The EducationUSA South and Central Asia Regional Forum (SCA), brought together representatives from major accredited U.S. higher education institutions (HEIs) and South and Central Asia Regional EducationUSA advisers for an invigorating four days of panels and skills workshops in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Fourteen EducationUSA Pakistan advisers also attended the forum, along with 75 other expert advisers, and 70 representatives from major accredited U.S. higher education institutions. According to Manager Fulbright Outreach and EducationUSA Advising, Mr. Umair Khan, “USEFP was well represented and highlighted during the regional SCA Forum in Nepal by a team of 14 advisers, who conducted four presentations/ sessions and were the main attraction for the 70 plus U.S. higher education institutions during the regional country fair”.
EducationUSA Pakistan advisers collaborated and presented with HEI reps and advisers from other countries on a variety of different topics relevant to their work in Pakistan. These included presentations on Test Prep Initiatives in Underserved Areas, A Millennial Approach to Gen Z Advising, The Success of the Opportunity Fund Initiative, and the Professionalization of High School Counsellors in Pakistan. The participants appreciated the variety of subjects discussed during the presentations, especially EducationUSA Pakistan’s high school counselors’ tour which is an initiative unique to Pakistan.
Project Manager, Strategic Events and Professional Development at Institute of International Education (IIE), Noël Panebianco, spoke highly of the EducationUSA Pakistan team, saying that the Pakistani advisers “are confident, well spoken, beautifully dressed, amazing presenters, and impeccable”.
Other topics under discussion included, student mobility trends and recruitment opportunities in the SCA region for both undergraduate and graduate students and current higher education issues. The forum was structured in a way that helped both, representatives of U.S. HEIs, and EducationUSA professionals, discuss agenda items most relevant to them. For instance, one of the key discussion points posed by HEI representatives, was coming up with strategies to increase the recruitment and retention of international students on U.S. campuses.
USEFP Educational Adviser, Salwa Janjua, called the SCA a great learning opportunity for the advisers. She appreciated the networking prospects the forum offered, saying how it allowed her and other advisers to exchange best practices with each other. Speaking to what she took away from the experience, Ms. Janjua said “We exchanged ideas on events, advising mechanisms and spoke about the role millennials have played in Gen Z advising.”
Similarly, EducationUSA advisers from different countries got a chance to improve their professional skills listening to U.S government officials, U.S. higher education professionals, and EducationUSA staff from the South and Central Asia region, talk about a variety of topics regarding U.S. higher education. The forum presented them with an opportunity to network with participants from the U.S. and other countries to exchange ideas and share best practices.
The forum also aligned with the EducationUSA South Asia Spring 2018 Tour, and representatives after finishing in Nepal headed to Karachi, Pakistan.