islamabad - 200 Pakistani students proceeded to Hungary on Higher Education Commission (HEC) scholarship under the ‘Bilateral Higher Education and Scientific Exchange Program’, Friday. A send-off ceremony for the selected students for Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship was organized at HEC. Chairman HEC Prof Dr Tariq Banuri addressing the ceremony said that scholars proceeding to Hungary or any other country of the world for education are ‘ambassadors of Pakistan’ and the responsibility of portraying a positive image of the country lies on their shoulders.

The Chairman informed the students that Hungary is not only a place characterized by rich culture, history and creativity but it is also a place of science, technology and innovation. He urged the students to make maximum use of the tremendous opportunity and experience it to the fullest. “Bring knowledge and expertise back to Pakistan”, he stressed. He advised students to forge academic and cultural linkages, as these relations will last a lifetime. He further advised students to live with utmost respect, integrity and generosity in Hungary and pave the way for other Pakistani students to avail the opportunity to study in Hungarian universities in the coming years.

Dr Banuri assured his full support to Hungarian students, professors and researchers to visit Pakistan and work in the areas of mutual interest. Both stakeholders are on the same page as far as this objective is concerned, he underlined. Sandor Mihalko, Counselor, Embassy of Hungary and Tivadar Takács, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Hungary were guests of honour on the occasion, while Dr Arshad Ali, Executive Director, HEC and Waseem S. Hashmi Syed, Adviser HRD, HEC were also present.

Describing the background of the scholarship program, Sandor Mihalko said that the aim of this program is to contribute to the development of Pakistan. He urged the students to develop professional contacts during their stay in Hungary as person to person contacts will help build bilateral relations.  He mentioned that the Hungarian government is investing $3 million a year for this program. He also informed that out of 200 scholarships, 125 scholarships have been awarded for BS studies, 50 for MS studies and 25 for PhD programs.