Pakistani-American Diaspora Lauds Habib University’s Generosity to Students

The Pakistani-American diaspora in Houston, Texas has ardently supported Habib University’s mission to provide a world-class liberal arts education to students in Pakistan. In July 2021, Habib University hosted a series of visits from community leaders, who visited the remarkable campus and observed firsthand how Habib University is shaping the future leaders of the country by teaching a liberal arts education.

Talib Dhanji, a leading businessman, Dr. Junaid Kamal, Dr. Asif Cochinwala, and Junaid Iqbal, a purveyor of Islamic banking in the United States, visited Habib University, and were greatly impressed by the world-class facilities, the rich interdisciplinary curriculum, and Habib’s generous provision of scholarships to deserving and hardworking students. The visits marked a new chapter in the Houston diaspora’s enthusiastic support for Habib University, and the expansion of Habib’s devoted community of supporters, which helps the University grow and prosper.

President Wasif Rizvi greets the supporters from Houston in the main foyer of Habib University. From left to right: Mr. Junaid Iqbal, President Wasif Rizvi, and Dr. Asif Cochinwala.

All the community leaders were heartened to see Habib University’s state-of-the-art campus, and the attention and resources available to students, agreeing that an education at Habib is equivalent to any high-ranking university in the US.

“I was really impressed,” Dr. Asif Cochinwala said. “I visited many universities in the US. This is equal or better than most of those. The campus is designed beautifully, the spaces are utilized amazingly, and everything seems perfect. I think the students would have a great time here.”

Dr. Junaid Kamal (left) and his brother, Mr. Zahid Iqbal (far right), pose in front of the Habib University logo with President Wasif Rizvi.

Many supporters reflected on their own days of attending university in Pakistan, remarking that they would have enrolled in Habib University if it had been available when they were students.

“If I had the chance, I’d probably attend this school if I’d gotten in, because I’d feel it would give me a very strong foundation to build my career and future,” Talib Dhanji, a passionate advocate of education, said.

Mr. Dhanji praised Habib University’s efforts to ensure access for accomplished students, who lack the means to afford an education at a private university in Pakistan.

Talib Dhanji, a continuous supporter of Habib University, enjoys visiting the campus and furthering the cause of higher education in Pakistan.

“The pivotal role that Habib University can play today is by providing opportunities to students who are extremely qualified, but might not have access to the resources you need to get a world-class education, an education that rivals Europe or the US, right here in Karachi,” Mr. Dhanji said.

Junaid Iqbal, the Vice President of Devon Bank in Houston, was highly impressed by Habib’s scholarship program, and the incredible standard of the campus, resources, and facilities for students and faculty.

“Coming from Houston and having left Pakistan 20 years ago, my concept of a university here was very different,” Mr. Junaid Iqbal said. “I have attended local universities here, but seeing this institution, it’s on par with anything that we are doing outside, and where we are having our kids attend. For children in Pakistan, [Habib University] is a wonderful blessing.”

Tatheer Hamdani, the Chief of Staff and Director of Global Engagement at Habib University, explains the University’s mission of redefining higher education to the guests from Houston. From left to right: Tatheer Hamdani, Junaid Iqbal, Omar Cochinwala, Iman Iqbal, Zahrah Iqbal, Hana Cochinwala, and Asif Cochinwala.

Acknowledging Habib University’s inclusion of students from local examination boards through the HU TOPS program, Dr. Asif Cochinwala shared that he had attended Dow Medical College in Karachi, a public university, and that diversifying the student body with young people from different socioeconomic backgrounds is critical for any modern liberal arts university.

“In Pakistan, only the rich people are able to go to these [excellent private]universities,” Dr. Cochinwala said. “I myself went through the Matric system and graduated from Dow Medical here, so I think it’s very important that all students have access to a liberal arts education like Habib, so they can be on equal footing with everyone else.”

Inspired by Habib University’s never-ending commitment to provide bright students with cost-free education, all of the guests from Houston pledged their support and promised to visit again with the hope of spreading Habib’s message of transformative higher education to the rest of the diaspora in the United States.


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