PC: Ilm Ki Dunya

Working hard to attain a scholarship is impressive, especially for students who plan to go abroad. Studies for international students without a scholarship can be costly otherwise.

Every year, lots of students apply for scholarships and try their luck. A part of studying abroad on the scholarship means that after you have received a respected degree, you will come back to your country.

Unfortunately, not everyone complies. Eventually, when a scholarship holder does not return, their scholarship is considered as defaulted, and their names and information are shared on HEC’s official website so that institutes can know about them.

HEC has released a list of 132 students who have been declared as defaulters. Moreover, a subcommittee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was shocked to learn that out of 583 projects, around 106 research projects were still incomplete, at various educational institutes, even after a decade despite funding by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

The committee was further informed that 132 students who were sent abroad did not make it back.

The committee was also informed that 82 scholars had not returned to Pakistan after completing their PhDs, while 52 had been declared fail by various foreign universities.

It was also found that 68 more scholars, who had been sent abroad on scholarships during the second phase of the program, again did not return to Pakistan.

Alam Khan, the committee’s convener, expressed his anger at the absence of HEC Chairman Tariq Banuri during the meeting. When he eventually showed, he was asked by Khan to submit a letter stating his lack.

During the meeting, it was found that HEC was not recovering the cost of training from these scholars. It was shared that HEC had spent Rs. Nine hundred fifty-five million on the scholars.

The chairman shared that some recoveries had been made and that the cases have been registered in the court accordingly. It was found that only one defaulter had returned the money.

The committee officials decided that if candidates wish to avail of the Ph.D. scholarships, they will now have to pledge their house, land, or such assets in favor of the government. They added as most of the students who apply for scholarships have no such properties or assets, HEC should get a guarantee signed from a well-off person who is willing to take the risk.

A list of HEC defaulters can be found on the HEC website.

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