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Thursday, February 15, 2024

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia to increase scholarships for students

News Desk |

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have decided to extend the coordination in the education sector and hence have agreed upon to mutually increase the number of scholarships for the students of respective countries. The decision was taken in the recent historic visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman to Pakistan.

Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman was accompanied by senior Saudi ministers on the trip to Pakistan. New scholarships will increase the number of Saudi students studying in Pakistan. According to the statement issued by the Saudi government, the exchange of students will further strengthen the interpersonal and cultural ties between the two countries.

The scholarships are among a wide range of education initiatives to bolster links between the two countries. “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 attaché, told Arab News in an interview.

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The educational envoy further stated that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will be exploring further avenues of cultural and education collaboration that includes scholarships, joint research ventures, and faculty exchange programs between universities in both nations.

“I have visited some universities and will visit more in Lahore,” Hawsawi said. “We hope to build relationships and collaborations between our universities in research and across academic operations.”

Saudi Arabia has already announced the fully funded 583 scholarships for the Pakistani students in all the categories except for health and medicine in all the 23 leading universities of the Kingdom. The Higher Education Commission is yet to process these applications.

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“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 said. “Then we will be happy to welcome Pakistani students from next year.”

It was also stated that Pakistani students coming to Saudi Arabia will be given monthly stipends, accommodation, and education material. “Everything will be free for them,” he said. “Scholarships between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have a long history, and you see many graduates of Saudi here today in Pakistan,” he said.

“Now studies are open in everything — science, biology, all the subjects. Similarly, the whole country is now open to Pakistani students. Through my office, we have found universities across Saudi Arabia that can give scholarships.”

“A Pakistani student in Saudi Arabia will feel like they are in their own country; there is comfort in this,” Hawsawi said. “In eating, drinking and worship, our mosques, masjids — the student won’t find or feel that he is in a strange place,” he said in conclusion.