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Welcoming future leaders from Pakistan

22nd October 2019

A delegation from the National Youth Assembly of Pakistan have visited Northumbria University to explore new ways of working in partnership whilst on a visit to the UK.

The National Youth Assembly is the leading youth institution in Pakistan, recognised by the government and supported by many of the country’s leading universities and municipalities. The group comprises thousands of young people who are working to become future leaders and responsible citizens.

Representatives from the Assembly came to Northumbria, thanks to the University’s deepening partnership with the International Emergency Team UK, who have strong links in Pakistan. They met with senior representatives to learn more about the University’s work in international partnerships, international development and sustainability.

They learned more about Northumbria‘s involvement with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals both globally and locally, including the PRME education initiative which works to raise the profile of sustainability in business and management. They were also given the opportunity to take part in a taster teaching session where they met with students and researchers connected with the University’s MSc course in Disaster Management and Sustainable Development.

This postgraduate programme explores real-world problems, from hazards, vulnerability and human-made disaster, to environmental sustainability and community resilience and both staff and students undertake a significant amount of work in South Asia.

Whilst at Northumbria, the delegation met with students from the University’s Disaster and Development Society and with masters students Khansa Sadiq and Precious Okpor who are currently undertaking internships with the International Emergency Team UK charity. The charity has its headquarters in Newcastle and has close links to the University’s Disaster Management and Sustainable Development course. It works to ensure that senior UK emergency services personnel, both serving and retired, can share best practice and training in emergency preparedness and response with their peers and authorities across South Asia. Khansa and Precious delivered a presentation about IUTUK’s work to share this best practice to save lives and improve resilience in South East Asia.

Following their time at the University, the delegation also met with staff at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Fire Cadets. They also had the opportunity to network some of the region’s leading representatives from the Asian business community at the Asian Business Connexions awards, of which Northumbria University was one of the headline sponsors.

Their visit concluded with community event where they were able to socialise a number of current Northumbria masters-level students from Pakistan at the Bilal Pakistani Community Centre.

Richard Kotter, senior lecturer in Northumbria University’s Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences said the visit was an excellent opportunity for both masters students and research-active staff to deepen relationships with international partners. “We were delighted to welcome this cohort of future leaders from the Pakistan Youth Assembly to Northumbria University, and to the city of Newcastle. Their visit has presented many opportunities for those of us working in the area of disaster risk reduction to work jointly on applied research projects that will have real impact,” he said.

Rob Carthy, Director of International Development at Northumbria University said: “We were delighted to be able to host such an important delegation, and we look forward to deepening our relationship with Pakistan in the months ahead. We were especially pleased to be able to showcase the excellent work undertaken by our Disaster Management and Sustainable Development students, and its links in the local community.”

Northumbria’s Disaster Management and Sustainable Development MSc has created highly employable graduates who have gone on to a range of careers in the likes of the United Nations, humanitarian aid organisations, governments, charities and local authorities.

It is supported by the renowned Disaster and Development Network, hosted by the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences, which undertakes research, learning and teaching activities that encompass disaster reduction, sustainable development and resilience building.

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