KARACHI: US Consul General Michael Dodman and the Sindh Governor, Dr. Ishrat Ul Ebad, recognized fifty Sindh students who received United States Agency for International Development (USAID)-funded scholarships under the Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program and implemented by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. The Program provides full scholarships to talented but financially needy Pakistani students, US Embassy press release stated.
“Your academic success inspires the next generation. We expect great things from you – today I see future community leaders, inventors, educators, business executives, and parliamentarians. The key to a strong, prosperous, and peaceful Pakistan lies in your capable hands,” said US Consul General Michael Dodman, who spoke with 50 scholarship recipients from Sindh after they described how the scholarship has enriched their lives and opened doors of opportunity.
The Merit and Need-Based Scholarship Program awards scholarships for university study to academically talented, financially needy Pakistani students. Overall, more than 1,250 talentet but economically disadvantaged Pakistani students have received Merit and Needs Based Scholarships under this USAID program, with 571 of those students coming from Sindh.
The program targets students going to government schools in rural or remote areas like northern Sindh. Students can pursue study in agriculture (Master’s or Bachelor’s degrees) at one of the Sindhi partner universities, which include the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi; Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur; Institute SZABIST, Karachi; and Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam. The scholarships fund not only the cost of tuition, but also books, transportation, and other expenses associated with full-time study. Most of the scholarship recipients have found jobs within six months of completing their degrees.
The USAID Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program is just one part of a comprehensive US education assistance program for Pakistan, which includes building or rehabilitating more than 850 schools; launching new degree programs in education at 90 teacher colleges and universities; and operating the largest Fulbright academic exchange program in the world.