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Study in Pakistan – International Students Guide

Study in Pakistan


Pakistan got its independence from British rule in 1947. Mughal Empire during their early days of conquers and conquest emphasized Education, later British colonization overthrown the Mughal Empire and Muslims were pushed into the era of sheer disapproval and darkness. Muslims during their bright ages were the keen and passionate founders, inventors and discoverers of new phenomena, tools, techniques, processes, infrastructure, ideas, strategies, etc. The cravings of later kings in the Mughal Empire for wealth, land and lavish lifestyle endangered the legacy of Muslims in the Subcontinent and ultimately it all fall victim to foreign invasion. Our bright ages turned into dark ages and the western world earned great prestige by following and implementing ideas and theories of Muslim scientists, scholars, engineers, etc. Due to suppression and atrocities inflicted by British colonization and Hindu Majority in Subcontinent, Muslims were denied access to all basic rights and were ousted from all key positions.  Access to quality education, job opportunities, businesses, traveling, freedom to worship and freedom of expression were all the factors denied to Muslims of the subcontinent. In the face of all these hardships and scant opportunities to progress, Muslims stood against all odds and got independence from Hindu and British Raj. Present Day Pakistan is the land promised for Muslims to practice their religion without fear with access to all privilege. Nevertheless, Pakistan’s constitution also promises safety and security for all minorities.

According to Article 25-A of the Constitution of Pakistan, the state is responsible for providing free and quality education to children aged between 5 and 16. Once they acquire a given level of education they can secure admission in state-sponsored colleges and universities for higher education. Higher Education Commission of Pakistan is the body responsible for the award of indigenous scholarships to native students. Among the best state-sponsored universities are Quaid e Azam University, Punjab University, Karachi University, Balochistan University, Peshawar University and etc. Each of the state universities has appointed qualified faculty, state of the art infrastructure and amenities to support students in skill-building education.

Pakistan with Inspiring Numbers

In Pakistan usually, in main cities like Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad international students come from Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iran, Yemen, UAE, China for educational prospects. In Pakistan, there are renowned Institutes offering degrees in Medical Sciences, Social Sciences, Engineering, Veterinary Sciences, Business Studies and etc. Higher Education Commission of Pakistan even has maintained quota for international students in Public as well as private universities.

In Pakistan, there are 209 Universities and Degree Awarding Institutes (DAIs) according to figures available on the Higher Education Commission Website as of Jan 2020. Out of 209, 83 are established by Private sector while, 126 are Public Sector Universities chartered by respective provinces or Government of Pakistan (GOP). There are 37 universities chartered completely by the Government of Pakistan, it includes both public and private universities. The Highest number of Universities and DAIs are in Punjab i.e. 70, followed by Sindh 59, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) 40, Islamabad 23, Balochistan 9 and the rest in Gilgit/Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir.

In the year 2014 alone 1325 PhDs were produced by Pakistani universities and Approx. 12000 since 1947. Latest figures of current PhDs are not yet updated on the HEC website which definitely depicts the sheer improvement in the education paradigm as a result of a shift in the focus of the Higher Educations Commission to develop faculties for better quality education. Many faculty members of Universities are sent abroad on fully-funded scholarships by HEC to attain education in world-class universities abroad and then serve their institution back at home.

Why Study in Pakistan

  • Beautiful Landscape

Pakistan has been ranked top by most of the international rating agencies for tourism. The tourism industry is flourishing substantially and local and foreign investors are keen to grab this opportunity by investing in various avenues related to tourism in Pakistan. GOP also has embarked on creating lucrative investment opportunities to attract Foreign Direct Investment in Pakistan. Northern Pakistan is home to the highest peaks in the world, along with truly eye-catching sceneries, waterfalls, rivers, distinct flowers and trees with soothing fragrance and ambiance. Some of the most prominent tourist destinations include Gilgit/Baltistan, Swat Region, Azad Kashmir, Chitral, Parachinar and etc. A student coming to Pakistan not only have the opportunity to study in the prestigious world recognized universities but also can explore the blissful natural habitats located across different regions of Pakistan.

Study in Pakistan

Also Read: Pakistan Travel Guide

  • Very Economical and Affordable for Everyone

Pakistan is the developing economy and agriculture, textile and livestock are the major industries supporting the economy. Although, large scale manufacturing, small and medium enterprises, foreign direct investments have improved significantly and gradually it will gear up the economy as well as the living standard of people. The good news for those planning to Study in Pakistan is the reasonable Cost of Living. Universities are mostly located in major cities such as Islamabad, Karachi, and Lahore. For the international student, the Universities have the facility for hostels and other arrangements But apart from that, you can seek shared rooms, hostels, flats and portions of homes as your accommodation. Similarly, food expenses, utility bills, transportations costs, stationery, entertainment cost are very affordable in Pakistan.

  • Expense Breakdown: (Per Month)
Expense Variables Amount
Shared Room PKR5-6k/ 39USD (only living space with bed or mattress)
Separate Furnished Room: PKR 15k/97USD (may include internet and utility bills)
Hostel Room: PKR 15-20k/130USD (include food, laundry, internet, utility bills)
Transportation Cost PKR 5k/33USD (Public transport and ride hailing services such as Uber, often universities offer pick and drop to Students)
Utility Bills Cost PKR 3k/20USD
Internet and Telephone bill: PKR 3k/20USD
Food Expense: PKR 6k/ 39USD
Stationary: PKR 1.5k/ 10USD
Entertainment Cost: PKR 5-10k/ 65USD (Cinema tickets, shopping, Dine outs, Club memberships etc.)
Total Per Month Expense: PKR 35k /227 USD
Tours Packages for exploring Pakistani Landscape PKR 30-50k/ 320 Approx.
Intercity travelling Cost (return tickets): PKR 3k/ 20USD (Buses and Railway)

Please Note: Values are best Approximations and calculated keeping in view the basic needs of students, this can be less if you reduce certain costs such as entertainment and seek an economical hostel with a shared room. Simultaneously, it can be more if you spend more on lavish accommodation and entertainment.

