Situated in the South Asian region by the Indian Ocean, Pakistan is a destination known for its rich history and culture, being the home of one of the oldest civilizations on Earth. As an economic power in the region, Pakistan has been constantly improving its education sector and its international relations. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a popular destination may it be for business, leisure, tourism, and education, with many universities hosting thousands of international students yearly. Here, we will be looking at the best scholarships in Pakistan for international students.
- National University of Singapore Scholarships
- Nanyang Technological University Scholarships
- Malaysia Scholarships
Living Costs in Pakistan for International Students
The relatively cheap cost of goods and services in Pakistan makes it an attractive destination in the South Asian region. International students should set aside around 20000 PKR ($120) for monthly rent in large cities such as Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. Monthly living expenses including food, travel pass, and medical insurance, among others will consume around 50000 PKR.
Can International Students Work in Pakistan?
Students on a student visa are not allowed to work in Pakistan and should have a work visa if they wish to work. International students should apply for a work visa in Pakistan to be able to legally pursue work. Employees are required to have job offers before being granted a work visa in Pakistan.
Top Universities in Pakistan
The top universities in Pakistan differ based on different metrics, but the consistent topnotchers are those from Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital. These are the National University of Sciences and Technology, the Quaid-i-Azam University, and the COMSATS University Islamabad. Other top universities are the University of Karachi from the largest city Karachi and the Lahore University of Management Sciences from Lahore, the second-largest city.
Best Scholarships in Pakistan
One of Lahore’s universities is the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), a private research university in the Punjab region. The university is also the only participating university in the ADB-Japan Scholarship Program. The Asian Development Bank, a bank based in Manila, Philippines, has established this scholarship program with Japan with the aim of reducing the poverty rate in the Asia Pacific region. Even if the region has marked itself as a successfully developing region, this is also the region where half of the world’s poorest can be found.
As such, to be eligible for this scholarship available for Pakistan, applicants should come from an ADB borrowing member country and a Japanese Official Development Assistance scholarship eligible country. Since this is also meant for postgraduates, an excellent undergraduate record is also expected, and have a working experience of at least two (2) years after graduation. Applicants should also be living and working in their home country to be eligible.
Scholars will be able to enjoy a full tuition fee waiver and will be provided medical insurance, travel expenses, and a monthly stipend which can be spent for accommodation and other academic expenses. For perspective, undergraduate engineering students in LUMS are expected to pay around 800000 PKR ($4800).
For students who come from the least developed Commonwealth countries, the Pakistani government, through the Higher Education Commission, has established this Pakistani scholarship for master’s degree programs. These include:
- Sierra Leone
- Solomon Islands
If the student’s undergraduate degree is related to natural and physical science, social sciences, gender studies, arts & humanities, management, and agriculture and veterinary studies, they are eligible to apply.
Since participating public sector Pakistani universities will be teaching in English, proof of English proficiency is required (e.g., IELTS, TOEFL). Some of the universities include top universities such as NUST, the University of Agriculture, and the University of Karachi. Students are eligible to receive the following yearly: tuition fee payment of 60000 PKR, a living allowance of 240000 PKR, hostel charges of 180000 PKR, book expenses around 5000 PKR, and a maximum air ticket return flight of 150000 which will be reimbursed by the HEC.
Members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) are the main recipients of this scholarship established by the Pakistani government. If a student hails from the following least developed countries of the OIC, they are eligible to apply:
- Burkina Faso
- Sierra Leone
- The Gambia
Just like the Commonwealth scholarships, proof of English proficiency is required. Scholarships are open to undergraduates, medical, master’s, and doctoral students. Scholars are eligible to receive around PKR 500000 annually, which consists of 150000 PKR for tuition fees, 120000 PKR living allowance, 78000 PKR hostel charges, 10000 PKR book allowance, and a maximum of 150000 PKR air ticket return flight.
For underprivileged students, the Shahid Hussain Foundation Scholarship is one of the best scholarships in Pakistan. To promote diversity in the university and Pakistan, the foundation has opened this scholarship to international students for any discipline and has set aside a yearly amount of PKR 5000000 ($30000) which will be distributed among the chosen 15 students. This means every student will get approximately $2000 in scholarship funds.
The scholarship is open to undergraduate students from countries that are members of SAARC and do not have Pakistani passports. These countries include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India.
If a student comes from a small island developing state, they are eligible to apply for this scholarship. Similar to the Commonwealth and OIC Scholarships above, this is also a Pakistani government-initiated scholarship. The student should coordinate their application with their UNESCO office and must take note of the participating Pakistani universities in this scholarship since not all public universities are included as this scholarship is for master’s degrees only. English proficiency is also required for the application.
If chosen for this Pakistan scholarship, a scholar is entitled to a tuition fee payment of 60000 PKR, an additional 10000 PKR for the one-semester English language course (if no proof of English proficiency), a living allowance of 180000 PKR, book expenses of 20000 PKR, and the return flight to the student’s home country.