1. How do you estimate the great interest from young people from Pakistan in studying at German universities?
H.E.: Pakistani students have a great deal to learn, which attracts them to world class learning centres such as provided by Germany. With a relatively affordable tuition fee structure and diverse range of globally valued courses and degrees, the high ranking German universities hold great interest for Pakistani students for study prospects.
2. From your point of view, what difficulties do you currently encounter in gaining access to German universities for students from non-EU countries?
H.E.: The major issues faced by aspiring Pakistani students at present, include difficulty in getting study visa in time and administrative problems in opening of the requisite “blocked bank account” before applying for visa. Further, there is less than enough awareness among the Pakistani students regarding opportunities in the field of education, available in Germany.
3. How can these obstacles be reduced?
H.E.: Facilitation in the process of study visa acquisition in order to make it swifter and smoother as well as easing the process of opening of “blocked bank account” would help ease some load off of the aspiring non-EU students. We are impressing upon the German authorities to move things in that direction.
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Berlin
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4. What are the current central projects in the cooperation between Pakistan and Germany in the field of science and higher education?
H.E.: The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) has a longstanding cooperation with the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) of Germany. The HEC-DAAD collaboration has facilitated a number of Pakistani students for study and research through scholarships and international academic cooperation.
Also, Pakistan and Germany are currently exploring the possibility of further strengthening the bilateral cooperation in the field of science and higher education. In this regard, the latest round of Pakistan-Germany Strategic Dialogue in November 2018 highlighted the need for enhancement of bilateral cooperation in the education sector along with cultural exchanges, media and people-to-people contact, and a follow-up action is in progress.
5. How do you assess the role of digital businesses such as Expatrio in facilitating access to higher education?
H.E.: The digital businesses including Expatrio play a useful part in advising and facilitating international students on topics such as opening of a bank account, health insurance and visa. The guidelines offered in this regard make it easier for the newcomers to understand the systematic and bureaucratic procedures in order for them to make informed decisions and choices.
H.E. Jauhar Saleem, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to Germany about Berlin
For the series "My Berlin" Raquel Crawford from TV Berlin was visiting H.E. Mr. Jauhar Saleem and his wife in the Ambassador's residency in Berlin Zehlendorf.
*Credits to TV Berlin - der Hauptstadtsender
6. What importance do Pakistani students living in Germany have in the framework of bilateral relations?
H.E.: The role of Pakistani students living in Germany is useful in highlighting Pakistan’s rich culture, economic prowess and touristic potential. Their contribution in dispelling common misunderstandings and misperceptions about Pakistan through their conduct and achievements is of great significance. As such they could be called a cultural bridge between the two countries.
7. As your mission to Germany is coming to an end: How do you look back on the development of relations in the field of higher education and university cooperation in recent years?
H.E.: There were a number of projects that got to see the light of the day including HEC-DAAD collaboration, which went on smoothly, opening further avenues of opportunities and easier access to higher education for Pakistani students wishing to study in Germany.
The Embassy of Pakistan also played an active role in establishing various links among academic institutions of Pakistan and Germany. One such example is the signing of an MoU between Pakistan’s National College of Arts and Film University Babelsberg in Germany aimed at exploring all possible avenues of educational exchange between the two institutions.