A delegation of COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT), comprising its Rector, Dr. S. M. Junaid Zaidi; and Registrar, Dr. Arshad S. Malik, led by the Federal Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of Pakistan, Mr. Irfan Nadeem, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from 4th to 8th March 2011. The purpose of this visit was to hold meetings with the officials of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB), located in Jeddah, to strengthen CIIT’s cooperative ties with these organizations.
The initial discussions for cooperation between CIIT and OIC took place in Islamabad during the 14th General Assembly Meeting of COMSTECH (January 11-13, 2011), where Dr. Zaidi met the visiting Secretary General, Prof. Dr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu. Some of the interested country-delegates and representatives of international organizations that attended the General Assembly meeting paid a visit to the Islamabad Campus of CIIT, witnessed its facilities and attended briefing and a presentation on the success of the Institute by its Rector and Registrar, respectively. They were of the view that CIIT should explore opportunity of funding from IDB for offering scholarships to students from OIC member countries for higher studies. In this context, the headquarters of both OIC and IDB were visited to explore possibilities of collaboration with an aim to:
- Promote S&T culture in the Islamic countries;
- Create a provision of 50 scholarships for MS level education in selected fields of S&T and 5 fully paid research fellowship (up to 8 weeks) every year;
- Institute ‘OIC medals’ and ‘IDB medals’ for distinctions in undergraduate and graduate-level studies at CIIT;
- Sponsorship of some development projects by IDB.
The CIIT delegation also visited Dar Al-Hekma, a college of higher education for women located in Jeddah. The college offers the state-of-the-art education in arts and science to women and provides an excellent prototype to CIIT, which is planning to establish an ‘All Women Campus’ in Pakistan’s Province, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa. CIIT intends to initiate cooperation for female student-exchange programme as well as curriculum development with Dar Al-Hekma.