Originally known as the MECH 80-81 ALUMNI Scholarship, NED Scholars was started by a small group of NEDians from the Mechanical Engineering Batch 80-81 in 2007. Under the program, scholarships are awarded on a “need-cum-merit” basis to deserving students of NED University’s Mechanical Department. The scholarship was initially started under the name of our deceased friends. Scholarships were named as Abu Ather Memorial Scholarship, Haroon Memorial Scholarship, Shabir Memorial Scholarship and Waqar Memorial Scholarship.
We are living in a world that is supposed to be “flat”, providing equal opportunities to all. But in reality, the model fails in academics, especially when we talk about a society with “class segregation” as in Pakistan. Looking back, in the early 70 and 80s the opportunities for success for every one entering professional college were equal. Obtaining a seat in a professional university was the first sign that a particular student was talented. It was then the amount of time these students spent on libraries and other academic services that lined them up for success as professionals. With the advent and introduction of computers and the Internet, things have changed. The “competition field for success” is not flat any more, but rather tilted. It is tilted towards all such students who have the ability to get a personal (not shared) computer at home, high speed Internet, data plan with tablets, iPad or laptops. Access books, reference videos, etc. on the Internet is just one aspect that has created an environment where talent from poor or middle class has to be supported. NED Scholars is an effort to support NED students on a “need-cum-merit” basis, in an effort to create a level field for them to compete.
Based on a need assessment and recommendation from the selection committee in 2012, the scholarship was opened to all departments’ students. During the 2013 donors’ conference, it was decided that rather having only NED MECH 80-81 alumni donating to the scholarship, we should to have an open donor-ship policy. Therefore, the name is changed from MECH 80-81 Alumni Scholarship to NED Scholarship.
Since 2015 we have opened the scholarship to students from various countries in STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) education. Currently we are entertaining applicants from Pakistan and USA on need-cum-merit basis. Soon we will start our operation in other countries. We call our scholarship recipient as “Scholars”. Coming for lower middle class and poor families these scholars lack in money, resources, professionalism, self esteem and motivation. These scholars are usually from poor neighborhood that lack quality education. These students have overcome such barriers to get admissions in STEM related field in major universities in their countries.
What makes scholarships by NED Scholars different is the mentorship that is provided to these scholars. Scholars are encouraged to communicate directly with the NED Alumni group. At least one alumni contacts them throughout the academic year. Alumni help scholars in:
- Their academics, course work and projects
- Acquiring summer jobs
- Getting essential training in various subjects on as per need basis.
- Resume and mock interviews
- Professional growth and development.