The UK Government and the Lahore University of Management and Sciences (LUMS) will work together to help nearly 400 of the brightest students from disadvantaged households in Pakistan to attain quality higher education.
LUMS and the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) agreed on Thursday to launch the Empowerment through Education Initiative, which aims to help alleviate poverty through quality education, allowing these young people to go on to earn more money through better jobs and so lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
The five-year programme will be managed by LUMS, who will identify and support students who would otherwise be unable to afford quality higher education, for undergraduate and graduate degrees. The programme will target impoverished regions of the country. It will also have a special focus on girls to increase their access to higher education.
George Turkington, the head of DFID in Pakistan, said:
Entrenched poverty is denying opportunities to millions of people and undermining Pakistan’s long term stability and prosperity. This is an opportunity to help remove some financial barriers and allow more bright young minds to pursue their dreams and lift themselves out of poverty.
The UK believes education is the key to transforming Pakistan’s future. That is why education is the UK’s top priority and why we will work to support some four million children in school in Pakistan by 2015. We look forward to working closely with LUMS over the coming years.
Dr. Adil Najam, the Vice Chancellor of LUMS, said:
This is a truly strategic investment because it will directly impact the lives of the best and brightest of Pakistan, not only in terms of the students who are supported, but also all the others around them.
Our existing financial aid offerings have already been transforming lives all across Pakistan, and this partnership with the UK will allow LUMS to scale up these activities at a level where the transformation can be national and not just individual, helping more young people lift themselves and their families out of poverty.
Education is the UK’s top priority in Pakistan. Over the coming years, the UK will work in partnership with Pakistan to support four million children in school, recruit and train tens of thousands of new teachers, construct or rebuild more than 20,000 classrooms and improve test results in core subjects. The UK’s aid to Pakistan could potentially more than double in the future.
However, this increase is dependent on securing value for money and results, and linked to the Government of Pakistan’s own progress on reform at both the federal and provincial levels. This includes taking steps to build a more dynamic economy, strengthen the country’s tax base, and tackle corruption.
In Pakistan, contact DFID-Pakistan media team on + 92 (0) 51 201 2516 / 2580.
Notes to editors
The Department for International Development (DFID) is the UK’s Government department responsible for promoting sustainable development and reducing poverty. The central focus of DFID is a commitment to the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015.