Islamabad-ISLAMABAD - Approximately 250 Pakistani alumni of the ‘Fulbright Program and Hubert H Humphrey Fellowship Program’ gathered at the Higher Education Commission in Islamabad for a conference that examined how they can contribute to Pakistan’s development in fields ranging from higher education to law to health.

US Ambassador to Pakistan, David Hale congratulated the alumni on their accomplishments and urged them to continue applying the skills and connections they developed in the United States to their professional and personal pursuits in Pakistan.

Ambassador Hale also thanked the Higher Education Commission and its Chairman, Dr Mukhtar Ahmed, for their contributions to the Fulbright Program, said a US embassy statement.

“The people of Pakistan and America share a fundamental desire for stability, peace, and regional and global economic development. We are able to achieve these goals through education,” said Ambassador Hale.

David Hale yesterday appreciated the scholarships programs for students and said that country will progress with the development in education.

“Being a part of Fulbright is being part of a privileged group of people. And one of the strengths of the organization is the number of events offered in Pakistan through PUAN (Pakistan-US Alumni Network) and USEFP (US Educational Foundation in Pakistan) where alumni can talk about what they’re doing. No one else does that the way Fulbright does,” said Haider Shishmahal, producer/game developer, Fulbright Scholar, Harvard University Class of 2013.

The ambassador said on this occasion that US is focusing more on the education sector while the said scholarship programs are one of the biggest education programs in the world.

He said number of Pakistani nationals visit US for the purpose of higher education and US is the partner of Pakistan from energy to education sector.

The US envoy cherished the efforts of HEC for the development of higher education in the country.

Through the Fulbright Program, Pakistani students pursue master’s and doctoral degrees in the United States. 

Through the Humphrey Program, mid-career professionals pursue up to one year of non-degree graduate-level study in the United States. The US Educational Foundation in Pakistan administers both programs on behalf of the US government.

“The merit-based Pakistan Fulbright program gives people with the greatest potential in all academic disciplines the opportunity to gain much needed skills and knowledge in rigorous degree programs essential to sustainable development and progress,” USEFP Executive Director Rita Akhtar said. 

“This is why the overarching theme of this year’s conference is ‘Agents of Change.’ The conference showcases the commitment of returning alumni to share innovative solutions in a variety of fields.  USEFP is proud to be part of building a network of alumni who have the skill sets and commitment to be leaders for growth and progress in Pakistan.” Meanwhile, Chairman HEC Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said on the occasion that the scholarship programs will be beneficial and productive with the cooperation of the United States.

He said that 250 students participated in this program and US response was very positive in this collaboration.

“Pakistani students in future will continue to get higher education from US,” said the chairman.

He also stated that HEC will continue its policy of promoting such educational programs.