321 Sri Lankan students selected by HEC to study in Pakistani universities


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COLOMBO: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Thursday 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”.

Sri Lankan Minister of Education Dr Susil Premajayantha was the chief guest, while High Commissioner of Pakistan to Sri Lanka Maj. Gen. (R) Umar Farooq Burki, HEC Director General (Scholarships) Ms Aayesha Ikram and Project Director 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, said an HEC news release.

Dr Premajayantha extended his gratitude to the Government of Pakistan for the invaluable support for the capacity building of Sri Lankan students, faculty, and government officials.

He emphasized that progress under Pak-Sri Lanka bilateral ties was 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 a big achievement.

He highlighted the importance of acquiring an 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, which, she said, was bringing the people of the two countries closer.

She advised the Sri Lankan students to follow their educational goals, learn about the diverse Pakistani culture, carry out networking for their growth and take full advantage of the opportunity.

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Ms Aayesha Ikram said that the Sri Lankan students studying in Pakistan were ambassadors of their country there, and once they completed their studies they would play the role of Pakistani ambassadors in Sri Lanka.

Allama Muhammad Iqbal Scholarships for Sri Lankan Students project was 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.

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