Three Pakistanis have been chosen among 55 international students to be part of this year's Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme.
Ayesha Riaz, Noor Shahzad and Safwan Aziz Khan were selected after interviews conducted in March for the Class of 2016.
"Upon completion of my PhD, I intend to join my university back to continue teaching and doing research in my field of study. I am excited and honoured to begin my doctoral studies at Cambridge as part of the Gates community," said Riaz, who is a Karachi University graduate and has also completed her MS in Genetics from the Iowa State University on a Fulbright scholarship.
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The Gates Cambridge Scholarship programme was established in October 2000 by a donation of US$210m from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge; this is the largest ever single donation to a UK university.
Shahzad, who carried out undergraduate research at Lahore University of Management Sciences on Urdu women's digests aims to further investigate these digests through her MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies.
"My research aims to examine the continuities and discontinuities in discourses on women's reform in Urdu literature. I am deeply honored to be joining the Gates Cambridge community and look forward to learning from and contributing to such a diverse group of scholars," she said.
Khan, a Karachitte, shares that his native city has motivated him to pursue a career in public service.
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"I join Cambridge as a Gates scholar this year for the MPhil Public Policy programme, to undertake academic training in the finer crafts of policy making and practice. I am honoured to represent some of the finest institutions in Pakistan, including my alma mater Qauid-i-Azam University (QAU), the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, and the Jinnah Institute," Khan said.
Scholarships are awarded to outstanding applicants from countries outside the UK to pursue a full-time postgraduate degree in any subject available at the University of Cambridge. 95 new scholarships are awarded each year with 40 students selected from the US and 55 from around the world.