Islamabad: German Ambassador Dr. Cyrill Nunn bid farewell to 33 new DAAD scholars who will start their PhD research or Master courses at German universities in the coming months. The event at the German Embassy Islamabad was joined by Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed, Executive Director of the HEC, and Ms. Ursula Saarbeck, Director of the DAAD Office in Islamabad. Present were also several Alumni of German universities.
For more than half a century DAAD German Academic Exchange Service has been actively supporting the academic exchange between Pakistan and Germany. The number of Pakistani scholars at German universities has increased tremendously after the HEC Higher Education Commission had launched its foreign scholarship programme in 2004.
With regard to Germany the programme is administered by DAAD. More than 400 students went to Germany of which 200 have already returned with their PhD or Master’s degrees.
The 33 scholars which were seen off in today’s ceremony are fully funded by the German Government. 12 of them will go for a PhD funded by a DAAD Research Grant.
One will do a PhD under the programme “Conflict Studies and Management”, 12 graduates will complete a Master’s degree within the programme “Public Policy / Good Governance”. Another eight young professionals will complete a Master’s degree within the programme “Development related Postgraduate Courses”.
Due to the huge number of applications for the “Public Policy / Good Governance” programme and in order to further strengthen Pakistan’s democracy the German Federal Foreign Office provided extra funding to increase the number of scholarships for Pakistani students. Among the twelve students selected for this year’s programme, seven come from the provinces of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
All 33 scholars will participate in a German language course in Germany. Though most scholars will do their studies in English, the knowledge of German is essential for the communication in everyday life.
In his speech Ambassador Dr. Nunn highlighted the importance of closer ties between Germany and Pakistan in the field of Higher Education: “Each scholarship will enhance the people-to-people contacts between our two countries.” Ursula Saarbeck, Country Director of DAAD, lauded the role of the HEC, “For DAAD, the HEC is one of the most important cooperation partners globally.”