  • Hospitality and Caring Nation

People of Pakistan are known for their kind-heartedness and hospitality. Tourists from all across the globe praise the attitude and care extended by Pakistanis. Female tourists on their solo expeditions to Pakistan have highly appreciated the safety throughout their journey and warm welcome by people. People here have tightly held their values of hospitality and care. Families cheer with joy and feasts are organized to welcome guests. Foreign tourists on one occasion expressed how they did not spend a single penny and local people took care of all their needs from accommodation to transport to foods and etc. Students coming to Study in Pakistan enjoy great hospitality from their counterparts.

People of Pakistan follow Islam as Religion and it is clearly stressed upon by the Holy Prophet (PBUH) that the guest is the blessing from Allah (SWT) and he should be received and taken care of with utmost love, compassion, and sincerity. Due to Islamic teachings and values inherited by people from their ancestors’ that emphasized on the importance of Guest and how to treat them in the best possible way has led to the very nature of people making them humble and welcoming.

  • Emerging World Class Institutes

Higher Education Commission of Pakistan strictly scrutinizes the quality of education offered by Universities in Pakistan and ranking of each university is listed on the HEC website. Pakistan has some of the world-renowned Institutes offering word-class education in medical, engineering, business, health sciences, literature, media sciences, computer sciences, veterinary sciences and etc. with State of the art campuses and expert faculty members Pakistani students every year win prestigious international scholarships to complete their higher education, research, and training in best universities of USA, Europe, China, Canada, Australia, South Korea and etc. Tuition fees charged by Universities in Pakistan are very economical compared to the fees structure of neighboring countries. To expand the pool of international students to study in Pakistan, every year numerous scholarships are announced for students coming from abroad. Nevertheless, universities have benchmarked the best universities in their line of education to maintain the highest quality. Some of the best Universities in Pakistan are:

  • National University of Science and Technology (NUST)
  • FAST University
  • Agha Khan University
  • National College of Arts (NCA)
  • GIKI University
  • LUMS
  • Dow University of Health Sciences
  • Quaid e Azam University
  • Capital University of Science and Technology
  • Islamic International University
  • Riphah International University
  • Comsats
  • Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences

Also Read: Study Abroad Guide – A Complete Student Guide

  • Cultural diversity, amazing Food, and Dresses

In Pakistan, you will find people of diverse cultures. From north to south the country is divided into different provinces and each province exhibits a distinct culture. Punjab is home to Punjabi, Siraiki, Gujrati and many other historically rich cultures. Sindh is home to Sindhi culture; Kyber Pakhtunkhwa depicts Pakhtun Culture, with the majority adhering to this culture belong to Afghanistan and Balochistan. Similarly, Balochistan is home to Baloch and Pakhtun Culture. Some other prominent cultures of Pakistan are Hazara Culture, Chitrali Culture and etc.

Each of the major cultures found in Pakistan has its own unique traditions, foods, dresses, languages, and Identity. Good Hotels in Big cities and towns offer all the specialties of each province. Traditional dresses enchant the whole event with local dances mesmerize the onlookers with dazzling colors and astonishing performances.

Students from each province travel to big cities with a large number of Universities such as Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Quetta and Peshawar to seek better and Higher Education. When a foreign student arrives in Pakistan they have the opportunity to meet and greet students from diverse cultures and can explore their foods, cultures, and languages.

  • Heritage sites of Sikhs, Buddhists, Muslims

 Archeological sites and remains of centuries-old civilizations are found in Pakistan and many travelers visit to explore them from time to time. The Civilizations found in Mohan-jo-Daro, Harappa, and Thatta; stupa’s in Swat and Gilgit/Baltistan; Religious monuments in Nankana Sahib, Kartarpur and Hasan abdal are the reminiscent attraction for archeologists, Buddhists, and Sikhs respectively. Many shrines are located in numerous parts of the country and people visit them to express their reverence. Religious rituals and festivals are organized in full spirit and vacations are announced on days of major Islamic Events like Eid ul Fitr, Eid ul Azha, Muharram, Rabi ul Awal, etc.

Study in Pakistan

Visa Process to Study in Pakistan

If you have planned to Study in Pakistan you must follow the following steps. The Visa Application Process is Online and once you compiled all the documents you can upload them to Online Visa Portal.

Higher Education aspirants are allowed 2 years study visa in Pakistan. You can check from this list, either your country is among those who are eligible to apply or not.

Visa Application requires:

  • Photographs
  • Passport
  • Admission Letter
  • NOC from HEC/Ministry of Education/Health Ministry/Economic Affair Division
  • NOC from Concerned Government

All the Applications of International students are received by the Ministry of Interior. Please visit links embedded for more details.

List of Pakistani Government and University Scholarships for International Students (List is updated regularly)

We Make Scholars

Higher Education Commission (HEC)

Scholarships for Afghan Students

Scholarship for Somali Students

Cities in Pakistan Best for Study and Living

  • Islamabad
  • Lahore
  • Karachi
  • Peshawar
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