US government awards prestigious USAID scholarship to 112 Pakistani students in Sindh

Celina Ali

Islamabad: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission Director Kate Somvongsiri joined Higher Education Commission Executive Director Aayesha Ikram to award scholarships to 112 high-achieving Pakistani undergraduate students.

These U.S. government scholarships, made possible through USAID’s Merit and Needs-based Scholarship Program (MNBSP), will support students who were affected by last year’s devastating floods, and enable them to complete degree programs at six universities in Sindh.

“Higher education enables students from all socioeconomic backgrounds to expand their knowledge-base and increase their career opportunities,” Mission Director Somvongsiri said.

“We are delighted to support high-achieving students in completing their studies so that they can realize their personal and professional ambitions as Pakistan’s future leaders.”

At the ceremony held at IBA Karachi, Higher Education Commission Executive Director Ms. Ikram commended the United States’ support for higher education in Pakistan, noting that the program awards over 50 percent of its scholarships to young women.

She remarked that the U.S. government’s continued collaboration in higher education has built a positive legacy spanning 75 years.

The USAID-funded MNBSP, a partnership between the Higher Education Commission and 30 Pakistani universities, provides university scholarships to students to pursue degrees in selected Pakistani universities.

The scholarships cover tuition, housing, and textbooks, and a food stipend. Since it began in 2004, the program has awarded scholarships to more than 6,000 high-achieving students from low-income families across Pakistan.