In a bid to promote higher education, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has established the Chief Minister Education Endowment Fund (CMEEF) and the Higher Education Endowment Fund (HEEF). The profits on the seed money of these grants are being utilized for provision of educational scholarships to deserving students across the province.
A total of Rs.1,419 million seed money has been appropriated under the CMEEF, which will help provide scholarships to 90 students in the year 2017-18. According to the agreed plan, a total of 11 students will be provided with international PhD scholarships, 22 with national PhD scholarships, two with MPhil, 18 with MS and 37 students with undergraduate scholarships. The total expenditure of these scholarships is expected to stand at Rs.240 million.
The students getting scholarships for Pakistan would be provided admissions in 13 national universities, including Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology (GIKI), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), University of Peshawar, University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Institute of Management Sciences (IMSciences), COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) and the Aga Khan Medical University.
Another Rs.300 million seed money has been appropriated under the HEEF, which will help provide scholarships to 5,963 students enrolled in public sector colleges in the year 2017-18. The programme will provide 25 per cent of students enrolled in public sector colleges with scholarships worth Rs.9,000 per student per semester. The total cost of the scholarships provided through HEEF would come to Rs.46.603 Million.
The HEEF scholarships will be provided on need and merit basis, for which purpose eight students from every discipline will be selected. Apart from these, 2,356 scholarships will be provided to orphans, whereas 71 scholarships will be provided to disabled students.
All the above decisions were taken in the fourth meeting of the board of directors of the Higher Education Department. While briefing the minister for higher education, the board of directors requested an increase in the seed money allocated for the endowments. The board also suggested increasing the seed money to the level of one percent of the annual development programme (ADP) in order to increase the income on the investment.
The board informed the minister that a total of 26 national and international scholarships were provided to students in the year 2014-15 under the CMEEF initiative, whereas 34 scholarships were provided in 2015-16. Under the HEEF, 3,613 scholarships were provided to deserving students in the year 2015-16.
The Advisor to Chief Minister on Information and Higher Education, Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani clarified that these initiatives would help students carry out their studies in institutions of their choice by providing them with financial support. Additionally, the poor and marginalised segments of students would have an opportunity to carry out their studies, he explained.
Mushtaq Ghani added that “the scholarships under the CMEEF are specifically designed to provide educational opportunities in quality institutions, whereas the HEEF scholarships are meant to promote merit and target marginalized students who are unable to continue their studies due to financial constraints.”