High Level Meeting of Education and University Grants Commissions & Himalayan University Consortium Annual Meeting

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The Himalayan University Consortium (HUC) – an initiative under ICIMOD’s regional programme on Mountain Knowledge and Action Networks (MKAN) – has its mandate in developing an effective, sustainable network of universities in the HKH, in collaboration with academic, research and knowledge generating and exchange institutions both within and outside the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region.

Ten HUC Thematic Working Groups (TWGs) cover a wide range of thematic areas – climate change, water resource management, disaster reduction and resilience, mountain agriculture, non-traditional food securities, poverty alleviation, and environmental humanities. These TWGs and country-based clusters of universities (country chapters) realize the importance of informing state and national level policy makers to advance knowledge and develop a competent workforce to promote sustainable development in the HKH. 

To this end, efforts have been made in 2018 to approach the University Grant Commissions in India and Nepal, Higher Education Commission in Pakistan, and National Education Planning Commission in Myanmar. Initial responses from high level policy makers in these bodies have been overwhelmingly positive, indicating opportunities not only to garner support at the national level but also the need to facilitate dialogue between University Grants Commission (UCG)/Higher Education Commission (HEC) /National Education Policy Commission (NEPC) chairpersons in the region to foster regional collaboration in research and training for sustainable mountain development.

Objectives

For the HUC High Level Meeting, Chairpersons, Member Secretaries, and senior representatives of University Grant Commissions, Higher Education Commissions, National Education Planning Commissions, and equivalent national bodies will be discussing:

  • The role of UGC/HEC/NEPC in promoting mountain-focused, HKH-specific curricula and research in each country through collaborative grants among universities in the same country.
  • The role of UGC/HEC/NEPC in promoting regional collaboration between universities in the mountains and HUC members.
  • The role of UGC/HEC/NEPC in promoting science-policy dialogues through HUC linkages with policy making institutions.
  • Actions to be taken by HUC member universities to optimize existing opportunities and resources available from UGC/HEC/NEPC in respective countries and to promote regional collaboration.

For the Annual Meeting, Chancellors/Vice Chancellors/Rectors and senior representatives from full and associate members will meet to:

  • Review HUC activities of 2018.
  • Discuss and approve applications for full and associate membership; new members will the sign HUC Charter.
  • Discuss and endorse the HUC Strategy and Plans of Actions 2018–2025.

Participants 

  • Chairpersons, Member Secretaries, and senior representatives of University Grant Commissions, Higher Education Commissions, National Education Planning Commissions, and equivalent national bodies in eight countries of the Hindu Kush Himalaya.
  • Chancellors/Presidents/Rectors, Vice Chancellors/Vice Presidents/Pro-Rectors, and senior representatives of HUC full and associate members and prospective members. 
  • Women senior administrators and scholars.

Expected Outcomes

The meetings are expected to arrive at:

  • Approval of new members.
  • Approval of HUC Strategy and Plans of Actions.
  • Summary and action points for UGC/HEC/NEPC to facilitate mountain-focused, HKH-specific curricula and research in respective countries and to promote regional collaboration in research and training.
  • Summary and action points for HUC members to optimize resources available from UGC/HEC/NEPC in respective countries and to foster regional collaboration.