USAID-funded Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program for Pakistani

USAID has proven its commitment to support scholarship programs for academically qualified Pakistani students, who aspire to continue on to higher studies, but are hindered to actualize it due to their financial shortage. This program has supported scholarships for economically disadvantaged students but commendable through the USAID-funded Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program (MNBSP) Phase-I to assist efforts from the Government of Pakistan to increase the rate of acceptance at Pakistani universities and meet international standards since 2004.

About USAID-funded Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program (MNBSP)

Phase-I of the US$10.63 million program was implemented at the 11 best public and private universities in Pakistan and 1,807 scholarships were awarded only in Agriculture and Business. Many of the graduates from this initial phase of the MNBSP are the first generation of their families to complete a higher education degree and nearly half now support their families financially through reputable jobs.

USAID launched the second phase of the education assistance program at an estimated total cost of US$23.1 million in 2013. Under Phase-II, 3,000 scholarships were added in which half of the total scholarships awarded were kept in reserve for female students. In addition to the eleven existing university partners, 19 additional sectors of public institutions were included, bringing a total of 30 partner universities across Pakistan. To emphasize women’s education, four women’s universities from all over Pakistan have also been involved under the program.

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Students selected as scholarship candidates are also trained through career path workshops to prepare them for future job challenges and to make them aware of market trends. This scholarship also works in strengthening the alumni network. The scholarships covered student housing, text books, food allowances, and school fees.

USAID Education Policy

The USAID Education Policy, launched in November 2018, sets priorities and directions specifically aimed at USAID investment in education. The primary objective of the USAID education program is to achieve measurable and sustainable improvements in learning outcomes and capacity development.

These priorities include:

  • Children and youth, especially the most marginalized and vulnerable, have better access to quality education that is safe, relevant and promotes social welfare.
  • Children and youth acquire literacy, numeracy, and social-emotional abilities that are fundamental to future learning and success.
  • Youth obtain the skills they need to lead productive lives, get employment, and contribute positively to society.
  • Higher education institutions have the capacity to be the central actors in development by conducting and applying research, delivering quality education, and engaging with communities.

Results and Progress

USAID-supported basic education programs have directly benefited more than 83 million individual learners since 2011. Donors and partner countries have extended the overall reach of the USAID program to more than 109 million children and youth.

USAID results from 2011-2017 include:

  • 725,000 young people are provided with new or increasing employment opportunities.
  • 6 million children living in crisis or conflict-prone areas have extended educational opportunities. Through this work, an estimated 4.1 million children and youth who would otherwise have dropped out of school now have access to education; and
  • 8 million children are provided with early class reading instructions.
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USAID in Pakistan

Pakistan has faced emergency security and governance challenges throughout the past decade. In countries that are critical of national security, progress is fragile, but USAID continues its best efforts as its top priority. USAID takes transparency and accountability very seriously, working hard to distort corruption and graft that endanger the progress. In Pakistan, an anti-fraud hotline number has been established to help stop waste and torture.

In Pakistan, USAID focuses on:

  • Overcoming energy shortages, a major limitation to the country’s economic progress.
  • Strengthening economic growth, to help address the significant poverty that still plagues the country despite years of rapid growth.
  • Increase stability, so that people can live in peace and find solutions to extremism and violence, especially on the country’s borders with Afghanistan.
  • Expanding educational opportunities, so that economic benefits can be spread evenly throughout the country and women can continue to play a more equal role in Pakistani society.
  • Increase the reach of public health systems to save the lives of women and children, strengthen families and communities, and help develop a healthy workforce.

USAID has seen significant results in Pakistan:

  • From 2009 to date, USAID has boosted Pakistani investments to add more than 2,800 megawatts of electricity to the Pakistani system, which is enough energy to benefit more than 33 million Pakistanis and spur the country’s economic growth.
  • In the past six years, through USAID’s efforts, Pakistani businesses have increased sales of $170 million and exports of around $76 million. In addition, more than 36,000 new jobs can be attributed to USAID programs since October 2011.
  • Since 2007 USAID has been working with the Government of Pakistan to build or rehabilitate more than 1,210 kilometers of roads, 29 bridges and two tunnels through the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and neighboring Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Provinces.
  • Through USAID’s Gender Equity Program, USAID has provided legal and healthy economic shelter and support to nearly 40,000 victims of gender-based violence to help them rebuild their lives.
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Eligibility Criteria

  • Be eligible to secure admission as per university requirements in a respectful degree program within the range of this scholarship scheme.
  • Secure a new admission in a degree program offered at a participating University / Institution.
  • Each candidate must demonstrate their financial needs per criteria.

How to Apply

  1. Eligible students can apply for scholarships at http://eportal.hec.gov.pk.
  2. Application forms are also available at the respective University’s Financial Aid Office.
  3. Forms that have been completed together with the required documents will be collected at the same Financial Aid Office.
  4. HEC will not accept any application forms directly.

Financial Support

This scholarship covers costs for the following expenses:

  • Tuition fee
  • Books
  • Boarding & lodging
  • Transportation
  • Other academic related costs

List of Participating Universities

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