USAID celebrates achievements of scholarship recipients at LUMS

LAHORE: The USAID-funded Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Programme (MNBSP) celebrated the achievements of its scholars at a ceremony held at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) on Thursday.

USAID Provincial Director Lea E Swanson, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Adviser Wasim S Hashmi Syed, Vice Chancellor LUMS Dr Sohail H Naqvi, officials from HEC and sixty MNBSP alumni who graduated from LUMS attended the ceremony.

MNBSP funds full-tuition scholarships and stipends for talented, economically disadvantaged Pakistani youth to earn their bachelor’s or master’s degree at one of 30 partner universities across Pakistan. MNBSP scholarships have enabled 185 deserving students to study at LUMS in the fields of business, engineering, and technology.

“It is heartening to see the impact that the program has on the lives of its alumni – some of whom were the first in their families to be able to study at a university. These scholars are helping to form an ambitious workforce that will accelerate Pakistan’s economic development,” Swanson said.

Swanson distributed certificates to the eight recent scholarship recipients who had joined LUMS for higher studies.

Addressing the audience, Hashmi stated: “USAID’s support complements the government of Pakistan’s efforts to provide equal opportunities and quality education to all citizens.”

He acknowledged the collaboration of United States in initiatives supporting the Pakistani education system at every level, from primary to post-graduate education. “Working together, we have given young men and women the opportunity to go to university, equipped new teachers with the tools they need to succeed in the classroom, and supported research in areas critical to Pakistan’s development,” Hashmi added.

The USAID-funded Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Programme aligns with the Higher Education Commission’s objectives to support financially deserving meritorious students, improve access to quality education, and encourage academic interest in fields vital to Pakistan’s economic development. Since 2004, USAID has awarded more than 4,900 scholarships in the fields of agriculture sciences, business administration, engineering, medicine, and social sciences to young people living in some of the most remote areas of Pakistan.

 Published in Daily Times, February  9th2018.