In a significant development for higher education opportunities, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has announced the availability of fully funded scholarships for Pakistani and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) nationals. These scholarships are part of the Chinese Government Scholarship Program (CGSP) for the academic year 2024-25, offering Pakistani students the chance to pursue Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctoral degrees in top Chinese universities.
The CGSP is managed by the China Scholarship Council (CSC) and the Chinese Ministry of Education. It aims to foster educational exchange and research collaboration between China and Pakistan by providing talented Pakistani students with the opportunity to study in various fields. The areas of study include Science, Engineering, Agriculture, Medicine, Economics, Legal Studies, Management, Education, History, Literature, Philosophy, and Fine Arts.
To be eligible for these scholarships, applicants must meet specific criteria. For the undergraduate program, candidates must be under 25 years old and possess a relevant qualification such as Intermediate/A-level/FA/FSc or equivalent, with 12 years of education.
For the Master’s program, applicants should be under 35 years old and hold a first-class BS degree or equivalent, with 16 years of education. Doctoral candidates must be under 40 years old and have a relevant first-class MS/MPhil degree or equivalent, with 17-18 years of education.
All applicants must also satisfy the application requirements set by the CSC and the admission criteria of the respective Chinese universities. It is important to note that dual nationals are not eligible for these scholarships, and those awaiting results or currently availing other scholarships cannot apply. A minimum score of 50 out of 100 in the HAT or USAT test is mandatory, and only tests taken on or after January 1, 2023, will be considered.
The application process requires candidates to apply online through both the HEC and CSC portals. Failure to apply on both platforms will result in disqualification. Additionally, applicants must submit various supporting documents, including attested copies of educational degrees, CNIC/B-form, domicile, language proficiency certificates, and a valid passport copy. For Master’s and Ph.D. programs, two original recommendation letters and a study plan or research proposal are required. Ph.D. candidates must also provide copies of research publications and achievements.
The scholarship benefits include a monthly stipend—CNY 2,500 for undergraduates, CNY 3,000 for Master’s students, and CNY 3,500 for Ph.D. students. Additionally, the Chinese universities will cover education fees, administration costs, health insurance, and other academic support expenditures. However, travel expenses must be borne by the scholarship recipients themselves.
The deadline for applications is December 28, 2023, and interested individuals are encouraged to visit the HEC website for more details. This initiative represents a significant investment in the future of Pakistani students and the strengthening of academic ties between Pakistan and China.