Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has approved 10 schemes worth Rs100 million to support its poor and needy students through scholarships and fee concessions.
The schemes were formally approved at AIOU’s first Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, which was chaired by the university’s Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi. Sangi ordered the schemes to be implemented during the current financial year. The board decided to broaden the scope of its existing Student Support Fund scheme, increasing its annual budget from Rs10 million to Rs20 million.
A special scheme, which provides internships and part-time jobs to deserving students to help meet their educational expenditures, was also approved.
Named ‘Earn to Learn’, and costing an estimated Rs20 million, the scheme will be the first of its kind to be introduced in the country. It will be formally launched on Wednesday (today).
It was also decided that students could seek financial support for up to three semesters, as opposed to one semester as announced previously.
Other schemes approved during the meeting included merit, community, women and special scholarships for disabled students.
Scholarships will also be offered to students hailing from remote regions where literacy rates are below 50 per cent.
They will be awarded in cash or in the shape of a fee remission. Regional committees will assess whether prospective students have met the scholarship requirements and recommend them accordingly.
These schemes would also help promote the country’s literacy rate, said Sangi.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2013.