Lahore – U.S. Consul General in Lahore Yuriy R Fedkiw and Governor Punjab Malik Muhammad Rafique Rajwana awarded scholarships to students from Punjab Province under the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-supported Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program (MNBSP) here on Wednesday.
A partnership between the USAID, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan, and 30 partner universities across the country, this program has supported over 1500 successful graduates to date.
“It is heartening to see the results of U.S. Government efforts which were initiated over a decade ago now succeeding in Pakistan and it strengthens the U.S. Government’s resolve to further promote higher education in Pakistan, especially for young women. I am proud to share that this program has been selected as a component of the U. S. Government’s ‘Let Girls Learn’ initiative,’ said Consul General Fedkiw.
Participants at the event included current and former scholarship recipients, parents, Vice Chancellors from partner universities in Punjab, and representatives from HEC and USAID.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Rajwana said, “USAID-funded scholarships have enabled many brilliant students to achieve their dream of higher studies without being constrained by financial difficulties. I see this as an excellent investment in the future of Pakistan.”
Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad, Chairman of the HEC, remarked that the HEC is proud to be engaged in a variety of ventures in science and technology, and research, sponsored by the U.S. Government to strengthen the higher education sector in Pakistan and promote innovative solutions to today’s challenges.
The second phase of the Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program will include the award of 3,000 scholarships to deserving students across Pakistan. The program was initiated in 2004. In Punjab, Phase I of the program (2004-2016) awarded scholarships worth $3.6 million, while Phase II (2014-2020) includes scholarships valued at $7.4 million.
Many former USAID-supported scholars who have gone on to professional success were present at today’s event. Mr. Wajid Mehmood, who graduated from the Lahore University of Management Sciences and Ms. Summyka Qadir, student of Nishtar Medical College Multan, also spoke at the event.