Islamabad - A large number of Pakistani students and scholars are set to pursue advanced studies and research in the United States after receiving a prestigious Fulbright scholarship.

American Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Jonathan Pratt Friday congratulated 173 Pakistani students and scholars on receiving the Fulbright scholarship.

The Fulbright Program is the American government’s flagship academic exchange program, and the Fulbright Program in Pakistan is one of the largest in the world thanks to contributions by both the American and Pakistani governments, said a US Embassy statement.  

In his message Chargé d’Affaires Jonathan Pratt said, “You made it through an incredibly competitive application process, and you and your families should be very proud of your achievement.” 

He added, “I am especially pleased to see such a diverse group of Fulbright participants here, representing the many geographical regions of Pakistan and different walks of life.”

The 2017 Fulbright cohort is 54 percent female. The participants will attend 85 US universities where they will pursue a wide variety of academic disciplines, including engineering, social sciences and energy management.

US Educational Foundation in Pakistan Executive Director Rita Akhtar said the Fulbright Program offered participants an unparalleled opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research and study alongside American peers.

“This academic experience has a transformative effect not only on individual participants, but also on their communities after they return home,” Akhtar added.

Fulbright Master’s Program alumna Saima Yawar commented, “When I look at Pakistan and my own journey, I see this program as a cornerstone for development of the future brand of leaders in my country.

Pakistani students have gone to pursue study or research in the US and returned to share gains of international learning, whether through continuing research back home or supporting the local communities and economy through business ventures.”

Since 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 370,000 participants from around the world the opportunity to conduct research, implement skills and ideas, teach, and contribute to society.

USEFP, a bi-national commission established in 1950 by the governments of Pakistan and the United States, is one of 49 Fulbright Commissions throughout the world.  Its mission is to promote mutual understanding between the people of Pakistan and the United States through educational and cultural exchange programs.

In addition to the Fulbright program, USEFP manages US government-funded scholarship programs for undergraduates, teachers, journalists, and other professionals.

Meanwhile yesterday six Pakistani students and their mentors departed for the United States today to participate in the inaugural FIRST Global Challenge robotics competition in Washington.

The Pakistani team, which is financially supported by the American embassy, will work with other teams from across the world to accomplish engineering tasks focused on access to clean water.

American Embassy Chargé d’Affaires Jonathan Pratt met with the team members shortly before their departure and encouraged them to collaborate actively with their counterparts from the United States and approximately 160 other nations.

“I hope you take advantage of the opportunity to share ideas about how to use robotics to solve some of the biggest problems that Pakistan, the United States, and other countries around the world face,” Pratt said.

Team mentor Ali Syed noted that the team had been actively preparing for this international competition organized by FIRST USA for weeks, after winning a national competition organised by Lets Innovate to represent Pakistan globally.

“Our team is honoured to represent Pakistan on this international stage and to show that Pakistani students have a passion and an aptitude for solving problems through robotics,” said Ali Syed.

shafqat ali