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Foreign qualification dilemma

September 21, 2013

I DID my O level in 2000. I passed six subjects, while the international requirement is five subjects. After a gap of 11 years in my education due to my family problems, I once again started my education. Now I have got a Higher Diploma in Accounting from the British Institute of Management Sciences (BIMS), UK, on which I got exemption of six papers from ACCA, UK. Now I am a student of ACCA.

I wish to become a clinical psychologist. I went to the virtual university for admission in BS Psychology programme. I showed them my certificates but they told me to bring the equivalence certificate for the foreign certificates.

For the equivalence certificate, I went to the Inter-Board Committee of Chairmen, Islamabad. After standing for three hours in a queue, I got an entry pass to meet an officer.

I asked the officer for an equivalence certificate for my O level. He told me that I had got six subjects and their requirement was eight subjects for O level on which equivalence certificate could be issued.

I told him that the international requirement was five subjects, while I have six subjects. On this, the officer said he was aware of that and knew that my education is 10 times better than matriculation, but he could not issue the equivalence certificate because eight subjects were required.

When I asked him if he knew all this, then why he didn’t take action against this. The officer told me that he didn’t want to lose his job and that I must now leave his office.

Then I went to the Higher Education Commission, Islamabad, for an equivalence certificate. When I presented my certificate, the officer told me to throw it in the dustbin because the HEC didn’t have any memorandum of understanding with BIMS, UK.

On this I said it didn’t mean I am not qualified, but once again pat came the reply: “I am sorry.”

I applied to the world’s top online American university Penn State. They accepted me for the BS psychology programme. But, unfortunately, the degree costs almost Rs6 million which I cannot afford.

I have applied to more than 10 foreign online universities and they all accepted my qualification.

Now my questions are: is Pakistani education standard so good that it can deny top foreign universities’ certificates?

If they do not accept foreign certificates and international requirement for a particular degree, why then do they allow foreign universities or colleges in Pakistan to operate?

Who will return the money I spent on foreign qualification? Who will give a solution to this problem? All our universities want equivalence for foreign degrees. Now where should I go to study?

Why are students with quality education always underestimated? Why don’t I have a right to study further? I need justice.