KARACHI: As much as twelve candidates from across Sindh collected their certificates and
prizes during the pre-departure orientation of the Chevening programme held at British Deputy
High Commission office.
The scholars, who have been selected for the programme that is fully funded by the United
Kingdom (UK) government, will be leaving to pursue degrees in masters programmes in their
Shanzae Asif, who is the only female selected for the programme from Sindh, will be studying
international conflict studies at Kings College London. Miss Asif had completed her Bachelors
in political science from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). “I applied for
London School of Economics, Kings College London and SOAS, University of London and got
admission in two of them,” she said. Asif plans to teach in LUMS for two years, as per the
scholarships requirement, after completing her one-year masters degree.
Umair Ibrahim, who had completed his bachelors from NED University of Engineering and
Technology, is also one of the candidates who will be doing his masters in housing and urbanism
from The Architectural Association. “I am an architect and have keen interest in studying it
deeply,” he said. Ibrahim, who was also teaching at NED University, plans to continue teaching
at the university after completing his degree abroad.
While motivating the candidates to serve Pakistan, Chevening Alumni Association of Pakistans
Sindh head Zafar Siddiqui said to go overseas and study under such programmes is wonderful
and the experience is irreplaceable. Siddiqui, who went for his masters in business
administration through Chevening programme in 1999, said that the increase in number of
students applying for this scholarship is commendable. “The number of scholars from all over
Pakistan in 1999 was around 40 and it went down to 20 few years ago, but the recent increase
should be appreciated,” he said.
Congratulating the selected Chevening Scholars from the region, acting deputy high
commissioner in Karachi, Steve Crossman, said, “Pakistan is one of the UKs top priority
countries for Chevening awards.” He added that there are 1,400 alumni of the scholarship in
Pakistan. The number of Chevening scholars being sent from Pakistan to the UK has increased
from 73 candidates in 2015 to 80 scholars this year, Crossman said at the pre-departure
The competition this year was exceptionally high and over 2,300 students applied for the
programme. “The Chevening programme not only brings immediate benefits for individual
scholars, in terms of future career prospects and development, but it also delivers long-term
benefits for both Pakistan and the UK.”
The application process for the programme starts every year in August and ends in first week of
November, after which the applications are processed and shortlisted by the UK office. This
year, around 230 applications were shortlisted and sent to Pakistan by the end of December
2015. Those applications were scrutinised and further shortlisted for interviews in February
2016, which were conducted till April 2016.