Pakistani Students Win Highest Number of US and EU Scholarships Among 143 Countries

Pakistani students have received more EU-funded Erasmus scholarships and US-sponsored Fulbright scholarships this year than students from any other country in the world. These are fully-funded scholarships for recipients to study at universities in the European Union and the United States. Pakistan has also seen a post-pandemic surge  of student visas to study in Australia, the US and UK this year. 

EU Scholarships. Source: EU Pakistan

Among 2,835 students from 143 countries selected for the Erasmus Mundus Joint Masters program, Pakistani students rank at the top with 192 scholarships, followed by India 174, Bangladesh 140, Mexico 118, and Nigeria 109, according to an EU tweet

Within the EU, Germany is hosting 7,114 Pakistani students, according to Erudera. Among the major countries of origin of foreign students in Germany are: China 40,055, India 33,753, Syria 16,712,  Iran 11,625, Russia 10,739, Italy 9,887, Cameroon 7,692 and Egypt 7,214.  

The Fulbright scholarship program of the United States Government has awarded 189 scholarships for Pakistanis to study at US universities. Fulbright is the flagship scholarship program of the United States Government, operating in 160 countries.  Pakistan has the largest Fulbright program in the world in terms of U.S. government contribution, with $18.44 million dollars this year to support 189 students, according to the US Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. 

The United Kingdom emerged as the top destination for Pakistani students with 28,188 student visas granted in 2022,  up 95% from the previous year. The UK has now surpassed China has the biggest draw for Pakistani students after the COVID19 pandemic.  Of the 486,868 UK student visas granted (to both main applicants and their dependents), 117,965 went to Indian nationals. This is an increase of 80,569 (+215%) compared to 2019, and slightly more than the 115,056 granted to Chinese nationals — but Pakistani nationals saw a bigger increase in approvals for their UK student visas at 377% compared to India’s 215%, according to Study International

Foreign Students in the US. Source: Open Doors

The US also reported a 17.4% increase in the number of Pakistani students studying in the United States during 2021-22. This brought their number to 8,772, according to Open Doors. The Open Doors Report identified China and India as the largest sources of international students to the United States. During 2021-22, China sent 290,086 students, which is 30.6% of the total number of international students in the US, a decline of 8.6% from the previous year. India, which sent 199,183 students this year — 21% of the total — saw a 19% year-over-year increase. Toge­ther, China and India make up more than half of all international students in the United States.

The number of Pakistani students studying in Australia has also increased 21% to 20,935 in 2022.  The number of first-time enrollments of Pakistanis jumped 71% in the year, according to ICEF Monitor

Offsetting a decline in Chinese enrollments in Australia (177,470 in 2022, down 11% y-o-y) and zero momentum from India (128,980, up .03%) were notable enrollment increases from:

Thailand, the 6th largest market, up 61% to 25,792

Nepal, the 3rd largest market, up 21% to 71,805

Colombia, the 4th largest market, up 21% to 28,435

Pakistan, the 9th largest market, up 21% to 20,935

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Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel


Riaz Haq said…
Top European Research Labs Select Three teams of Secondary school students-- One Each Netherlands, Pakistan and the US--For Own Accelerator Beam Experiments at CERN and DESY

Geneva and Hamburg, 28 June 2023. In 2023, for the second time in the history of the Beamline for Schools competition, the evaluation committee selected three winning teams. The team “Myriad Magnets” from the Philips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, United States, and the team “Particular Perspective”, which brings together pupils from the Islamabad College for Boys, the Supernova School in Islamabad, the Cadet College in Hasanabdal, the Siddeeq Public School in Rawalpindi and the Cedar College in Karachi, Pakistan, will travel to CERN, Geneva, in September 2023 to perform the experiments that they proposed. The team “Wire Wizards” from the Augustinianum school in Eindhoven, Netherlands, will be hosted at DESY (Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron in Hamburg, Germany) to carry out its experiment.

