ISLAMABAD (Adnan Hameed): Serena Hotels, as part of its Public Diplomacy initiative Raabta, hosted a thought-provoking panel discussion focused on the challenges and opportunities surrounding access to higher education in Pakistan.

Recognizing that limited access and lack of awareness among talented students hinder social mobility, perpetuate inequality, and constrain the country’s progress, the event aimed to explore these barriers and propose actionable recommendations to enhance educational opportunities.

The panel discussion, moderated by Sidra Iqbal, an influential advocate for gender inclusion and diversity, brought together a diverse group of experts, policymakers, educators, and stakeholders. Representatives from academia, non-profit organizations dedicated to education outreach, members of diplomatic missions, government officials, and students from various colleges and universities participated in the event. The panel comprised eminent educators and policymakers, including Dr. Osman Hasan, Pro-rector Academics NUST, Mr. Saleem Abdul Razaque, Programme Director USEFP, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman Higher Education Commission Pakistan, and Ms. Sarah Pervez, Head of Education, British Council.

The discussion revolved around the efforts of various frameworks and institutions in providing education at all levels, with a specific focus on the role of the Higher Education Commission in creating inclusive opportunities for all genders. The panelists shared insights, strategies, and best practices to address the existing disparities and promote equal access to higher education in Pakistan.

Following the discussion, an interactive Q&A session engaged the audience, which predominantly consisted of students from various educational institutions. The panel of experts provided valuable information about available outreach programs designed to support the future leaders of tomorrow. To ensure widespread access and participation, the event was broadcasted live for those who were unable to attend in person.

Serena Hotels, through its Public Diplomacy initiative Raabta, remains committed to facilitating dialogues on crucial societal issues and promoting equitable access to education. The panel discussion served as an important platform to raise awareness, generate ideas, and drive meaningful change in the higher education landscape of Pakistan.

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