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Wednesday June 19, 2024

OPP unveils major scholarship for Balochistan, launches endowment fund

By Our Correspondent
June 02, 2024
A representational image of students wearing graduation caps — AFP/File
A representational image of students wearing graduation caps — AFP/File

Islamabad : The Oxford Pakistan Programme (OPP) has unveiled major scholarship for Balochistan and launched an endowment fund at its annual dinner, says a press release issued here on Saturday.

The OPP hosted annual dinner & fundraiser was attended by around 150 distinguished guests, including Malala Yousafzai, Chief Minister of Balochistan Sarfaraz Bugti, Aamir Ibrahim, Mohammed Khaishgi, Farouq Sheikh OBE, Professor Kamal Munir (Pro-Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cambridge), Farmida Bi CBE, Senator Anwaar ul Haq Kakar, and Mr Sarwar Khawaja. Senior academics and administrators from within the University of Oxford were also in attendance, including Professor Stephen Blyth (Principal of LMH), Helen Mountfield KC (Principal of Mansfield College), Professor Jonathan Michie (Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford), Professor Petra Schleiter (Joint Head of the Politics Department), Professor Paul Chaisty (Head of the Oxford School of Global and Area Studies), and Dr Samina Khan (Director of Undergraduate Admissions & Outreach).

On this occasion, the Chief Minister of Balochistan, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, commemorated the profound legacy of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, whose tenure at this historical college symbolises a bridge between past leadership and future aspirations.

Speaking on the occasion, he emphasised the crucial role of education in democracy and societal advancement. He stated that this dinner marks a significant milestone in our commitment to nurturing future leaders from Balochistan and in his address. On this note, the Chief Minister announced the inauguration of a new graduate scholarship aimed at empowering a deserving Balochistan student to pursue STEM subjects at Oxford. He articulated how this initiative not only addresses educational disparities but also enhances the linkage between local aspirations and global educational standards.

The chief minister was accompanied by Principal Secretary Imran Zarkoon Khan, an alumnus of Oxford, who initiated the setup of this scholarship. His deep connection to Oxford and dedication to advancing educational opportunities for Balochistan’s youth played a crucial role in bringing this initiative to fruition.

He announced that the scholarship, supported by the OPP and its benefactors, stands as a tribute to the visionary leadership of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and continues under the guidance of her son, Bilawal Bhutto. It is designed as more than financial aid; it is a fundamental commitment to the educational transformation and empowerment of Balochistan’s youth. He felicitated all contributors for their role in actualizing this transformative project, heralding it as a fundamental step towards educational equality and empowerment. The establishment of this scholarship marks a pivotal step toward educational equality and the empowerment of the next generation of leaders from Balochistan.