By Our Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD – Higher Education Commission (HEC) in collaboration with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) organised a two-day training session on ‘Effective Financial Aid Offices for USAID’ – both for merit and need-based scholarship programme.
Over 35 representatives of the financial aid offices of 24 partner universities of the USAID attended the training, which was aimed at improving effectiveness and efficiency of these offices in various facets such as communication skills, coordination and interaction with aspiring students regarding scholarships and procedure involving execution of the programme.
USAID Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Programme (MNBSP) is a $37 million scholarship programme, offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in 31 public and private universities in Pakistan. Fifty per cent of scholarships are reserved for meritorious and deserving female students.
Speaking at the concluding ceremony, HEC executive director Dr G Raza Bhatti highlighted local and overseas scholarship projects, faculty and infrastructure development conducted by the HEC. He appreciated support from the US government and partner universities in promoting higher education in Pakistan and emphasized that focal persons attending the training must implement the techniques and tools for efficient functioning of the financial aid offices.
USAID Education Office’s deputy director Dr Garth Willis was also present at the event. Speaking on the occasion, he said that this training is a useful activity to create better understanding of the programme’s objectives among partner universities so that it can be implemented according to the criteria of merit and need.
He said that the US government has invested in many education projects in Pakistan and USAID-Merit and Need-based Scholarship Programme is one of its key programmes which is dedicated to cater to the needs of talented students who, due to financial barriers, are deprived of higher education.
Later, Dr Willis and Dr Bhatti gave away certificates among representatives of the financial-aid offices.