Aug 17: Director Education USAID Anne Flaker along with University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan distributed certificates of scholarships among 57 postgraduate female students of the University of Agriculture Faisalabad under the USAID Funded Merit and Need Based Scholarship Program. Addressing the ceremony at Center of Advanced Studies UAF, she said that as many as 459 students of the UAF had benefited from the USAID scholarship program so far. She said that they were investing in the future and increasing access to higher education in Pakistan. As many as 30 Pakistani universities are partnered with USAID. She lauded the efforts of the UAF made in agricultural education, research and community services. She said that USAID provides 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) to assist the Government of Pakistan's efforts to raise enrolment in Pakistani universities and meet international standards. Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said that the country cannot achieve the progress without the active participation of women in socio-economic activities. He said that 50 percent of the enrollment at UAF comprises females. He said that the university was taking all possible measures to protect the women rights and women empowerment. UAF by design admits the students on rural quota. He praised the USAID and HEC for supporting the students to continue their journey of education. He stressed upon the need for more joint academic and research ventures to address the different agricultural issues facing the country.