KARACHI: A reunion of the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program (MNBSP), funded by United States Agency of International Development (USAID), was organised to celebrate the success of scholars, particularly those from Sindh at the Governor House in Karachi.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail, Higher Education Commission Chairperson Dr Tariq Banuri, vice chancellors of the universities of Sindh and HEC-USAID scholarship beneficiaries from Sindh attended the event.
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Ismail appreciated the role of USAID in supporting higher education in Pakistan and hoped for a successful continuation of the on-going partnership.
"The USAID-funded scholarships 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 for which we are all thankful to the USAID," he said.
Ismail said that the present government was fully committed to supporting education, in particular higher education, as it recognises its key role in the socio-economic uplift of the country and for sustainable development.
Dr Banuri said, "The Higher Education Commission is closely working on various ventures of science and technology. Research and scholarship programmes sponsored by US government are forefront contributions in strengthening the higher education sector in Pakistan".
He added that the partnership between the US and Pakistan in higher education was historical, "Our Fulbright Program in Pakistan is one of the largest scholarship programmes. In order to resolve issues of water, energy and food security, Centres for Advanced Studies have been established in Islamabad, Sindh and K-P from the investment of USAID. Our objective is to create opportunities for talented students, faculty and researchers and generate human resource which is productive in building Pakistan into a vibrant society".
One of the female alumni commended the efforts of USAID for the provision of scholarship for the female students of interior Sindh. "I cannot express how it feels to stand here today and share my experiences with the audience. I don't think without the support of USAID's scholarship, I would have been able to complete my studies with distinction from a top business school of Pakistan".
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The USAID-funded programme, in partnership with Higher Education Commission, allows graduate and postgraduate students to study in the top 30 universities of the United States of America.
The programme has over 2,400 alumni who are now contributing to a better Pakistan and its development goals. A total of 1,112 young students belonging to financially disadvantaged families of Sindh have received financial assistance to continue their higher education.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 4th, 2019.
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