Pakistani student crowdfunding to attend Standford programme


As raising money through crowdfunding websites becomes an increasingly popular strategy for students across the world, Pakistani students are also raising cash through the same.

A student from Habib University is using crowdfunding website to raise money to attend Stanford’s International Honors Program.

“I was the first student from my major to be granted a 50% scholarship (excluding personal expenses). But even with this scholarship, I have to raise around $9,000 by March 2018,” 20-year-old Abiha Batool wrote on her crowdfunding page.

The third year student of Communication and Design at Habib University in Karachi was previously unable to attend programmes such as UC Berkeley’s Summer Program and The Twelfth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices owing to a lack of funds. “Unfortunately I am unable to afford the expenses myself. Previously I was selected for opportunities like UC Berkeley’s Summer Program and The Twelfth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices, but I couldn’t attend them because of the lack of funds. I have worked even harder to get into Stanford University and don’t want this opportunity to go to waste like the last ones,” she further wrote.

However, determined to attend Stanford’s programme this year, Batool is crowdfunding. “I got the idea of using a crowdfunding website from my friends Shayaan and Zahra,” she told

Shayaan and Zahra also third-year Communication and Design majors from Habib University in Karachi, used to raise funds to attend The Twelfth International Conference on Design Principles and Practices in Barcelona, Spain. The idea appealed to Batool who decided to do the same.

“I am extremely hopeful that I’ll be able to raise cash from the crowdfunding website,” the 20-year-old further said. “I have worked hard for this scholarship and I know I won’t be let down by donors,” she added.

Batool has been selected to represent Pakistan at the Summer International Honors Program (IHP) 2018 at Stanford University, according to her page.” IHP combines top-notch academics with extracurricular activities that explore the rich cultural, social, and geographical resources of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the session’s Intensive Studies Program offers students the opportunity to join a cohort of students and faculty and engage deeply with each other. Habib University is the only university in Pakistan that has an MOU signed with Stanford for the IHP Program, which means that the best students are picked for this programme as they represent not just Habib, but also Pakistan at Stanford University,”Batool stated.

Sharing details as to why she wants to attend Stanford’s programme, Batool wrote, “As a staunch advocate of sustainability, I have been working hard at Habib University to make it environment-friendly. Along with working on installing a waste management system, I have been working on initiating a Sustainability Office at Habib to make our community more aware and responsible for the waste we create. I also intend to take my interests further and become an Urban Designer to combat the issues of climate change and waste management in Pakistan. Stanford caters to my interests as I will get a chance to take courses like Sustainability Design Thinking and Smart Cities and Communities, which teach and promote an eco-friendly lifestyle by approaching sustainability from the perspective of design thinking.”

“Moreover, studying at a campus as diverse as Stanford will allow me to grow personally, professionally, intellectually and socially, and its contrast with my own culture and atmosphere will not only help me explore myself, but also become better at relating and collaborating with people from around the world. These connections and learnings will prove to be beneficial for me and my whole community as I will bring them back to Pakistan and implement them in every aspect of my life, including my university and the Society of Sustainability that I initiated and currently Chair. Not only this, my learnings at both Habib and Stanford will allow me to better understand the issues of climate change and sustainability in Pakistan, and will enable me to come up with efficient and valid solutions for our country. I can say that at Habib I have managed to achieve things I didn’t know I was capable of, and Stanford would push me to do even better,” the Communication and Design major further added.

You can help Batool attend Stanford’s programme by donating here.


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