Islamabad: Eighty one students are pursuing advanced degrees at Pir Mehr Ali Shah (PMAS) Arid Agriculture University in Rawalpindi and at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad thanks to need-based scholarships provided by the United States government.
Mr. Larry Sampler, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator, Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Executive Director, Prof. Dr. Rai Niaz Ahmad Khan, Arid Agriculture University Vice Chancellor, and Prof. Dr. Masoom Yousafzai, Quaid-i-Azam University Vice Chancellor, met scholars today to celebrate their academic achievement and to discuss their educational progress.
Sampler commented, “The United States is proud to have invested in higher education in Pakistan over the last five decades. A well educated population is the foundation of a strong economy and a strong and growing Pakistan. We will continue to work very closely with the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan to implement this very successful scholarship program for deserving students.”
The scholarships are part of a long-term commitment by the United States to promote and facilitate academic achievement in Pakistan. The program, which grants scholarships to business and agriculture students, is a part of USAID’s Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program. Since 2004, 1,350 students have earned degrees under the program.
Over 450 additional students are currently receiving assistance to complete their degrees. Students are selected for scholarships based on financial need and university acceptance. PMAS-Arid Agriculture University and Quaid-i-Azam Universities are among the 11 local partner institutions of the scholarship program.
This program also helps partner universities establish student enrolment and financial aid systems. Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, HEC Executive Director, expressed his appreciation for U.S. support for the education sector in Pakistan. He noted that fifty percent of the scholarships are designated for women in the upcoming expansion of the project.