Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) expressing concerns over the new policy of MPhil/PhD admissions, supervision and reviewer by Higher Education Commission (HEC) has said that the new policy is unrealistic and not in line with the ground realities of universities.
HEC in a revised policy includes stipulating first division in the previous degree for admission in MPhil or PhD admissions. It also conditioned a department, centre or institute to have at least two or three PhD level faculty respectively on its roll to start an MPhil or PhD programme. The Commission also made it mandatory to have at least two publications in X-category journal for natural sciences and in Y-category for social sciences PhD students. Earlier, the requirement was just one publication.
The association in a statement feared that the new policy will discourage faculty members from supervising MPhil/PhD researchers. FAPUASA believed that HEC is demanding irrationally from academia, and the new policy will negatively affect the quality of research in Pakistan. The association strongly urges the HEC to withdraw the policy as it discourage faculty members from supervising MPhil/PhD researchers.
FAPUASA Pakistan acknowledges the need to improve the quality of research in Pakistan but the association will not allow HEC to ruin the growing research culture. The association called upon the HEC to engage with academia to develop a policy that is practical and feasible for universities.
The association also urged the HEC to take the concerns of the academic community seriously and work collaboratively to improve the quality of research in Pakistan. A policy that is developed in consultation with academia will be more effective in achieving the desired outcomes, it said.
The countrywide representative body of public sector institutions of higher learning stressed its commitment to promoting the interests of the academic community in Pakistan and continuing work towards creating an environment that supports high-quality research and academic excellence. The association hoped that the HEC will consider its concerns and work with academia to develop policies that are beneficial for all stakeholders involved in higher education in Pakistan.