HEC National Scholarships Reviewed: 11 Grants You Should Apply for

The Higher Education Commission is a statutory regulator of Pakistan’s government whose key duties are to finance, oversee, control and accredit the country’s higher education institutions. In accordance with the main program of the commission – to hold scholarships both locally or globally – every year HEC Pakistan provides many national scholarships for domestic students under the name “HEC National Scholarships”.

HEC National Scholarships
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There are many scholarships available at postgraduate and doctorate levels to help academically gifted students and faculty. Let’s dig deeper into what the programs sponsored by the HEC National Scholarships are and how they work.

1. Award of Allama Muhammad Iqbal Scholarships for Afghan Nationals

  • Number of Participating Universities: Not mentioned
  • Financial Support: Tuition fee, living allowance, book and hostel dues
  • Scholarship Levels: Undergraduate, Graduate and PhD level

Government of Pakistan is offering HEC National Scholarships to Afghan youth for their capacity building through imparting quality education to 3,000 scholars in various fields including Medicine, Engineering, Agriculture, and Management and Computer science etc.

The aim of this scheme is to strengthen bilateral relationship between Pakistan and Afghanistan and further it will enhance people to people contacts between both neighboring​ states.

2. Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Program

  • Number of Participating Universities: 118
  • Financial Support: University fee (as per actual fee) and annual stipend
  • Scholarship Levels: Undergraduate level

Education beyond intermediate is one of the ways to overcome poverty. However, access to higher education is itself distributed very unevenly. For example, only 0.4% of the children from the lowest income quintile (from the relevant age cohort) are enrolled in higher education institutions, which is far below the national average of 10%.

Ehsaas scholarships aim to eliminate this source of unequal access. The strategy is to create opportunities for a sizeable segment of youth to bring them under the net of higher education and create equal education opportunities for all.

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3. Gwadar-China Scholarship Program

  • Number of Participating Universities: 30
  • Financial Support: Not mentioned
  • Scholarship Levels: Undergraduate level

HEC Pakistan on the behalf of Government of Pakistan announce The Indigenous Scholarship Program for the students of Gwadar.

The program is consistent with the HEC’s goals to support financially deserving students, widen access to quality education, and encourage academic interest in fields that are vital to Pakistan’s Economic Development.

The program has specially been designed to benefit the students belonging to Gwadar.

4. HEC German Needs Based Scholarship Program

  • Number of Participating Universities: 10
  • Financial Support: Not mentioned
  • Scholarship Levels: Undergraduate and Graduate level

The program was started back in 2013 with the help of German Government to extend helping hand to the destitute students of selected Pakistani Universities. The Preference was given to the students from FATA/Balochistan with an especial emphases to select more female students. Phase-I is completed and plans are underway for phase-II which will be announced once approved.

5. HEC Need Based Scholarships

  • Number of Participating Universities: 94
  • Financial Support: Tuition fee, lodging, transportation, books, and other academics costs
  • Scholarship Levels: Undergraduate and Graduate level

Pakistan has no shortage of talented youth, but in several instances, lack of resources prevents them from realizing their potentials. This becomes more problematic when it comes to accessing higher education.

The Government of Pakistan acknowledges these constraints and has tasked Higher Education Commission to facilitate the needy and deserving students through Need Based Scholarships.

The scholarships aim to elevate the socio-economic status of the students by enabling their chances to get the modern education and career opportunities for their brighter future.

Furthermore, it also seeks to provide opportunities to talented but financially deprived students and empower them to acquire a high quality education at a reputed Public Sector institutions /university.

6. Higher Education Opportunities for the Students of Balochistan & FATA

  • Number of Participating Universities: Not mentioned
  • Financial Support: Tuition fee, hostel fee, living allowance, book, travel, and initial settlement allowance
  • Scholarship Levels: Undergraduate and Postgraduate level

HEC National Scholarships announce phase-II of the project titled “Provision of Higher Education Opportunities for the students of Balochistan & FATA” for students in all disciplines.

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Applications are invited from outstanding students from Balochistan and erstwhile FATA who intend to pursue postgraduate studies (MS/M.Phil Program) from HEC recognized local Universities/Degree Awarding Institutions (DAIs).

