HEC, USAID launch scholarship management system to automate operations

ISLAMABAD – An IT-based Scholarship Management System of the USAID-funded Merit and Needs-based Scholarship Programme (MNBSP) was launched at the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Thursday.
Executive Director HEC Dr. Shaista Sohail, Adviser (Coordination) HEC Mr. Awais Ahmad, Director General (Scholarships) HEC Ms. Aayesha Ikram and USAID Director Education at the US Embassy Ms. Anne Flaker along with other HEC and USAID officials attended the launching ceremony.
The Scholarship Management System is a major development in terms of automation of the day-to-day key programmatic operations of MNBSP and its monitoring reporting system for data validity, transparency and accuracy. The implementation of this system is also a key step towards assisting HEC in strengthening the reporting mechanism of the largest undergraduate scholarship project funded under Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
USAID has been supporting scholarships for financially disadvantaged, meritorious students for the last 17 years under MNBSP to assist HEC.
Dr. Shaista Sohail thanked the Director USAID for launching the expansion programme under MNBSP and acknowledged that legacy of HEC’s valuable partnership with USAID span over many years.
“It is through the support and investment of partners like USAID, university education for many underprivileged students became accessible and provided them a prospect to uplift themselves.
The investment in IT based system will be encouraging for the universities and HEC to adopt paradigms that leads towards transparent and sustainable system,” said the Executive Director.
On the occasion, Director General Aayesha Ikram informed the USAID officials that 91 percent of the USAID funding under the scholarship programme was diverted towards the beneficiaries keeping operational budget in minimal cost whereas 60 percent of the scholarship awards were given to the females.
Addressing the ceremony, Anne Flaker, said, “USAID profoundly supports enhancing capacities of our partners to develop sustainable systems. We are pleased that the implementation of IT-based system will be used not just for the operations of the USAID scholarship programme, but in future, it will be utilised for other HEC scholarship programmes. The USAID is also thankful to HEC for its commitment to the programme objectives and taking innovative steps which will serve as model for others to follow, she expressed.

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