Beamline for Schools (BL4S) is a physics competition open to secondary school pupils from all around the world. The participants are invited to prepare a proposal for a physics experiment that can be undertaken at the beamline of a particle accelerator. A beamline is a facility that provides high-energy fluxes of subatomic particles that can be used to conduct experiments in different fields, including fundamental physics, material science and medicine.

“Congratulations to this year’s winners – may they have good beams, collect interesting data and generally have the time of their lives,” says Christoph Rembser, a CERN physicist at the ATLAS experiment and one of the founders of Beamline for Schools. “Every year I am astonished by how many young people submit very creative, interesting proposals. In 2014, we weren’t sure at all whether this competition would work. Ten years and 16 000 participants later, I am proud to say that it is obviously a resounding success.”

The fruitful collaboration between CERN and DESY started in 2019 during the shutdown period of the CERN accelerators. This year, the German laboratory will host its fifth team of winners.


The Pakistan team “Particular Perspective” will measure in detail the beam composition of the T10 beamline of the CERN Proton Synchrotron accelerator. The experiment set-up they designed will make it possible to differentiate between different particle species and measure their intensity.

“I am grateful to BL4S for having provided me with an opportunity to represent my country, Pakistan, and its budding community of aspiring physicists. This is a chance for us to experience physics at the highest level and will inspire people with interests similar to ours to reach greater heights,” says Muhammad Salman Tarar from the “Particular Perspective” team.


The “Wire Wizards” team’s experiment focuses on detector development. The Dutch students designed and built a multi-wire proportional chamber (MWPC), a gas detector able to measure the position of a particle interacting with it, and they plan to characterise it using the electron beam available at DESY.

“The BL4S competition provides us with a unique educational experience that will be a highlight in our time as students,” says Leon Verreijt from the “Wire Wizards” team.

The winners have been selected by a committee of CERN and DESY scientists from a shortlist of 27 particularly promising experiments. All the teams in the shortlist will be awarded special prizes. In addition, one team will be recognised for the most creative video and 10 teams for the quality of physics outreach activities they are organising in their local communities, taking advantage of the knowledge gained by taking part in BL4S.

Riaz Haq said…
24 Pakistani students from Karachi participate in US space camp

Thanks to a US government-funded grant, 24 Pakistani students, both male and female, from three schools in Karachi are currently taking part in the US Space and Rocket Center's prestigious Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

This initiative aims to promote and expand Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in Karachi schools. The US Consulate General in Karachi collaborated with The Dawood Foundation's (TDF) MagnifiScience Centre, the implementing partner, to facilitate this programme in 50 schools across the city.

The US grant encompassed three key components: STEM training for 100 Pakistani teachers, educational field trips for over 1,000 students to the MagnifiScience Centre, and a culminating science project competition.

The primary objective of this grant was to stimulate an increase in STEM education and encourage schools in Karachi to allocate more resources toward training their staff, thereby enhancing learning outcomes. The aim is to motivate students to pursue careers in science-related fields, meeting the growing demand for STEM graduates in industry, academia, and research.

The United States has consistently shown commitment to supporting STEM education in Pakistan through various educational programmes. This includes previous initiatives such as sending cohorts of Pakistani students to Space Camp in 2011 and 2015. The United States emphasises inclusive STEM education, green technologies, and entrepreneurship for young individuals worldwide, as a means to foster sustainable economic growth within their own countries.

The primary objective of this grant was to stimulate an increase in STEM education and encourage schools in Karachi to allocate more resources toward training their staff, thereby enhancing learning outcomes. The aim is to motivate students to pursue careers in science-related fields, meeting the growing demand for STEM graduates in industry, academia, and research.

The United States has consistently shown commitment to supporting STEM education in Pakistan through various educational programmes. This includes previous initiatives such as sending cohorts of Pakistani students to Space Camp in 2011 and 2015. The United States emphasises inclusive STEM education, green technologies, and entrepreneurship for young individuals worldwide, as a means to foster sustainable economic growth within their own countries.

The inter-school competition revolved around the theme of eco-sustainability and entrepreneurship. Each competing team was provided with science kits as a resource. A panel of judges selected eight students and one teacher from three schools based on their outstanding projects. These three winning teams, consisting of 24 students and their three teachers, recently traveled to Huntsville, Alabama to participate in Space Camp. The winning science projects demonstrated the remarkable results achieved through collaborative efforts, brainstorming, and cooperation among team members.

The winning projects and teams are as follows:

KMA Girls & Boys Primary School's team: "Chicken Feathers - Go Green before the Green Goes." The project involved using chicken feathers to create paper.
Evergreen Elementary School's team: "Anti-Sleep Glasses." Their project focused on developing glasses with a built-in alarm to reduce vehicle accidents caused by driver fatigue.
KMA Boys Secondary School's team: "Plastic Road." This project explored the use of waste plastic to create roads with a lifespan of 50+ years.

Riaz Haq said…
Report reveals widening European interest and shift towards STEM

Students from Pakistan and Bangladesh are driving interest in education across continental Europe – a region that is maintaining a “strong appeal” for international students – but government policy, among other factors, may be impacting students’ choices, according to new research.

“Although India generates the largest share of relative demand [at bachelor’s level], this fluctuates drastically and has gradually declined overall,” the report noted. “Conversely, you can see that Bangladesh and Pakistan have increased their share of the interest.”

The research tracks a similar trend in master’s, with India showing a “general decline in interest year-on-year”, with Bangladesh and Pakistan, alongside students in Turkey and Iran, showing “strong demand to study master’s programs”.


Additionally, program preference is shifting towards artificial intelligence, data science & big data, business intelligence & analytics, entrepreneurship and engineering management.

Analysing data collected in the year up to May 2023, the Studyportals Destination Europe report delves into trends in master’s and bachelor’s programs, as well as taking a closer look at the business and management discipline – which the paper noted as most popular for international students in general.

One in five students looking to study in Europe are interested in the discipline, the company noted.

While Germany “holds significant global market share of student interest”, the analysis found a “drop in relative demand” for its programs, while Norway had seen the “largest decline” in relative demand. The drop is likely influenced by the introduction of tuition fees, the paper said.

At the other end of the spectrum, Italy is continuing to grow in its popularity among international students, at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

Riaz Haq said…
UNESCO data on outbound international students in 2020

Pakistan: 64,604 students


Bangladesh 49,151

Brazil 89,151

Canada 51,156

China 1,088,466

Egypt 43,243

India 516,000

Iran 66,701

Malaysia 55,311

Morocco 63,001

Nepal 95,268

Nigeria 71,753

Pakistan 64,604

Syria 87,057

South Africa 12,295

South Korea 100,610

Russia 57,591

Vietnam 132,559

UK 40,074

USA 109,827
Riaz Haq said…
Outbound mobility trends for five key sending markets (of international students) in Asia (in 2022)

Bangladesh (70,000) , Nepal (125,500), Pakistan (103,190), Philippines (62,000) and Thailand (40,720).

The most recent UNESCO data (2020) counts 64,065 Pakistani students abroad in higher education. Outbound mobility from Pakistan was over 103,190 in 2022 when we consult more recent statistics published by government sources in various destinations. There have been large increases in Pakistani students recorded recently in the UK, Australia, US, Canada, and Germany.

The top three destinations for Pakistani students currently are UAE, UK, and Australia.

