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The German government announced 200 scholarships worth Rs40 million for underprivileged graduate and undergraduate students from 10 Pakistani universities.

The German government announced 200 scholarships worth Rs40 million for underprivileged graduate and undergraduate students from 10 Pakistani universities.

The German government on Wednesday announced 200 scholarships worth Rs40 million for underprivileged graduate and undergraduate students from 10 Pakistani universities.

The announcement was made in a meeting between German Ambassador Cyrill Nunn and Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairperson Imtiaz Hussain Gilani under the HEC-German Needs-Based Scholarship Program.

The program will be executed in collaboration with HEC, Pakistan and will be opened for the students of 10 Pakistani universities in selected disciplines of social sciences, basic sciences, engineering and information technology.

The scholarships are meant for unprivileged students who, despite possessing academic merit, are unable to continue their studies because of financial constraints.

Nun said at least 30 per cent of the scholarships will be awarded to female students.

He further added that Germany would like to see the students availing the scholarships complete their studies and return to serve Pakistan.

He said many Pakistanis were already studying on their own in Germany in different fields.

The scholarships will cover tuition fee and other expenditures such as transportation, books, lodging and incidentals in the form of a monthly stipend for two years.

The participating universities are Quaid-e-Azam University, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Islamabad, University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Government College University Lahore, University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, Kohat University of Science and Technology, University of Haripur, Frontier Women University Peshawar, Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences, and Sardar Bahadur Khan Women University Quetta.

Achievements in higher education

Over 0.5 million laptops will be given to students in the next five years as part of the Prime Minister’s National Programme for Provision of Laptops to Talented Students.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Executive Director Dr Mukhtar Ahmad and Acting HEC Chairman Imtiaz Hussain Gilani said that the distribution of laptops by the HEC will begin in February 2014.

The officials said that talks were underway with different companies to persuade them to set up local production lines to make the programme cost-effective besides linking the assembly line with academia.

They said that PhD, MPhil and MSc students will be given priority, followed by graduates with 60 per cent marks in HSSC.

Around 20 per cent of the laptops would be given to the students who are in their second, third, or final year of a four-year undergraduate programme, while 10 per cent will be given to students pursuing a two-year masters or bachelors programme.

The officials said that the laptops would be distributed among provinces on the basis of enrolments. Under the scheme, around 39.9 per cent of laptops would be distributed in Punjab, 21.9 per cent in Sindh, 17.1 per cent in Islamabad and FATA, 14 per cent in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, 3.7 per cent in Balochistan, 2.3 per cent in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, and 0.6 per cent in Gilgit-Baltistan.

In his presentation, Dr Ahmed said that enrolment in universities has increased manifold during the last five years. “During the last decade, the HEC has offered over 4,000 foreign scholarships and around 7,000 local scholarships,” he said.

While talking about placement and accommodation of fresh PhDs in universities, Dr Ahmed said that 1,498 scholars were currently engaged in the Interim Placement of PhDs programme. He said that a summary has been sent to prime minister to lift the ban on new recruitment.

“We are expecting a positive response. They will not be left in the lurch,” he said while talking about teachers the HEC had placed in universities under the interim placement programme.

The ED said that a mega project has been initiated to train around 3,500 non-teaching staff of universities from across Pakistan in the field of management. “Treasurers, registrars and other staffers would be part of this programme to train them to manage their resources within their means.

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