The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced to grant hundreds of additional graduate-level scholarships to Pakistani women under its Merit and Need-Based Scholarship Program (MNBSP) in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
Under the two-year scholarships that will begin this year and last until 2023, 700 talented Pakistan women from all over the country would be able to pursue higher education in the disciplines of agriculture, business, engineering, health sciences, and social sciences.
Speaking in connection to the development, USAID Pakistan’s Deputy Mission Director, Michael Nehrbass, said, “These additional 700 fully-funded graduate-level scholarships will be awarded to some of the most talented Pakistani women to help meet their higher education goals.”
Thanking the USAID for expanding the MNBSP in the country, SAPM on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Dr. Sania Nishtar, and Executive Director HEC, Dr. Shaista Sohail, said, “The announcement by USAID is another important step towards women empowerment and their access to higher education.”
Since 2003, the USAID has granted 5,300 MNBSP scholarships to academically successful but financially disadvantaged students across Pakistan, particularly from northern Sindh, Balochistan, southern Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the former Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
In 2013, the USAID decided to allocate 50% of MNBSP scholarships for Pakistani students to women as part of its efforts to bridge the gender gap when it comes to access to higher education.