Swat varsity to send its first batch of students, faculty to Cambridge University

PESHAWAR: The University of Engineering and Applied Sciences Swat has completed preparations to send its first batch of students and faculty to Cambridge University under the PhD scholarship programme.

The scholarships will be jointly funded by the Department of Higher Education KP and the Cambridge Trust. For the first time in Pakistan’s history, all faculty members will graduate from a world-class university through a faculty development plan.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust (known as the Cambridge Trust) will jointly spend around Rs300 million on doctorate level studies of faculty members of the University of Engineering and Applied Science Swat at the prestigious University of Cambridge.

The cost of each scholarship will be divided between the higher education department and the Cambridge Trust in the ratio of 75:25 respectively. HED will contribute up to a million British pounds and the Cambridge Trust will contribute up to £250,000 to the partnership.

The Cambridge Trust was established in the 1980s with the specific objective of providing scholarships to students who lacked the means to fund their studies at the University of Cambridge. During its forty-year history of offering scholarships at the University of Cambridge, the trust has awarded more than 20,000 scholarships to students from around the world, working with partners worldwide to support students of outstanding academic merit under a variety of scholarship schemes.

Project Director of the University of Engineering and Applied Science (UEAS) Swat Dr Najeebuallah told this scribe that applicants will apply through online application to the University of Cambridge based on the scholarship’s established criteria. This is a unique case in Pakistan where all faculties will be graduated through a faculty development plan from the top-ranked university. He said that the Cambridge Trust team will evaluate the application purely on merit and will recommend only those candidates for the scholarships who fulfill the criteria.

“Once the Cambridge Trust finalises the selected candidates for the scholarships, the scholarships will be awarded by the Trust and UEAS will sign a conditional job offer on returning after completing PhDs. The faculty after completion of the PhD will be bound to serve in the university for at least five years,” the project director said.

Dr. Najeeb said that the top-ranked universities in the world are focusing on three main components including teaching, research & commercialisation, and varsity’s impact on society.

Faculty members are the backbone of any academic institution. Graduating faculty members from Cambridge will not only enhance the standard of teaching and research but will also play a key role in establishing strong linkages with the top-ranked university with a unique ecosystem. As the provincial government envisaged that UEAS should be of international university based on best practices, in order to achieve this goal, faculty members of the UEAS should have done PhDs from globally top-ranked universities.

The project director said that according to the recent QS ranking, the University of Cambridge has been ranked No-2 in the world ranking of universities globally. “We would like to establish industry chair positions wherein industry-sponsored professors will play a catalytic role by bridging two partners,” he said.

Minister of Higher Education, Kamran Khan Bangash told this correspondent that it is a moment of immense pride for the government of KP to bind in a long-foreseen agreement with the world-renowned & prestigious Cambridge Trust. Soon our first batch of students & faculty will join the university of Cambridge, under the agreement and pioneer a new age of revolution for KP Higher Education.

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