Bordered by Iran, Afghanistan, China, India, and the Arabian Sea, Pakistan is at the heart of the Indus Valley. Its complex, multicultural and multiethnic population is the world’s sixth-largest at nearly 200 million. The population is predominantly Muslim and more than half is rural. English is the language of higher education in Pakistan as well as an official language of the government of Pakistan.
Among Pakistan’s national priorities are improving access to and quality of education and healthcare, particularly higher education administration and nursing education. Nationwide, there are approximately 200 degree-granting universities. Enrollment and research productivity are increasing. USEFP has strong relationships with reputable higher education institutions in Pakistan and will work closely with the grantee to find an appropriate host institution and initial contacts for their project. With English as the official language of higher education, U.S. scholars in Pakistan find communication with students and faculty relatively easy.
Project clearance from the government of Pakistan is required for all Fulbright U.S. Scholar grantees and has been difficult to obtain in recent years. In addition, due to the overall deteriorating security situation in Pakistan, grants to Pakistan are contingent on the U.S. Embassy’s determination of the security situation and the ability of the scholar to obtain a visa. Scholars should not make any life decisions until a visa appropriate for the Fulbright grant is secured.
Since 2005, Pakistan has had the world’s largest Fulbright Student Program, sending about 150 students per year from Pakistan to the United States for advanced degrees. Pakistan and the United States are committed to increasing the numbers of American scholars teaching and conducting research in Pakistan. By promoting people-to-people engagement through education, the Fulbright Program increases understanding, builds enduring ties between individuals and institutions and enhances the avenues for cooperation on local, regional and global issues of shared importance.