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February 28, 2020

Dr Sania sits on QAU grounds to discuss Ehsaas scholarships

Islamabad

February 28, 2020

Islamabad : The PM’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar made a surprise visit to Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU) here Thursday for a policy consultation with students that enabled her “to appreciate fully, how important financial access to education is for students at the undergraduate level.”

The consultation was not held in a fancy hotel; Dr. Sania sat on the QAU grounds and interacted with students to get insights on their academic aspirations and challenges. “We cannot frame policies sitting back in offices; unless we engage with the beneficiaries of programmes we run, we cannot ensure that programmes are responsive,” she said. The students were delighted to interact with Dr. Sania. The Vice Chancellor of QAU Muhammad Ali was also present.

A large number of undergraduate level boys and girls from diverse regional and social backgrounds shared their viewpoints with Dr. Sania and appreciated the government’s Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships programme. For the current academic year (2019/20), applications were solicited from students online via Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) portal-HEC being the implementing agency for this Ehsaas programme. The scholarships award will soon commence and dates for this will shortly be announced.

The students informed Dr. Sania that the online application portal introduced under the programme gave them a level playing field to apply for the scholarships in a transparent manner. The girl students specifically appreciated that 50% of the scholarships have been allocated for female students, while students with special needs as well as those from remote and disadvantaged are also being encouraged to apply.

Acknowledging the scale of this programme, QAU’s VC said, “Ehsaas scholarship is the largest ever undergraduate scholarship initiative of Pakistan for low-income students enrolled in four and five-year undergraduate programmes.”

Later, the Steering Committee of Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarships also met for the fourth time to give final touches to the programme for 2019-2020. The steering committee is chaired by Dr. Sania and Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri.