With temperatures falling below 7 and routes barred by land sliding and military construction, our outreach representatives were undeterred as they ventured towards Northern Pakistan to the scenic region of Swat, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from October 22-26, 2018. Their objective was to spread the word of Higher Education and the NOP within the resident student population.
Setting up their base in the city of Swat, the team visited the areas of Saidu Sharif, Mingora, Timergara, Kabal, Kanju and Matta. A total of 13 colleges were visited and an impressive number of more than 1,300 students were presented to and given a walk through about the NOP programme.
The attendees were informed about the cutting edge research based education at LUMS as well as the core belief of the University that ‘Merit Matters.’ That is, LUMS does not allow financial circumstances to be an obstacle in the pursuit of Higher Education, especially if a student is talented and meets the merit criteria. This has led to the existence of a strong financial aid programme at the University, making the NOP Scholarship immensely important for students from far-flung areas. In lieu of the same, students were motivated to apply to the NOP Summer Coaching Session (SCS) and were guided on the application process.
As always feedback was obtained from college authorities to gauge the impact of presentations given. Principal, Faridullah of Islamia Model College, Timergara praised the efforts of the LUMS NOP in reaching out to as many colleges in the region and assured that students from his college would keenly apply for the programme. Mr. Shahid Ahmed, Head of Department at SPS Boys College, Mingora suggested that students should be informed of the NOP Scholarship even earlier so that they may be inspired to become eligible for the scholarship in their first year of intermediate/A levels.
We were glad and thankful for the hospitality and welcoming nature of our hosts in Swat. Besides, we enjoyed interacting with the confident and bright students who we hope we shall see again at the NOP SCS in the coming year.