Recently, HEC breaks the news about the students who went abroad for scholarships and pursue their careers in other countries rather than Pakistan.
132 Ph.D. students received the scholarship. From which 80 went abroad after receiving scholarships through the Higher Education Commission (HEC) didn’t return to Pakistan. After completing their research in other countries.
HEC’s Annual Audit Report says it all
The HEC officials reveal this fact. While presenting the annual audit report for 2018 during a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) presided over by PTI MNA Noor Alam Khan.
HEC officials notified the meeting that the remaining 52 Ph.D. scholars failed their examinations and returned to Pakistan without receiving the degree. Moreover, the national exchequer bears a loss of Rs. 955 billion in the process.
It is pertinent to mention that HEC rules require Ph.D. students who study abroad at the expense of the Pakistani government to return to Pakistan. Besides this, scholars need to serve a minimum of 5 years in Pakistan.
Upon asking about the recovery of financial losses from the failed 52 Ph.D. scholars who returned to the country, HEC officials revealed that only 1 student has returned the expenses to the HEC.
HEC officials inform the committee that the commission was forced to initiate legal proceedings against the 52 students to recover the losses. HEC has won 24 cases while the remaining 27 cases will be concluded soon.
Moreover, HEC has formulated a new policy to avoid such circumstances in the future. According to the policy, Ph.D. students will be granted scholarships only if they submit the record and original documents of their properties in Pakistan to the commission.
Consequently, HEC would be authorized to confiscate the property in case a student doesn’t return to Pakistan.
MNA Noor Alam Khan’s response
MNA Noor Alam Khan expressed anxiety over the new policy by saying that
“This will significantly reduce the chances of students from poor backgrounds studying abroad.”
In response to MNA’s apprehension. HEC officials said that 80 students, who did not return to Pakistan. Mostly belonging to the lower or lower middle class. Moreover, this policy is formulated according to the circumstances.
Noor Alam Khan suggested that HEC should allow students who don’t own any property in the country. To submit an attorney or a guarantor to the commission.
If the students fulfill all the requirements then they will be awarded the scholarship. HEC cannot relax the rules for them.
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