ISLAMABAD – U.S. Embassy Minister Counselor for Public Affairs Peter Brennan congratulated 140 Pakistani students traveling to the United States for undergraduate study as part of the U.S. government-funded Global Undergraduate (Global UGRAD) Program.
Brennan congratulated the participants saying, “We are proud that in Pakistan we run the single largest array of exchanges of any U.S. Embassy in the world – sending over 1,200 Pakistanis to the United States every year. This shows the depth of our commitment to young Pakistanis, and our intent to invest in Pakistan’s future.”
One hundred and forty Pakistani students will soon depart for a semester of study at U.S. colleges and universities under the Global UGRAD fellowship program, a U.S. Department of State initiative. The U.S. government fully funds these fellowships for the entire period of study. The United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP) administers the program.
“The really exciting thing about this group of undergraduates is that so many of these students come from remote or economically disadvantaged areas of Pakistan,” said Rita Akhtar, Executive Director of USEFP at a pre-departure orientation to help students prepare for study in the United States. Akhtar noted that this year’s group includes 63 students from Punjab, 35 from Sindh, 16 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 10 from Gilgit-Baltistan, five from Balochistan, three from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, six from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, and two from Islamabad. The students, sixty percent of whom are women, will pursue degrees in a wide variety of disciplines, including humanities and social science, engineering, science, law, art and design, economics, and business administration at more than 50 different colleges and universities located throughout the United States.
The Global UGRAD program was launched in the fall of 2010 when the first cohort of around 50 students departed for the United States. More than 650 students have participated in the program to date. USEFP is a commission established in 1950 by the governments of Pakistan and the United States. USEFP’s mission is to promote mutual understanding between the American and Pakistani people through educational and cultural exchange. Since its inception 63 years ago, more than 4,100 Pakistanis and 873 Americans have participated in USEFP-administered exchange programs.