The Higher Education Commission (HEC) organised on Thursday a send-off ceremony for Pakistani students who have secured Erasmus Mundus Scholarship for 2021-22 academic session.

Awais Ahmed, Advisor (Coordination) HEC chaired the ceremony, while Ms. Aayesha Ikram, DG (Scholarships) HEC and Mr. Ovidiu Mic, Head of Cooperation Delegation of the European Union were also present on the occasion along with a large number of scholarship winners and Erasmus+ alumni.

For 2021-22 session, 141 Pakistani students will receive the Erasmus+ scholarship. The number has improved despite the fact this year information session was not conducted due to Covid situation. Erasmus Mundus scholarship result for the academic year 2020-21 was also promising as 126 Pakistani students (64 men and 62 women) were awarded the Erasmus Mundus (Joint Master Degree – EMJMD) scholarship out of a total of 2542 scholarships awarded worldwide.

Pakistan ranks third in the world in the number of scholarships, moving up from fourth place with a considerable increase in the number of scholarships.

The Erasmus+ Programme provides funding for educational initiatives, training, and scholarships. It is designed to support programme countries efforts to benefit from European knowledge institutions in a lifelong learning perspective. The opportunities offered are available to Pakistani faculty and students.

Since coming under its ambit in 2016, HEC has taken proactive measure and effective communication strategies with universities students & faculty. Every year HEC conducts a series of workshops/information sessions in different cities of Pakistan to create awareness among Pakistani students about the Erasmus+ scholarships, and faculty members to apply for research funding through defined proposal topics, and also capacity building in the field of higher education with counter partners of local universities and EU universities. These workshops and awareness sessions have turned out to be very effective, encouraging results of the pervious years reflect the efforts of HEC.

Addressing the ceremony, Advisor Mr. Awais Ahmed said that the education and exposure not only defines an individual’s career but also plays a positive role in nation building. He advised the departing students to focus on their study and play ambassadors of Pakistan abroad by their conduct. He hoped that the students, on completion of their studies, will further the cause of improving the quality of education in Pakistan.

In his remarks, Mr. Mic appreciated the upward trend of the number of Pakistani students applying for and winning the Erasmus+ scholarships every year. He advised the students to keep in contact with their programme coordinators and the focal persons in case of any hardship related to Covid restrictions.

The ceremony was also addressed by Erasmus+ alumni including Ms. Hajra Mumtaz, Mr. Rizwan Mumtaz and Mr. Waqar Baig.

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