ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – Pakistan, with support from United States, will fund up to 125 additional scholarships for Pakistani PhD students to study in the US through the Fulbright Program over the next five years, HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar has said.
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US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday met with Pakistani students and teachers who participated in educational programs funded by the US government and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
The meeting was organised by Higher Education Commission of Pakistan in Islamabad’s town hall.
Antony Blinken encouraged students and teachers to take full advantage of their educational opportunities and experiences to benefit their communities, especially to create more chances for women to pursue education.
The deputy secretary also commended Pakistan for its vision to significantly increase the number of PhD students studying in the US, and welcomed the HEC’s new contribution to the Fulbright Program and increased faculty development.
“Investments in education are prerequisites for long-term security and sustainable development,” Deputy Secretary Blinken said. “By equipping students with a world perspective rooted in respect, social justice and critical thinking, we can expand their horizons while allowing Pakistan’s economy to grow and its society to flourish.”
The chairman HEC thanked the United States for its collaboration on initiatives supporting the Pakistani education system at every level, from primary to post-graduate.
He reiterated the commitment to intensify cooperation in the education sphere made by President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during their meeting in Washington last October.
“Working together, we have given young women the opportunity to go to university, helped new teachers gain the tools they need to succeed in the classroom and supported research in areas critical to Pakistan’s development,” Mukhtar commented.
Pakistan and the United States have over 20 university partnerships, including three “US-Pakistan Centers for Advanced Studies” in the fields of energy, water and agriculture.