U.S.- Funded Ph.D. Scholars Return to Serve Pakistan’s Education Sector

Four Pakistani scholars who recently returned from completing their doctoral studies in the United States highlighted their research and experiences during panel discussion on education at the Serena Hotel. In addition to the discussion, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Pakistan Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb and Pakistan Higher Education Commission Member Dr. G. Raza Bhatti highlighted U.S.-Pakistan cooperation in the education sector. The four scholars are part of a USAID-funded scholarship program that sent 34 Pakistani students to complete doctoral studies in the United States. The scholars, who are from wide range of academic disciplines, will return to Pakistan to serve as faculty members at top Pakistani universities.

During the event, Mr. Gottlieb noted, “These scholars are the bridge to the continuous improvement and modernization of teacher education in Pakistan. They have brought back to Pakistan a wealth of personal and professional experience, which can bring about a transformative change in the education sector.”

The scholars included Afshan Huma, Fida Hussain Chang, Samina Nadeem who studied at the Michigan State University and Faizullah Jan who studied at American University in Washington, D.C. During the event, the group discussed ways to integrate internationally standardized teaching methodologies studied during their PhD programs into traditional Pakistani teaching methodology. Also, the scholars discussed the value of educational research resulting in new methods to empower students and colleagues to reach their full academic potential.

The U.S. government works to strengthen the quality of basic and higher education in Pakistan in an effort to promote prosperity and economic growth, leading to the improvement in the quality of life for all Pakistanis. The USAID Ph.D. scholarship program aims to provide higher education opportunities to promising under-served students to enhance their employability and engage in business, government, and community research.

USAID is also working with the Higher Education Commission to establish Centers for Advanced Studies at four Pakistani universities. The centers will collaborate with American universities to improve curriculum development and conduct applied research in agriculture, energy, and water. The centers will have strong links to the business community and will address policy issues in the sectors.

For more information on U.S. assistance to Pakistan’s education sector, please visit: http://www.usaid.gov/pakistan/education