HEC announces plans to fund up 125 Fulbright PhD scholarships

EducationHEC announces plans to fund up 125 Fulbright PhD scholarships

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed Thursday announced plans to fund up to 125 additional scholarships for Pakistani PhD students to study in the United States through Fulbright Program over the next five years.

It was decided in a meeting hosted by Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed in honour of U.S Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken, here Thursday.

Antony Blinken met with Pakistani students and teachers who participated in educational programmes funded by the US Department of State and the US Agency for International Development.

Both the dignitaries 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, D.C., on October 22, 2015.

Both Dr Mukhtar Ahmed and Deputy Secretary 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 U.S and welcomed the HEC’s new contribution to the Fulbright Programme and increased faculty development.

“Investments in education are prerequisites for long-term security and sustainable development,” Deputy Secretary said.

“By equipping students with a world perspective rooted in respect, social justice, diversity, and critical thinking, we can expand their horizons while allowing Pakistan’s economy to grow and its society to flourish.”

Dr Mukhtar Ahmed thanked the United States for its collaboration on initiatives supporting the Pakistani education system at every level, from primary to post-graduate.

He recalled the idea of the U.S-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor, a concept laid out in June 2015 in the strategic dialogue by both sides to enhance cooperation in education, science, and technology, including academic linkages between many US and Pakistani universities and increasing educational opportunities.

“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,” Dr Mukhtar commented.

“The United States has been a dedicated, long-term partner for the progress of the HEC, and I know our joint efforts will continue to support economic prosperity and stability here in Pakistan.”

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.

The US invests more money in the Fulbright programme – the flagship international educational exchange programme sponsored by the US government in Pakistan than in any other country.

The US Mission to Pakistan also provides scholarships to thousands of aspiring teachers and also operates the largest English Access Microscholarship Programme worldwide for Pakistani teenagers to learn English.

The HEC and USAID also have collaborated on a national programme of teacher education reform designed to improve the quality of basic education in Pakistan.

Source: APP

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