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US launches second phase of HEC scholarship program

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US launches second phase of HEC scholarship program

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The United States has launched the second phase of its merit and needs based scholarship program which will benefit 3,000 talented students who are in need of financial assistance to pursue higher education.

The new phase of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) funded scholarship program was announced by the USAID’s mission director for Pakistan Gregory Gottlieb at an event held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Islamabad.

A total of 1,807 scholarships were awarded in Phase-I of the program and more than 1,350 of these students have already obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The scholarship program also served as a catalyst for other donors to award scholarships at participating institutions, resulting in more than doubling the number of students enrolled since 2004.

Based on the successes of the program, needs based scholarships have increased from two to about 70 public and private universities since 2004.

“The US government through USAID has decided to expand the Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program through HEC by providing an additional $23.1 million to benefit 3,000 more talented Pakistanis. Eighteen additional universities have been included and new fields of study will allow Pakistanis to pursue degrees in the most sought after fields of studies to meet the needs of the job market”, Gregory Gottlieb said.

Gregory Gottlieb further said that “half of these scholarships have been set aside for women, and to help ensure that we achieve this goal four women-only universities have been added to the expanded program”.

The merit and needs based scholarship program is part of the comprehensive US education assistance program in Pakistan, which includes building or rehabilitating more than 850 schools; establishing centers for advanced studies at three Pakistani universities to focus on applied research in energy, agriculture and water; expanding English skills for more than 5,000 low-income students; and creating accredited degree programs in education at 90 teachers’ colleges and universities across Pakistan.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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