ISLAMABAD-More than 50 Pakistanis have been awarded the Chevening scholarship 2020/21 to study a fully-funded one-year master’s programme at the top universities in the UK.

This is a record year for Chevening Pakistan - for the first time in the history of the scholarship programme, more than half of the 53 selected scholars are female. 

Out of 58% of the selected female scholars, 10% of them are from Balochistan. The number of female scholars has increased by 20% up from 38% last year.

Chevening Pakistan received over 3,500 applications for the academic year 2020/21 and conducted over 230 interviews to select the best and the brightest scholars from across all provinces of Pakistan. These selected scholars are mid-career professionals in a range of diverse fields including law, the development sector, education/special education, medicine, judiciary, bureaucracy, law enforcement, customs, taxation and revenue, communications, cyber security and more. To ensure diversity and inclusion, scholars are represented from across Pakistan including a female scholar with special needs who is a banker by profession. The Acting British High Commissioner to Pakistan, Alison Blackburne said: “Congratulations to all the selected Chevening scholars for academic year 2020/21. I am delighted to see that we have achieved our aim of having 50% female scholars by 2020, by having a record number of female scholars selected this year.”

Blackburne added: “The UK supports inclusion, education and opportunity for all. Our brilliant scholars from Pakistan will get the opportunity to study at the top universities in the UK while connecting with future leaders from across the globe and experiencing our dynamic, vibrant and multicultural society.”

The senior diplomat said on completing their studies, “Scholars will become a member of the Chevening family, which has around 2,000 alumni across Pakistan and 50,000 globally. The knowledge and skills they will acquire in the UK will enable them to contribute to a more stable and prosperous Pakistan.”

The 2021/22 application window for Chevening scholarships will open from September 3 to November 3, 2020.  Around 2,000 scholars from Pakistan have gone to study in the UK through the Chevening scholarship. Female scholars going for the Chevening Scholarship have increased from just 6% in 2013 to 58% in 2020.