PhD scholars irked at HEC for delaying their studies abroad - Pakistan Today

PhD scholars irked at HEC for delaying their studies abroad

Shocked students have resigned from their jobs but can’t go abroad for their degree
HEC executive director says students will be sent abroad as soon as funds are received
LAHORE
Around 400 PhD scholars face an uncertain future, as the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has delayed their departure abroad for their PhD degree supposedly because of a shortage of funds, while it had already asked them to resign from their jobs to take the degree. According to the pupils, their classes were to start in November.
HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi said that the departure of scholars had been delayed due to paucity of funds. He said the HEC knew that the PhD scholars had resigned from their jobs to go study abroad. He said he knew they were gainfully employed in various educational institutions and multinational companies, but there was nothing he could do about it.
The pupil said that the HEC had advertised the Overseas Scholarship Scheme and assured them that the funding for their project had been approved by the federal government. The scholars said that they had received the final-award letters from foreign universities and the delay in their departure was a shock for them.
Rabia, a Quaid-e-Azam University graduate, had resigned from her lectureship to meet the HEC criteria for the scholarship. She said the decision would tarnish the country’s image in foreign universities and urged senior government officials to look into the matter and save the candidates from educational disaster.
But this is not the first time the HEC has delayed the scholarship schemes. Last year too the commission cancelled PhD scholarships for lack of funds. The federal government had released some money for the HEC but that was not enough to finance the scholarships. Naqvi said that the HEC had received two installments of Rs 1.2 billion and Rs 3.2 billion, which would finance development work in universities, paying salaries to teachers and fees of students already studying in abroad on scholarship. He said that the scholars would be sent abroad as soon as the HEC received more funds.
FAPUASA Punjab President Dr Zafar Noon said that the association would soon hold a meeting with HEC officials to discuss the scholarships issue.



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