396 Sri Lankan students win Allama Iqbal Scholarships to Study in Pakistan


HEC, Pakistan HC in Sri Lanka hold Pre-Departure Orientation for Lankan Students

ISLAMABAD/COLOMBO, OCT 16: /DNA/ – Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan in collaboration with Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, Sri Lanka organised a joint Pre-departure Orientation and Scholarship Award Ceremony for Sri Lankan students in Colombo.

Out of 1400 Sri Lankan students who applied for the scholarship, 396 Sri Lankan students have secured Allama Iqbal Scholarships under HEC’s project, Pak-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme. Under the Allama Iqbal Scholarships Programme, 237 Sri Lankan students are already studying in Pakistan

Alongside Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail, Director General (Scholarships) HEC Aayesha Ikram, and Project Director HEC Jehanzeb Khan, the parents of the successful awardees were also present during this event.   

Addressing the ceremony, Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail congratulated the scholarship awardees and highlighted the importance of Pak-Sri Lanka long-lasting friendship. She shed light on the HEC functions and the objectives of Pak-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme. She said that HEC has been putting efforts to increase access to higher education, enhance quality and ensure relevance. She added that the Pakistani universities are putting emphasis on soft skills in view of their significance in the today’s world. She briefed the audience about the other offerings of HEC for the academic fraternity of Sri Lanka, which included, a faculty exchange program, training of Sri Lankan senior civil servants in Pakistan, and the establishment of a centre of Asian Civilization and Culture in Sri Lanka.

High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (Retd) Umar Farooq Burki shed light on the life and services of Allama Muhammad Iqbal, after whom the scholarship programme for Sri Lankan students has been named. He said the scholarship programme will bring the people of Pakistan and Sri Lanka closer and strengthen the brotherly bonds between them.

He also dilated on the personality and educational philosophy of Allama Iqbal. “Iqbal was a philosopher, lawyer, political leader and above all an educationist. He was a South Asian whose poetry was considered among the greatest works of the 20th century,” he said, adding that Iqbal’s ideology was translated into foundation of Pakistan by the efforts of the country’s founding father, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. 

Project Director Jehanzeb Khan apprised the new scholars of the details of the scholarship and the Pakistani universities that the Sri Lankan students will soon join. The Sri Lankan scholars and their parents took keen interest in knowing about their brotherly country Pakistan and participated in the question/answer session with great enthusiasm. Sri Lankan alumni of Pakistani universities also expressed their views and shared with the scholarship recipients their experiences in Pakistani higher education institutions.

The Government of Pakistan launched the Pak-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme in 2018-2019. Under this programme, 800 fully-funded and 200 partially-funded Allama Iqbal Scholarships are being awarded to Sri Lankan students in all disciplines at BS, MS and PhD levels.