On October 26-27, 2022, the USAID’s Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) conducted a two-day training titled ‘Advancing Leadership Capacities of Deans’ for public sector universities. In total, 29 Deans from 15 Pakistani partner universities participated in the training.
The inaugural session was attended by Anne Flaker, USAID Director of Education; Asima Rehman, USAID Senior Education Advisor; and Shaista Sohail, Executive Director of Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission. Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Sohail stressed the importance of continued investment in higher education and appreciated USAID’s commitment to Pakistan’s economic growth.
To effectively lead their respective departments, university Deans must possess a variety of skills, including excellent critical thinking; the ability to understand the needs of their institution, faculty, and students; and ability to find practical solutions, particularly for resource mobilization, visioning, and fundraising activities. This training, facilitated by international experts from the University of Utah and the University of Alabama, empowered the Deans to lead the long-term transformation of their universities by providing a sustainable pathway for change through implementing the latest knowledge and theories of change.
This 2-day in-person training will be followed by virtual sessions where Deans will develop strategic plans for improvement of student success and linking outcomes with their university-specific mission and values.
Since 2021, USAID’s Higher Education System Strengthening Activity (HESSA) has trained over 200 university officials (50 percent of whom are women) from partner universities through in-person training workshops, on-line trainings, international study tours, and individual coaching and mentoring.