Some of the students who flew to European universities on scholarships in 2023. Image Credit: EU Pakistan

Islamabad: For the second consecutive year, Pakistan ranked top in the world for winning the highest number of scholarships awarded to students to study at top European universities.

As many as 192 Pakistani students have been awarded scholarships to study in European universities under the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master scholarships program by the European Union (EU).

Among the Pakistani recipients, 103 are men and 89 are women.

“This is second year in a row that Pakistan ranked top in the world for number of scholarships awarded and remained in the lead in terms of scholarship applications“ the European Union Delegation to Pakistan said in a statement.

To commemorate this achievement, the EU delegation organized a pre-departure event in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC), celebrating the accomplishments of the scholarship recipients.

During the event, EU Chargé d’Affaires Thomas Seiler extended warm welcome to the young scholars embarking on their educational and cultural journey through the Erasmus+ programme. “I am sure that they will return with strong knowledge and rich experiences, and their exposure to European universities will also contribute to the development of Pakistan,” he said.

Seiler also acknowledged the strong preparation of Pakistani students and credited Pakistani universities for equipping them with the necessary skills to compete globally. He appreciated the increasing number of students from Pakistan accessing the Erasmus+ programme.

The pre-departure event in Islamabad provided an invaluable opportunity for scholarship recipients to prepare for their education in Europe and network with fellow students and Erasmus+ Alumni. The event featured sharing of experiences by Erasmus+ Alumni, followed by a question and answer session. Dr. Shaista Sohail, Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission, representatives from EU Member States, and members of the Erasmus+ Alumni Association attended the event.

Erasmus scholarship program

This year, a total of 2,835 students from 128 countries were selected for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master scholarships.

Erasmus+ is the EU’s flagship program aimed at supporting education, training, youth, and sports globally. Initially launched in 1987 for exchanges within Europe, it was expanded beyond Europe’s borders in 2004. The program funds various initiatives, projects, and scholarships, fostering cooperation within the European Union and internationally.

The Erasmus+ program, launched in March 2021, provides over 23.2 billion Euros worldwide to support mobility and collaboration in the higher education sector.