262 under graduate students from Pakistani Universities received HEC-USAID need and merit based scholarships in a ceremony held at Commission Secretariat on Thursday. The ceremony was attended by HEC Chairman Dr, Tariq Banuri and US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Paul W Jones and HEC Executive Director Lt Gen (Retd) Muhammad Asghar.
HEC-USAID Scholarships programme has so far benefited as many as 5,300 talented Pakistani university students with financial aid. The financial aid provided by this programme covers expenses of books, housing, and stipend and tuition fee. HEC-USAID Scholarship programme is aimed at assisting financially under privileged and needy students of Pakistan in pursuing their degrees in courses and disciplines of agriculture, business, engineering, and social sciences. The recipients will receive education from 16 different institutions.
The students who received the scholarships belonged to different districts of Pakistan which includes Gilgit, Sindh, Balochistan, South Punjab, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. HEC Chairman Dr. Tariq Banuri addressed with the attendants if ceremony and congratulated the recipients of the scholarships this year. He said youth is asset of Pakistan. By providing high quality education opportunity to youth we will secure a bright future of Pakistan. He said,’ By Investing money and efforts in our people, we will help the country in overcoming its socio-economic challenges’.
HEC-USAID Scholarship programme was started in 2004. The HEC Chairman said HEC values the academic collaboration and financial aid provided by US to Pakistani students. He said HEC-USAID programme is much more than a mere academic collaboration. It is strengthening socio economic ties between America and Pakistan. It is building a bridge of trust and mutual respect between the two nations. USAID is aimed at developing the higher education system of Pakistan. It is ensuring the quality of education increases in Pakistan. He said since 2004 many collaborative partnerships between higher education institutes of America and Pakistan have took place.
Mr. Banuri said Pakistani youth has commendable talent and all it needs is a support. He said, ‘Pakistani Government is committed to increasing access and quality of education, and the development of higher education sector is one of the highest priorities of the government’. US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Paul W Jones also addressed with the scholarship recipients and officials of HEC, He said, ‘Regretfully, fewer than 10 percent of Pakistani Students currently pursue higher education. Our partnership with the Higher Education Commission was forged by the idea that we should help open doors and opportunities to as many promising students as possible. Every bright and curious young person should be able to attend university and develop his or her full potential’.
The US Ambassador expressed his hope that these students will go on to graduate and succeed in their respective fields. It is then up to these students to play their due role in addressing various challenges faced by their people and country. These recipients are getting chance by this scholarship to make their future bright. Alumnus Sahira Machid said while speaking at the occasion, “I cannot express how it feels to stand here today and share my experiences with this audience. Without support from HEC and the USAID, I would not have been able to complete my studies with distinction from a top business school of Pakistan (Top Universities of Pakistan). Similarly, alumnus Abdul Rasheed requested the students receiving scholarship this year should not be scared of the trials and must work hard to pursue their academic goals.
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