Tuesday, April 26, 2016

LUMS launched its National Outreach Programme (NOP) in 2001 to extend the benefits of world-class education to talented but underprivileged students all over Pakistan and thereby become a truly national university. This prestigious scholarship programme focuses on identifying bright students with exceptional Matriculation and FA/FSc results and inducting them into the LUMS Undergraduate Programmes. The scholars that qualify for NOP are given full financial assistance.

LUMS is very proud of its NOP scholars and the NOP Centre does its utmost to identify and induct talented students to LUMS. Here you can read stories about two exceptional NOP scholars.

 

Ahsan Hameed (BS Biology Graduate from LUMS)

“I belong to small town in an underdeveloped region of Southern Punjab. My father is working as a sub-engineer in Municipal Administration, Tehsil Hasilpur. Getting into LUMS on a fully funded scholarship was something that completely changed my life. I am an NOP scholar at LUMS and after coming here and studying here for a while, I have realised why LUMS stands out from all the other institutions in Pakistan. LUMS principles of open-mindedness, tolerance and equal gender representation are some of the few values that I learnt in my time here.

I was lucky enough to be selected as the cultural ambassador in the Global UGrad Programme to represent Pakistan in the United States for a semester by the US Department of State which further increased my understanding of the different cultures around the world.

At LUMS, I got the chance to study comprehensive areas of science and it was after coming here that I decided I wanted to become a scientist and a problem solver rather than a paper-pusher. Biology always intrigued me, so I decided to do a major in Biology. This is not a conventional thing to do in the region I was brought up in, as most people want their children to study either engineering or medicine. I continued to aim high and I was able to secure multiple awards on the Dean's Honor List. Now, I have the highest CGPA in my batch and I am very pleased that I have received acceptance letters for a PhD from two renowned universities, University of Kansas and Indiana University Bloomington. I will join Indiana University for further research in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology. The PhD programme will sponsor my tuition fee, health insurance and other living expenses. In the end, I would like to thank the NOP team and my sponsors, without whom this would not have been possible. Now that I have graduated, I would like to stay connected with the LUMS NOP Centre and work towards making the world a better place!”

 

Akhtar Muhammad Abid (BSc Accounting & Finance Graduate)

“I was born in a village named Pir Abad which is located near Mardan city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. In my village agriculture is the most common occupation and education is considered a waste of time. Therefore, most of the people do not send their children to schools. My father has worked as a labourer in a construction company in the United Arab Emirates for thirty three years. He realises the value of education now and therefore wanted me to get the best education available. However, due to lack of financial resources I was admitted in the village’s only government school.

LUMS was an opportunity I have awaited for a very long time and now when I finally got the chance, I grabbed it wholeheartedly. I hit the books hard, I attended all the classes with full focus, and I bothered the TAs as much as I possibly could, and finally achieved a GPA of 3.97. After this motivational journey at LUMS, I realised that it was not about proving myself to anyone. It was all about realising that I can achieve anything if I work hard. This is one of the many lessons I learned during my time at LUMS. It is at LUMS where I feel like I grew the most, in terms of inner strength and determination. Had I not faced these challenges, I wouldn’t have learned some of the most valuable lessons of my life. I wouldn’t have developed into the confident individual that I am today. I wouldn’t have learned to cherish the beauty of diversity and difference of opinion. And most importantly, I wouldn’t have realised the extent to which education is important for every individual. The National Outreach Programme reached out to me, provided me with a chance to be at LUMS, and helped me realise my potential which, undoubtedly, changed my life. I received offers from the American University (School of International Service), Babson College (FW Olin Graduate School of Business) and Temple University for pursuing a Master’s degree. I am pleased that the NOP is working vigorously at bringing exceptional students to the forefront and making sure that talent is not left at the mercy of financial burdens.”