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356 studying medicine in Cuba: Dr. Atta

ISLAMABAD, May 21(Dawn): Presently 356 Pakistani students are getting medical education from Cuba while 1,000 scholarships for graduate studies in medicine have been advertised, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Attaur Rehman said here on Saturday.

He was talking to a Cuban delegation, headed by First Deputy Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla. The talks centred on Cuba's strength in biotechnology, a much required knowledge that was the need of the hour for a developing country like Pakistan.

Dr Rehman appreciated the tremendous support provided by the Cuban medical teams after the October 8 earthquake and the offer of scholarships by the Cuban government.

About the possibilities of further cooperation between the two countries, he highlighted the areas in which Pakistan would be interested to work with the Cuban counterparts.

He suggested that the medical students already studying in Cuba may be considered for PhD studies in biotechnology once they graduate in order to strengthen Pakistan's human resource in biotechnology.

Besides, those already with MS degrees may be sent to Cuba for doctorate in basic sciences, applied sciences, material sciences, IT related disciplines, engineering biochemistry and microbiology.

Another area where Cuban expertise could help, he said, would be post-doctoral fellowships in basic and applied sciences which would place a minimum of two Pakistani scientists at Cuban centres of excellence.

One important collaboration discussed was for institutional linkages between the best centres in the two countries. Establishment of a centre of excellence in collaboration with Cuba in the field of biotechnology in a public sector university in Pakistan was also discussed.
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