Higher Education Commission (HEC) Pakistan, in collaboration with Pakistan High Commission in Colombo, held a three-day Higher Education Expo at Exhibition & Convention Centre (SLECC) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Thirteen Pakistani public sector universities took part in the Expo and outreached students from Sri Lankan colleges and universities as well as parents. HEC officials, led by Project Director HEC Mr. Jehanzeb Khan, arranged two exclusive seminars to create awareness about higher education opportunities for Sri Lankan students in Pakistan, especially the Allama Iqbal Scholarships for Sri Lankan Students under the Pakistan-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme. Students and faculty raised different queries about the scholarship program, the educational system of Pakistan, and the facilities available for international students.
High Commissioner of Pakistan in Sri Lanka Major General (R) Umar Farooq Burki graced the event with his presence and appreciated the arrangements made by HEC at the Expo venue.
The Pakistan-Sri Lanka Higher Education Cooperation Programme offers scholarships to Sri Lankan students, student and faculty exchange opportunities, and professional training for Sri Lankan Government officials, in addition to efforts for enhanced collaboration through higher education expos and establishment of a Centre of Asian Civilisation in Sri Lanka. Under the Allama Iqbal Scholarships for Sri Lankan Students (BS/MS/PhD), HEC provides the Sri Lankan students an opportunity to study at the best Pakistan universities. Under the programme, 800 fully-funded and 200 partially-funded scholarships will be offered to Sri Lankan students from undergraduate to doctoral levels. So far, 330 fully-funded scholarships have been awarded; out of them, 11 scholarship recipients have completed their terminal degrees and are now serving in Sri Lanka.
The Pakistani universities which took part in the expo included DOW University of Health Sciences, Karachi, NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, Liaquat University of Medical & Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sindh, Iqra University, Karachi, University of the Punjab, Lahore, University of Engineering & Technology (UET), Lahore, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS), Lahore, University of Agriculture (UAF), Faisalabad, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore, University of Lahore, Lahore, Institute of Management Sciences (IMSciences), Peshawar, National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Islamabad, and Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.
Sri Lankan high officials, including Prof. Gunapala Nanayakkara, Advisor to Minister of Education, Prof. Nanayakkara, Chairman EDEX, R. M. M. Rathnayake, Principal, Royal College Colombo, and other dignitaries from various departments of Sri Lankan bureaucracy visited the Pakistan Pavilion at the SLECC. They appreciated the initiatives of the scholarship programme and efforts of HEC and Pakistan Government for enhancing the educational capacity of Sri Lankan youth.