Islamabad, 12 February 2022 (TDI): On Thursday, 10 February British Deputy High Commissioner in Pakistan hosted a virtual welcome back reception for the Pakistani Scholars who were awarded the Commonwealth and Chevening scholarships for the session of 2020/21.

Alison Blackburne, the British Deputy High Commissioner serving in Islamabad welcomed the Pakistani Scholars in an online meeting. The event was attended by scholars who have returned to Pakistan after completing their fully-funded one-year master’s program.

Alison Blackburne extended her heartfelt congratulations to the returning scholars and welcomed them to the family of almost 10,000 members across Pakistan.

She advocates girls’ education for the development of Pakistan. Alison Blackburne said, ‘‘The UK is committed to promoting quality higher education, particularly for women and girls. We have worked hard over the years to encourage more women to apply for Chevening scholarships, and more than half of the scholars last year were women.’’

She also added, ‘‘The scholars returning from their year of study have benefitted from world-class education and also had the opportunity to learn more about the UK. They are part of the deep people-to-people ties which we are celebrating during this year marking 75 years of UK-Pakistan relations.’’

Role of British High Commission for Girls’ Education

This scholarship not only brings immediate benefits to the individual scholars but has also provided long-term benefits for better bilateral relations between Pakistan and UK.

The British High Commission in Pakistan supports better opportunities of education for all without any discrimination. In the last few years, British High Commission has encouraged more female candidates to apply.

As a result, the number of female candidates that have applied for these scholarships raised from 6% in 2013 to almost 60% last year.

Prominent Female Alumni from Pakistan

The Prominent Chevening female alumni from Pakistan include former members of the National Assembly of Pakistan; Yasmeen Rehman, Asiya Nasir, Nafeesa Shah.

First Female Judge in Gilgit Baltistan High Court, Amna Zamir Shah, Chairperson Special Talent Exchange Program (STEP) Abia Akram, and senior journalist Fifi Haroon.

Chevening and Commonwealth scholarships programs are bringing some bright minds from all over the world to the best universities in the UK. In 2022, almost 3,000 potential candidates have applied for the Chevening Scholarship in Pakistan.