KARACHI: Ms Rita Akhtar, Executive Director, United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) visited Sindh Madressatul Islam University (SMIU) on Monday.
During her visit, she while addressing the students and faculty of SMI University at Sir Shahnawaz Bhutto Auditorium of the university briefed the students about the Fulbright scholarships available for Pakistani students to pursue their higher education in the United States and encouraged them to compete for it. Ms. Akhtar said that Fulbright grants are awarded through an open and merit based competition and not on need basis.
Ms Rita said that in Fall 2014, 160 Fulbright grantees, from 39 different universities in Pakistan, will be departing to study in the U.S.A. Similar number will be selected for 2015. She said that the USEFP is working to try to increase the number of students applying from public universities and under-served areas.
She informed the students that since 2005, 1,255 Pakistanis have received Fulbright Awards for graduate degrees, of which 40 percent have been women. Ms. Rita Akhtar said since inception of the USEFP in 1950, nearly 5,000 Pakistanis and more than 900 Americans have participated in the USEFP -administered exchange programs.
“In addition to the Fulbright program, the USEFP administers a number of scholarship programs for undergraduates, teachers, journalists, and other professionals,” Ms Akhtar said. She also thanked Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh for providing her opportunity to address the students and faculty members of SMI University.
Earlier, Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh, Vice Chancellor of SMI University, who is also a Fulbright Scholar and a member of the Board of Directors of the USEFP, in his address said that there were a lot educational opportunities at USA for students of all provinces of Pakistan, but unfortunately a lesser number of students from Sindh succeeded in getting Fulbright grant and other scholarships due to lack of knowledge and not clearing GRE.
Dr Shaikh said that the talented students of Sindh should avail educational opportunities available at USA, that will ultimately benefit Pakistan.
Dr Shaikh announced to open the GRE Preparation Centre at SMI University specially for the students of public sector universities to enable them to avail the USA scholarships.
During her visit, she along with Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh visited the Jinnah Museum and showed keen interest in the relics of founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Khan Bahadur Hassanally Effendi, Founder of SMI.
On this occasion, she discussed with Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh about different perspectives of the Fulbright scholarships and other educational opportunities available in USA, for students of Sindh at the Conference Hall of SMI University, where Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh also gave a presentation on modern Muslim education in subcontinent and the role of Sindh Madressatul Islam in it.