Additional and new scholarships would be offered to Saudi students in Pakistan to strengthen the interpersonal and cultural ties between both the countries, Saudi Arabia’s cultural ambassador to Pakistan has said. According to the Arab news, these scholarships will be part of the wide array of education prospects available to Saudi students studying in Pakistan in a bid to extend cooperation and bolster mutual ties.
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have been known allies for decades, with the Kingdom offering monetary incentives to Pakistan in recent decades. During the last few years, efforts have been made to bolster ties with Saudi Arabia, home to to almost three million Pakistani expatriates.
“We plan to bring Saudi students to study here in engineering and medical colleges since there are excellent universities here,” Dr Ali Mohammed Hawsawi, the Kingdom’s cultural ambassador, told Arab News in an exclusive interview. The cultural ambassador said Saudi and Pakistan had been exploring new educational possibilities like new scholarship avenues for Saudi students in Pakistan, collaborative research projects and faculty exchange programmes.
“I have visited some universities and will visit more in Lahore. We hope to build relationships and collaborations between our universities in research and across academic operations,” Hawsawi said.
In the previous year, Saudi Arabia announced 583 fully funded scholarships to Pakistani scholars in various academic disciplines except for medical and health sciences, at almost 23 leading Saudi higher education institutes. The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan overlooked the application process and awarded 400 scholarships for undergraduate degree programmes, 100 for graduate degree programmes and 83 for doctoral degree programmes.
“I expect a list of Pakistani students will arrive at my office within two to three weeks. We will send applications to the Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia,” Hawsawi added. “Then we will be happy to welcome Pakistani students from next year.”
He added that scholars coming to the Kingdom would be offered a monthly stipend with accommodation and relevant study materials. “Everything will be free for them. Scholarships between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have a long history, and you see many graduates of Saudi here today in Pakistan,” he said.