First Pakistan HEC Cambridge scholars leave for the UK

The first five recipients of the new Pakistan HEC Cambridge Scholarship were given a high-profile send-off at the offices of the Higher Education Commission in Islamabad last week.

The scholars, four of whom are pictured (Arooj Shafiq (third right), Ishrat Rehman (second right), Zaib Ali (second left), and Mayida Azhar (centre)) said how excited they were about leaving for Cambridge, where they will be working to achieve doctorates in Biochemistry, Education, Engineering and Genetics respectively. After completing their degrees they will return to become faculty members involved in teaching and research in universities in Pakistan.

Presiding at the event was Professor Dr Riaz Hussain Qureshi, Adviser on Human Resource Development at Higher Education Commission. Dr Javaid Laghari, Chairman of the Commission addressed the scholars via video link as he was overseas at the time of the event. Also in attendance were Michael O’Sullivan, Director of CCT, and Adam Thomson, British High Commissioner of Pakistan; Mr Thomson is himself a Cambridge alumnus, and great-grandson of J J Thomson and grandson of G P Thomson, both Nobel Laureates who studied at Trinity College, Cambridge.

The new scholarships are jointly funded by the HEC and CCT, and form a welcome addition to the range of awards available to applicants from Pakistan.  The HEC acts as a facilitator for institutions of higher education, and helps those institutions to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.