United States and HEC Pakistan Celebrate International Women’s Day

March 8, 2021
Contact: Brittney Stewart
Phone: 021 3527 5000


Karachi – The United States Mission to Pakistan and Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) celebrated International Women’s Day with female scholarship recipients of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Merit and Needs based Scholarship Program (MNBSP).

USAID Director for Sindh and Balochistan James Parys and HEC Executive Director Dr. Shaista Sohail commended the success of MNBSP in creating higher education opportunities for disadvantaged students.

“No society can develop successfully without providing equitable opportunities, resources, and life prospects for males and females alike so they can shape their lives and contribute to their families and communities,” Mr. Parys said. “We are proud to partner with HEC on the Merit and Needs Based Scholarship Program to successfully narrow the education gap.”

Dr. Shaista Sohail recognized USAID for launching a distinct scholarship program to assist talented students and increase the pipeline to higher education.

Alumni from Sukkur-IBA, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, IBA Karachi, MUET Jamshoro were also present and shared their experiences. They thanked USAID for setting them, and so many students like them, on the road to a successful future.

USAID has supported scholarships for meritorious but financially disadvantaged students since 2004 through the MNBSP to assist the HEC’s efforts to provide equitable access to higher education at Pakistani universities. Through the Malala Scholarship Act in 2013, 50 per cent quota was reserved for talented women. This expansion included an increase to 3500 scholarships. The disciplines include agriculture, engineering, medicine, and social sciences at 30 public and private sector partner institutions across Pakistan.

For more information about USAID programs please visit: www.usaid.gov/Pakistan.