The Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan and the Government of Hungary have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) under Higher Education and Scientific Exchange Programme under which Hungary will provide 200 scholarships to Pakistani students to study in Hungarian universities.
Out of 200 scholarships, 125 scholarships will be awarded in Bachelors programmes in addition to 50 scholarships in Masters and 25 scholarships in PhD programmes.
Earlier at the onset of a three-year programme in 2015, Hungary announced 240 scholarships and the first batch of 80 students was sent to Hungary while Pakistan announced 30 scholarships for Hungarian students to study in Pakistani higher education institutions. However, following the MoU, the number has been increased from 80 to 200 per year.
Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman, Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, was chief guest of the ceremony on the agreement. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Chairman HEC and Mr. Szabo Istvan, Ambassador of Hungary to Pakistan signed the MoU.
Dr. Arshad Ali, Executive Director HEC, Waseem S. Hashmi Syed, Adviser HRD HEC, Dr. Mazhar Saeed, Director General Planning and Development, Mrs. Emilia Szabone Nagy, wife of Hungarian Ambassador, and other representatives of HEC, Embassy of Hungary, and European Union were also present. Mr. Nandor Mullner, a Hungarian student studying in International Islamic University Islamabad also attended the MoU signing ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Engr. Baligh-ur-Rehman termed the increase in scholarships from 80 to 200 an incredible development. This measure will help bringing the two nations closer, he asserted. He held out assurance that the Government of Pakistan will extend all-out support to Hungarian students to come and study in Pakistani institutions. He said the Government of Pakistan is keen to further improve relations with Hungary. He appreciated the role of HEC in facilitating students and availing themselves of opportunities to pursue their education in countries like Hungary.
Expressing his grief over the recent spate of terrorism incidents, the Minister said Pakistan is committed to overcoming the menace of terrorism and energy crisis. He observed that the situation is far better than the past owing to Zarb-e-Azb Operation and other Government initiatives.
In his welcome note, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed described the background of Higher Education and Scientific Exchange Programme between HEC and Hungary. He informed more than 3000 students had earlier applied for the scholarships awarded by Hungary. “The mobility of students between the two countries will create more opportunities for the two nations to come closer,” he said.
He said HEC is planning to expand research collaboration with Hungarian universities. He informed that Hungarian institutions have offered their support in setting up a Sport university in Pakistan.
Szabo Istavan said the increase in number of scholarships indicates that the Government of Hungary gives great importance to bilateral relations with Pakistan. “Investment in education is indeed investment in future,” he said, adding that the two countries have a long history of diplomatic relations spanning over half a century. He hoped that the academic linkages will build strong bonds between Pakistan and Hungary.
Sharing his experience in Pakistani university, Mr. Nandor Mullner said Pakistani students, faculty and the university’s administration welcomed him on his arrival. “I feel at home while studying in Pakistan,” he said. He expressed a wish that more Hungarian students should come to Pakistan and benefit from the opportunity.