ISLAMABAD – The Higher Education Commission (HEC), the vice chancellors from 22 public sector universities across Pakistan signed a MoU with Promotion of Education in Pakistan (PEP), a US based, non-profit organisation for the establishment of Student Advancement Endowment Fund (SAFE).

The MoU signing ceremony was held here head office of HEC Islamabad.  Dr. Javaid R. Laghari, Chairman HEC, was guest of honor of the ceremony. Speaking on occasion Dr. Javed R. Laghari appreciated the new initiative. He said that HEC is committed to equitable access to higher education especially to marginalised segments of the society. He hoped that establishment of student advancement endowment fund at 22 public sector universities will be greatly helpful in poverty alleviation by providing grooming and learning opportunities to the youth belonging to humble background and lower middle class.

“These youth after completing their studies would get better job and business opportunities to serve their families and the country”, he remarked. He also assured that every possible step would be undertaken to make this new initiative more result oriented, effective and successful.

PEP Foundation President Dr Khalid Iqbal said the purpose of the Student Advancement Endowment Fund (SAEF) is to make higher education accessible to needy students, enhance their experience and make universities more competitive. He also informed that PEP Foundation would contribute Rs 1 million for the establishment of Student Advancement Endowment Fund to the respective University. Each university would also contribute the amount to the endowment fund, which would be utilised for the sole purpose of awarding scholarships to needy students, and for capacity building projects/programs for the direct benefit of students.

Earlier, Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed Executive Director HEC and Dr Adil Najam Vice Chancellor LUMS Lahore also spoke on various aspects and importance of fundraising in higher education sector of Pakistan.

Under the project titled “USAID- Funded Needs Based Scholarship Program the University Advancement (UA) offices have been established, aiming at facilitating and supporting the activities of financial assistance and university advancement in 11 partner universities/Institutions.  These offices are also actively working for development of public-private partnerships/linkages, facilitating funds raising endeavors and sharing knowledge/experience of resource mobilisation.

Keeping in view the successful model, HEC has undertaken two major initiatives i.e. launching 10,000 needs based scholarship program and expanding the university advancement activities to higher education institutes throughout the country. The core objective of the university advancement program is to build relationships with the society and generating support for universities’ academic programs, research and infrastructure etc. It intends to be accomplished by comprehensive strategic efforts to involve alumni, community, government, non-government organizations and industries. 

Acknowledging the HEC’s efforts in higher education sector of Pakistan,   PEF Foundation is convinced to invest in 22 public sector universities of Pakistan for the establishment of Student Advancement Endowment Fund.