Access to quality higher education has always been a dream of thousands of Pakistani youths looking to build a fruitful career for themselves. It is an accepted fact that access to quality education is not only a privilege, but the cornerstone of progress. Higher education is a guarantee of a bright future, as it enables individuals to realize their potential and contribute meaningfully to society.
But despite its merits and the immense progress Pakistan has made in the higher education sector in the past two decades, university education remains a distant dream for many Pakistanis. In the past few years, the rise in cost of living has meant that Pakistani households are finding it difficult to make ends meet in the most basic of expenditure, let alone finding the means to arrange funds required for sending a child to university.
On average, a student attending a private university in Pakistan is potentially looking at an annual expenditure of anywhere between Rs 150,000 and Rs 200,000 per year, an amount that is extremely hard to arrange for a majority of Pakistani households, especially given the unabated inflation that has descended upon the country recently.
Quitting on Dreams
This combination of limited vacancies in state-run universities and spiralling inflation has forced many academically bright Pakistani youngsters to quit chasing their higher education dreams and look for sources of livelihood to support their families. Many are delving into the world of freelancing, while others are looking for odd jobs to earn a day’s living for themselves and their kin.
While this speaks volumes about the tenacity of our youth and their ability to conquer challenges, it also is evidence of the fact that many among our youth do not realize their potential only due to an unavailability of financial means.
Opportunity for all
It is for this reason that initiatives that empower the youth to achieve their educational dreams must be appreciated and supported. The University of Management and Technology, which has been recently ranked as No. 1 Private Sector University of Pakistan by the Times Higher Education Rankings 2023, is one such example of an institute that is helping youth from across Pakistan continue their higher education journey through some of the best scholarship opportunities in Lahore.
The top scholarships for BS programs at UMT fall under various categories and range from partial to fully funded awards. For example, candidates securing between 85% and 94.99% marks at the intermediate level can avail scholarships of between 70% and 80%. This means that candidates that possess academic ability need only pay between 30% and 20% of the actual fees for a degree of their choice. Moreover, all position holders that wish to enrol at UMT are offered a 100% waiver of fee.
Another one among UMT’s throughfall offerings that help BS/MS students achieve their dream of higher education is the need-based financial aid. The need-based scholarship is offered to deserving students after scrutiny of financial evidence. The scholarship is treated as a Qarz-Hasna which the student can return in comfortable instalments of three to five years once the degree gets completed.
Besides, students wishing to study at UMT can avail a number of other scholarships, including alumni scholarship, remote area scholarship, sports and extra-curricular scholarship, scholarship for orphans, differently-abled students’ scholarship, Justice AR Cornelius Scholarship and Khuram Murad Scholarship among several others. UMT also promotes higher education among professionals. Its special MS/MPhil scholarships such as experienced based scholarships and corporate group discounts are the best scholarships offered by any university in Lahore.
Over the last thirty years UMT has cumulatively granted scholarships worth more than Rs 9 billion that have benefited over 25,000 students. This continued effort to provide quality education to Pakistani youth is indeed praiseworthy and the need of the hour for an embattled younger generation.
As a society, we must demand similar efforts from other private institutions so that each and every youngster in Pakistan has access to quality higher education, irrespective of their financial means or ability to afford a degree.
Only by investing in our youth at a mass scale will we be able to create a skilled human resource that can turn around the fortune of this country.