Universities Academic Staff Association Rejects HEC’s New Policy for PhD Admissions

The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) has rejected the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) revised Ph.D. admission policy, and has mandated MS/MPhil for admissions for a doctorate degree.

In a landmark decision, the HEC had introduced 4-year BS programs a few years ago in phases, while doing away with the MA/MSc programs in all public sector institutions of higher learning and research, a move that was not welcomed by the federation of universities.

In a statement on Tuesday, the FAPUASA vowed to resist such unilateral policies with full zeal.


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Before this policy, students were required to have either an MPhil or equivalent degree or 2-year post-graduate teaching/research experience to apply for a Ph.D. degree in any Pakistani university.

The commission, while phasing out the MPhil programs, had announced to replace them with a 6-semester MS program imitating the practice in the US and European universities to bring our system at par with the first-world countries. The move was meant to help Ph.D. candidates apply to the American and European universities without undertaking their graduate programs first.

Dr. Hasan Mahmood, President, Academic Staff Association, Quaid-e-Azam University, lamented the HEC’s decision to scrap the condition of MPhil for Ph.D. admission without replacing it with MS degrees.

HEC should have opted for MPhil/MS option. But, its new policy allows the direct admission of BS graduates into Ph.D. programs in all the disciplines in Pakistani universities.


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The All Pakistan Universities Federation rejected the decision saying that it was made without taking higher education institutions and academia on-board.

As per their statement, MPhil programs will become redundant, which will be a great loss for the universities of Pakistan, adding that the research productivity of the scholars will also decline considerably.

Masters and MPhil students are trained to undertake quality research work, reflected through their international research publications.

This experience helps our Ph.D. candidates secure scholarships in the top-ranking world universities, it added.

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