The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan held a pre-departure orientation session and award ceremony for 321 Sri Lankan students selected to study in Pakistan under “Allama Muhammad Iqbal Scholarships for Sri Lankan Students.” The students will now fulfill their documentation requirements to fly to Pakistan to join their universities.
Dr. Premajayantha extended his gratitude to the Government of Pakistan for the invaluable support for capacity building of Sri Lankan students, faculty, and government officials. He emphasised that progress under Pak-Sri Lanka bilateral ties is a source of strength and great significance for the whole South Asian region.
The Minister congratulated the students and termed the opportunity to study in top Pakistani universities as a big achievement. He highlighted the importance of acquiring education in a foreign country, which he said not only elevates qualification but also provides a lifetime experience.
In her welcome address, Ms. Aayesha Ikram enlightened the audience about the scholarship project. She said that it is bringing people of the two countries closer. She advised the Sri Lankan students to follow their educational goals, learn about the diverse Pakistani culture, and carry out networking for their growth and take full advantage of the opportunity. She said that that Sri Lankan students studying in Pakistan are ambassadors of Sri Lanka in Pakistan, adding that the same students will play the role of Pakistani ambassadors in Sri Lanka once they complete their studies.
Allama Muhammad Iqbal Scholarships for Sri Lankan Students project is a component of the Pak-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme. Under this project, 351 Sri Lankan students are currently studying in different disciplines at various levels in Pakistani universities.
The newly selected students will also pursue their studies in the fields of Medicine, Engineering and Technology, Management, Allied Health Sciences, Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.
Sri Lankan Minister of Education Dr. Susil Premajayantha was chief guest in the award ceremony. High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Umar Farooq Burki, Director General (Scholarships) HEC Ms. Aayesha Ikram, Project Director HEC Mr. Jehanzeb Khan, many Sri Lankan Ministers, Vice Chancellors, senior armed forces officials, Buddhist Monks, alumni of the project, and scholarship awardees with their family members attended the event.