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US Announces Hundreds of Scholarships for Pakistani Students

500 scholarships have been made available by the US government to help Pakistani university students from flood-affected areas finish their degrees.

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At a celebration honouring female scholars’ accomplishments in honour of International Women’s Day at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Islamabad, US Ambassador Donald Blome announced the scholarships.

Federal Minister of Planning Ahsan Iqbal, HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, NDMA Chairman Lieutenant General Inam Haider Malik, HEC Executive Director Dr. Shaista Sohail, USAID Mission Director Reed Aeschliman, university vice chancellors, students, and alumni were in attendance at the occasion.

Through USAID, the US has provided scholarships for deserving but underprivileged students to attend prestigious universities in Pakistan.

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With the Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program, the US government has collaborated with the HEC to grant more than 6,000 scholarships. As part of the US government’s support for women’s higher education, 60% of those scholarships have been given to women.

“International Women’s Day not only serves as a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements made by our mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, and daughters.  It is also a call to action to accelerate gender parity and to dismantle gender stereotypes”, said Ambassador Blome.

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HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed remarked, “US government support to strategic sectors in Pakistan, especially the higher education sector, is commendable. Not only have these scholarships helped secure university education for many underprivileged students, lifting themselves and their families out of poverty, they have helped supply Pakistan with crucial skills and knowledge sets to drive the economy.”

Federal Minister of Planning Ahsan Iqbal said, “Pakistan has suffered from catastrophic floods where millions of people lost their homes and livelihoods. The humanitarian response by the United States and other donors is commendable. We welcome U.S. support for flood-affected students.”

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A scholarship recipient named Jennifer Andleeb spoke about the difficulties she had in pursuing a higher degree and how this scholarship altered the course of her life. She underlined that investing in education is the only way to bring about constructive social change and that strong, educated women are essential to Pakistan’s future success.

Visit the USAID website for more details on American support for education in Pakistan.

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