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New Pakistani university woos students in UAE

Management proposes full scholarship for 20% of students and partial support for 20%

01 Gulf News

Dubai: A new university taking shape in Pakistan is making an effort to highlight its scholarship programmes in the UAE as it seeks to put in place a balanced enrolment process before it opens next year.

Habib University, a liberal arts and sciences university, is set to welcome its first class in the Fall of 2014. The institution held out the assurance that any capable student will be eligible for scholarships at its campus in Karachi.

The invitation was issued at a press conference in Dubai on Saturday.

Habib University is being set up by Habib University Foundation (HUF), a not-for-profit organisation that supports educational initiatives, research and innovation. The foundation was established in October 2007 by the House of Habib, a leading industrial group in Pakistan that has a long history of philanthropy in the country.

The new university has a formal partnership agreement with Texas A&M University in Qatar and Carnegie Mellon University in the US. It will offer four undergraduate degree programmes, electrical and computer science; social development and policy, and communication studies and design.

Rafiq M. Habib, chairman of the board and chancellor of Habib University, said that the press conference in the UAE sought to bring attention to the university so that any interested parties would be able to contribute to the project.

He added that, in the normal course, the Habib family took care of all funding requirements of projects it initiated but, in view of the ambitious nature of the project and the plan to extend various kinds of sponsorships to 40 per cent of the student body, more funding is required.

“Twenty per cent of the students will have a full scholarship and 20 per cent will be on partial support,” Habib said, adding that the scholarships will be available for the first batch of students.

“We will educate people with brains, not necessarily money,” he said. “As long as the student meets the admission requirement, he/she will get the same level of education as a full-paying student,” he added.

Students coming from the Middle East will pay the same fees as their Pakistani counterparts and scholarships will be open to students from any nationality as long as they meet the requirements, officials said.

Habib University will soon be opening a representative office in Dubai and will be participating in all educational fairs in the UAE.

Wasif Rizvi, president of Habib University and chief executive officer of Habib University Foundation, said that the first batch will comprise 250 students. He added that the campus will not be providing residential quarters for students at the outset but the plan is to make it a self-sustaining complete campus in the future.