The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan has formulated a new policy regarding PhD admissions with some significant changes, garnering broad attention from students and educational circles.
In a historic first, students will seek a PhD degree in another discipline if the policy cuts. An essential perspective of the new policy is that it encourages prospects to begin PhD studies promptly after four years of the BS programme.
Further, the policy eliminates the requirement to send PhD dissertations to foreign professionals for review and dissertations can now be sent to Pakistani experts too for the motive. The ultimate period of a PhD degree will be eight years, with the minimum being three years.
This new policy is acceptable from 1st January 2021, and compel students to spend at least two years in their homeland during their PhD studies.
As the HEC has not yet handed out an authorised announcement on the policy’s execution, a few universities have scurried to undertake correspondence with the government on the implications and future course of action.
A letter has been sent by the University of Karachi to the HEC considering new admissions in the PhD programme.
The HEC has termed the universities’ policy binding referring to the powers bestowed upon the regulator under the Higher Education Commission Ordinance 2002.
The policy asserts that action can be initiated in case of non-implementation or violation, such as “warning to universities, suspension of admissions, suspension or revocation of NOC for admissions, public alert and non-verification of credentials”.
Putting up with a stock of the educational norms across Pakistan, the new ambition will keep the CGPA cut off at 3.0 or obtaining a First Class division degree as a necessity for aspiring students.
Despite the HEC asserting that an MS or MPhil degree directing to a PhD programme will be extinct henceforth, candidates will still be authorised to get MPhil or MS degree if they fulfil the mandatory principles during their doctoral studies.
The Issue Of Credit Hour
Regardless, it has posed a difficulty for academic processes. The policy indicated that a student seeking a PhD would have to take up a course load to 48 credit hours. The new policy asserts that if a student has obtained an MS/MPhil degree in a similar discipline, the university can facilitate 50 per cent of their expected credit hours for the PhD programme. At present PhD programmes at universities vary between 12 to 18 credit hours of course load.
Besides the new policy, all prior policy notifications put out by the HEC have been made redundant.
Dr Surosh Hashmat Lodhi, Vice-Chancellor of the NED University, shed light on the forthcoming PhD programme changes. He says that “The encouraging quality of the policy has expanded the number of courses (credit hours). People seek a PhD after a bachelor’s degree all over the world”.
Dr Hasan Kazmi from the University of Karachi, underlined the significance of investigation and allowance. “It is an uphill assignment to pay the employees’ earnings from the donation being given to the university by the HEC. The university needs laboratories, research facilities and sufficient assistance.