Higher Education Commission Pakistan – Credential Verification, PhD Admission, and Faculty Eligibility

On January 17, 2021, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) posted an alert for the students on its twitter account.

The alert asked the students not to take admission in 2-year BA/Bsc or MA/MSc Programs. HEC has phased out these programs due to quality concerns. The decision was taken to replace 2-year BA/BSc program with a 4-year BS degree program. An equivalent Associate Degree (AD) program was introduced comprising of 2 years.

After this decision, the transition period concluded in 2016. Universities were asked to stop admissions in 2-year BA/BSc programs by December 31, 2018 and MA/MSc program by December 31, 2020 (extended to March 31, 2021).

The current graduates of 2-year BA/BSc program are allowed to apply for the admission in the third year of a 4-year BA/BSc program.

Fresh students who have completed the intermediate (12-years) education now have two options. They can either get admission in 4-year BS program or 2-year Associate Degree (AD) program.

HEC has made it clear that it will not recognize degrees of those students who enrolled in 2-year BA/BSc programs after December 31, 2018. HEC has further clarified that it will not recognize degrees of those students who will enroll in 2-year MA/MSc program after March 31, 2021.

Students can visit https://eservices.hec.gov.pk for attestation of degrees:

HEC also alerts students to verify recognition status of university/institution before admission:

The eligibility criteria for the appointment of faculty in Pakistani Universities is also mentioned on HEC website at the following link:
https://www.hec.gov.pk/english/services/universities/QA/Pages/Faculty-Appointment-Criteria.aspx

Some news outlets including Dawn and Express Tribune have reported that according to a new policy of HEC, the applicants having BS or equivalent degree can get admission to a PhD programme and can also pursue the degree in another discipline. The policy removes the requirement to send PhD dissertations to foreign experts for review and dissertations can now be sent to Pakistani experts too. The maximum duration of a PhD degree will be eight years, with the minimum being three years. The students will require spending at least two years in their home country during their PhD studies. The new policy had been enforced on Jan 1, 2021 in all public and private universities of the country. Under the new policy for admission to PhD programmes, a minimum CGPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0 in the semester system) or first division (in the annual system) in the most recent degree obtained is required for aspiring students. It further stated that an MS or MPhil degree leading to a PhD programme will be defunct henceforth and candidates would still be allowed to get an MPhil or MS degree if they meet the required standards during the course of their doctoral studies. The universities can award degrees after a minimum of three years and not more than eight years after the enrolment of the student. HEC has not yet issued an official notification on the implementation of the policy. However, HEC Chairman confirmed the issuance of this policy while addressing a presser at the HEC office in Islamabad on January 20, 2021.

Related Links:

What you should know about HEC’s new PhD policy
https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/777135-what-is-hecs-new-phd-policy

MPhil, MS not mandatory for admission in PhD, announces HEC chairman
https://arynews.tv/en/hec-chairman-admission-phd-policy

Undergraduate Education Policy
https://www.hec.gov.pk/english/services/faculty/Plagiarism/Documents/UGE-Policy.pdf

Policy on PhD Degree Programs
https://www.hec.gov.pk/english/services/faculty/Plagiarism/Documents/HEC-PhD-Policy.pdf

Press Briefing of Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri
https://edutv.hec.gov.pk/latest-recorded-videos/chairman-hec-press-conference-media.html

Sindh government to continue all two-year degree programmes
https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/784516-sindh-government-to-continue-all-two-year-degree-programmes

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