“We hope when Pakistani students return after completion of their studies in Saudi universities, they will be able to contribute positively in their respective fields,” Dr. Ali Mohammed B. Hawsawi, Cultural Attaché of the Kingdom in Pakistan said.
- 250 Pakistani students will be awarded Saudi scholarships this year
- Under new policy all scholarship applications to be processed by HEC
ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia has announced 583 fully funded scholarships for Pakistani students in all disciplines, except health and medicine, at 23 top universities in the Kingdom, Saudi and Pakistani officials said.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan will process all applications and award 400 scholarships for bachelors, 100 for masters and 83 for PhD students wanting to pursue an education at Saudi universities.
“Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki and I took this matter very seriously and we really want Pakistani students to go and study in Saudi Arabia on scholarships,” Professor Dr. Ali Mohammed B. Hawsawi, Cultural Attaché of the Kingdom in Pakistan, told Arab News.
He said Saudi Arabia has been awarding limited scholarships to Pakistani students for the last several years to study courses like Sharia and Arabic language but would now offer a much larger number of scholarships.
“Pakistani students can get admission in all Saudi universities in any subject of their choice unlike in the past,” Hawsawi said. “We are brother countries and we hope this opportunity will benefit both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.”
Hawsawi said that him and ambassador Nawaf had discussed the selection procedure of students with Pakistan’s education ministry. In the past, Pakistani students were required to apply directly to Saudi universities for scholarships or sometimes through the Ministry of Education, but it had now been decided that only HEC would process scholarships applications for Saudi Arabia.
“We hope when Pakistani students return after completion of their studies in Saudi universities, they will be able to contribute positively in their respective fields,” Hawsawi added.
HEC has already advertised the scholarships on national media and announced January 31 as an application deadline.
“This is a welcome addition to the HEC’s foreign scholarships program and we hope this collaboration with Saudi Arabia will continue in the years to come as well,” HEC’s media director Dr. Ayesha Ikram said.
She said all scholars would be selected “purely on merit” through an authentic system that the HEC has already devised for foreign scholarships. A total of 250 students would be selected for the scholarship this year while the remaining would be picked next year.
The Kingdom will provide health care to students and their families as well as accommodation, food and return air tickets and special allowances, such as two months stipend on arrival in Saudi Arabia and three months graduation allowance for shipping books.
Some of the universities where Pakistani students can apply include King Abdul Aziz University, King Saud University, King Faisal University, King Khalid University, King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals, and Princess Nora bint Abdul Rehman University.
“I am searching for my relevant discipline at Saudi universities and will be applying for the scholarship in a couple of days,” said Azka Noreen who plans to pursue a doctorate in biochemistry. “This will help me not only to study in a top university of Saudi Arabia, but also explore many historic places in the Kingdom.”
SOURCE: ARAB NEWS PAKISTAN