Pakistan to offer 10 new Commonwealth Scholarships


Students from low income Commonwealth countries will be able to apply for 10 new Commonwealth Scholarships for Master's study in Pakistan next year, thanks to funding from the Government of Pakistan.

These new scholarships, announced this week, are the latest expansion of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) – a pan-Commonwealth initiative that supports international student mobility. One scholarship will focus on gender studies, signalling Pakistan's continued commitment to advancing gender equity.

Dr Joanna Newman, ACU Chief Executive and Secretary General, said: 'Pakistan is committed to internationalising its higher education system, and Commonwealth Scholarships offer an ideal mechanism to do so. By hosting students funded by the CSFP endowment fund in recent years, the country has been able to build its profile as a study destination. We welcome these new Commonwealth Scholarships, which are the first to be funded by the Government of Pakistan in 50 years'.

Dr Tariq Banuri, Chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in Pakistan, added: 'We are delighted to be able to expand study opportunities in Pakistan through these new Commonwealth Scholarships. The scheme is a vivid demonstration of the Commonwealth's ability to connect people across boundaries and borders. These new scholarships demonstrate Pakistan's commitment to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, specifically target 4b, which calls for more scholarships to be made available to students from developing countries'.

The announcement of the new Commonwealth Scholarships was made during a visit by senior UK university leaders – led by the ACU – to Pakistan as part of the Pak-UK Education Gateway programme, organised by the British Council and the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.

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The ACU oversees the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP) – an intergovernmental scheme under which Commonwealth countries offer scholarships and fellowships to citizens of other member states. Established by Commonwealth education ministers at their first conference in 1959, Commonwealth Scholarships are one of the most prestigious and best-known international scholarship schemes in the world. Over 35,000 individuals have benefited to date.

There are two ways for Commonwealth nations to get involved in the CSFP: by offering Commonwealth Scholarships to study in their own country, and by supporting the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships via the CSFP endowment fund.

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