan both in terms of student recruitment and research and to pave the way it will make a first return visit to the country for a recruitment event later this year.

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