THE new PhD policy of the Higher Education Commission (HEC)is full of ambiguity. It states that BS graduates can directly take admissions to PhD programmes, while MS/MPhil degree holders are also encouraged to pursue the same degree in various disciplines.
While BS graduates complete 16 years of education, those with MPhil complete 18 years. Under the HEC policy, both postgraduates and graduates can get enrolled in the same PhD programme having three to eight years to complete their doctoral degree. The applicants are wondering what is the difference, if any, between graduation and postgraduation.
This policy states that it is the discretion of the universities to strategies their admission criteria or framework accordingly. The University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, has given a BS graduate direct admission to a PhD programme, becoming the first institution to apply HEC`s new PhD policy.
The agenda of this exceptionally weird policy is unclear. While the main purpose of producing PhDs, as reiterated in the stated policy, is to give society the best scholars, thinkers and researchers, the new admission policy has only caused uncertainty among those seeking to take up the course.
Education in Pakistan has always suffered due to the non-seriousness of policymakers, and the pandemic has deteriorated the already crippling education system further. Instead offormulating appropriate policies, the statutory body is causing more harm to the cause of higher education by introducing paradoxical policies.