7. Indigenous Ph.D. Fellowship Program

  • Number of Participating Universities: not mentioned
  • Financial Support: Scholar’s stipend, book alowance, thesis evaluation from aboard charges on completion, and thesis charges to scholar in last year
  • Scholarship Levels: Ph.D. level

HEC Pakistan has kept great emphasis on indigenous scholarship schemes because locally trained researchers work on local problems of great national significance. Their research, therefore, is expected to have direct relevance to the growth and socio-economic development of Pakistan.

In addition, this scheme also provides funds to the universities for upgrading their research facilities particularly small laboratory equipment, chemicals, IT equipment etc. which not only facilitates research of the HEC scholar but also serves as an asset for the department to establish up to date research laboratories.​

8. Indigenous Scholarship Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan Project

  • Number of Participating Universities: Not mentioned
  • Financial Support: Tuition fee, monthly maintenance allowance, book allowance, and thesis evaluation cost
  • Scholarship Levels: Graduate level

The Indigenous Scholarship program is focused to enhance the research culture in local universities/research institutes.

HEC facilitates indigenous scholars with research facilities to explore solutions to local problems and contribute to national cause. Under this scholarship program, 400 Indigenous Scholarships are being offered to local domicile holders of Balochistan, on district quota basis.

These qualified researchers will improve the R&D potential of provincial universities/research institutes and will help strengthen the local industrial sector.

9. OGDCL Need Based Scholarships Program through HEC

  • Number of Participating Universities: 9
  • Financial Support: Tuition fee and lodging
  • Scholarship Levels: Undergraduate and Graduate level

Higher Education Commission in partnership with Oil & Gas Development Company limited (OGDCL) offers scholarships for destitute students to study undergraduate and graduate courses in the following disciplines:

  1. Animal Sciences,
  2. Archaeology,
  3. Biochemistry,
  4. Defense and Strategic Studies,
  5. Electronics,
  6. Engineering, Business administration,
  7. Gender studies,
  8. History,
  9. IT,
  10. Law,
  11. Math,
  12. Microbiology,
  13. Pak Studies,
  14. Physics,

The program is consistent with the HEC’s goals to support financially deserving students, widen access to quality education, and encourage academic interest in fields that are vital to Pakistan’s Economic Development. The program has specially been designed to benefit the students belonging from OGDCL’s operational/concessional districts.

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10. Prime Minister’s Fee Reimbursement Scheme for Less Developed Areas (Selected Regions)

  • Number of Participating Universities: Not mentioned
  • Financial Support: Tuition fee, registration fee, admission fee (for new admissions only), examination fee, library charges, laboratory charges, and research related academic activities
  • Scholarship Levels: Graduate and Ph.D. level

The scheme was introduced initially for five (5) years beginning in FY 2012-13 with the provision that the those students who join the scheme in the last year i.e. FY 2016-17 will continue to be funded until they complete their academic program.

The scheme is, however, closed for further registration.

11. USAID-Funded Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program

  • Number of Participating Universities: 33
  • Financial Support: Tuition fee, books, boarding & lodging, transportation, other academic costs
  • Scholarship Levels: Undergraduate and Graduate level

USAID has shown its commitment to support the program of scholarship for academically qualified Pakistani students, who aspire to continue higher studies, but due to lack of financial resources are unable to continue.

It has supported scholarships for meritorious but financially disadvantaged students since 2004 through USAID-funded Merit and Needs-Based Scholarship Program (MNBSP) Phase-I to assist the Government of Pakistan’s efforts to raise enrolment in Pakistani universities and meet international standards.

Phase-I of the program at a cost of US$ $10.63 million was implemented in 11 top public and private universities of Pakistan and 1,807 scholarships were given in fields of Agriculture and Business only.

Many of the graduates of this initial phase of MNBSP (Phase-I) were the first in their families to complete a higher education degree and nearly half now support their families through respectable jobs.

Final thoughts

HEC Pakistan offers a large number of HEC National Scholarships each year to recognize academic excellence, help overcome financial hardship and educational disadvantage, recognize cultural and sporting excellence, support indigenous students and more.

If you are currently in need to help fund your costs related directly to study, such as textbooks, placement costs, and equipment, applying for any of these national scholarships can be a huge relief for you. Find the full list of HEC National Scholarships on the Higher Education Commission page.

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