Pakistan has doubled the number of Allama Iqbal Scholarships, provided to Sri Lankan students under HEC’s Pak-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Program, to nearly 400 to express solidarity with the Island nation going through the worst economic crisis in history.
The scholarships will provide academics, doctors, and engineers of the island nation with an opportunity to continue higher education in these times of economic crunch.
237 Sri Lankan students are already studying in Pakistan under the above-mentioned program, according to a Sri Lankan Foreign ministry official.
Among the new students who secured the scholarship, 50 will pursue primary medical degrees, 50 in engineering, and 20 postgraduate degrees in sciences.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Umar Farooq Burki told the local news agencies that the aim of the scholarships was to strengthen the relationship between the two countries.
“We came to offer these scholarships because of the strong bilateral relations maintained with friendly Sri Lanka,” he told Arab News.
In his response, Sri Lanka’s Honorary Consul General for Pakistan, Afzal Marikar thanked Pakistan for providing scholarships to their students.
“We are thankful to Pakistan for this magnanimity which helps us to get our youths qualified in much-needed sectors,” he said.
Scholarships Award Ceremony
Pakistan High Commission in Colombo and HEC Pakistan collaborated to organize a joint Pre-departure Orientation and Scholarships Award Ceremony for successful Sri Lankan students in Colombo.
Executive Director HEC Dr Shaista Sohail attended the ceremony along with Director General (Scholarships) HEC Aayesha Ikram and Project Director HEC Jehanzeb Khan while the parents of the successful awardees were also present at the occasion.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Shaista Sohail congratulated the scholarship awardees and emphasized the significance of Pak-Sri Lanka long-lasting friendship.
She added that Pakistani universities are focusing on the development of soft skills in view of their importance in today’s world.
She told the audience about HEC’s other offerings for the academic fraternity of Sri Lanka, which included, training of Sri Lankan senior civil servants in Pakistan,a faculty exchange program, and the establishment of a center of Asian Civilization and Culture in Sri Lanka..