UAE: 24,865 in 2020 according to UNESCO
UK: 23,075 in 2021/22 (+62% y-o-y)
Australia: 15,875 in 2022 (+15%)
US: 8,770 in 2021/22 (+17%)
Germany: 7,115 in 2021/22 (+22%)
Canada: 6,405 in 2022 (+38%)
Kyrgyzstan: 6,000 in 2020 according to UNESCO
Malaysia: 4,700 in 2021
Turkey: 2,385 in 2020 according to UNESCO
Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Sweden, Qatar: At least 4,000 in 2020 according to UNESCO

Riaz Haq said…
From Google Gen Ai:

Studying in Europe offers Pakistani students access to world-renowned institutions, innovative teaching techniques, and multicultural surroundings. In 2019, nearly 10,000 Pakistani students registered in European colleges.
The number of Pakistani students studying abroad has grown steadily over the past decade. In 2020, 64,604 Pakistani students were studying abroad.
Some of the top countries for Pakistani students to study abroad include:
The United States, The United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand, Malaysia, France, Singapore, Sweden.
Some of the top destinations for Pakistani students in Europe include:
The United Kingdom
Pakistani students are required to pass language tests to study abroad. However, some universities offer scholarships that allow students to study in Europe without IELTS.

Riaz Haq said…

Pakistan is a significant exporter of international students globally. According to UNESCO statistics, the number of outbound Pakistani degree-seeking students grew by 70 percent over the last decade, from 31,156 in 2007 to 53,023 in 2017. While that number is dwarfed by the more than 330,000 degree-seeking students from neighboring India, consider that Pakistan’s outbound mobility ratio—the percentage of international students among all students—is almost three time as high (2.7 percent in 2017) as that of India (1 percent). This means that it’s far more common for Pakistani students to study abroad and broaden their academic horizons in another country than it is for Indian students.

Further increases in student outflows from Pakistan are expected in the years ahead. The British Council, for instance, expects Pakistan to be among the top 10 growth countries worldwide until 2027, despite an overall cooling of international student mobility on a global scale. For one, the precarious economic conditions and employment prospects in Pakistan are a major push factor for both international students and the hundreds of thousands of labor migrants leaving Pakistan each year. Studying abroad can open immigration pathways in countries like Australia or Canada, while a foreign degree gives those that return a competitive edge on the Pakistani labor market.

Another important driver is the lack of university seats and high-quality study programs in Pakistan, particularly at the graduate level. While Pakistan has created a tremendous amount of new doctoral programs over the past decade, growing numbers of Pakistani scholars are heading abroad to access higher quality education, primarily in fields like engineering and the sciences. To modernize research in Pakistan and raise the qualifications profile of university faculty, the government supports this development with scholarship programs of considerable scale, considering Pakistan’s fiscal constraints. While most Pakistani students are said to be self-funded, overseas scholarship programs have helped thousands of graduate students to pursue studies in the United States, the United Kingdom, Cuba, Germany, France, and various other countries in recent years. Scholarship recipients are often required to return home after graduation.

The traditional English-speaking international study destinations, Australia and the U.S., are currently the top choices among Pakistani degree-seeking students, as per UNESCO statistics. Datapublished by the Australian government show that the number of Pakistani students grew almost threefold over the past decade, from 3,512 in 2008 to 10,000 in 2019, making Pakistan one of the top 10 sending countries of tertiary students in Australia.

In the U.S., likewise, Pakistani enrollments have generally been on an upward trajectory over the past few years. According to the Open Doors data of the Institute of International Education, Pakistan sent 7,957 students to the U.S. in 2018/19, an increase of 5.6 percent over the previous year, making it the 22nd most important sending country. Around 44 percent of these students are enrolled in undergraduate programs, 35 percent in graduate programs, and 4 percent in non-degree programs, while 17 percent pursue Optional Practical Training.

Other popular destination countries include the U.K. and the Muslim-majority countries Malaysia and Saudi Arabia, the latter also being a magnet for labor migrants from Pakistan. It should be noted, however, that China has emerged as a significant destination as well. China may, in fact, now host the largest number of Pakistani international students worldwide. While UNESCO does not report data for China, and Chinese government figures are difficult to compare,1 Pakistan is currently the third-largest sending country to China with 28,000 students, per Chinese statistics.

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