Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience


HEC scholarships: a bitter experience


Your Name:

Recipient Email:

IT was something a friend of mine had asked me to give a try and so I did, buying his reasoning that one should uptake every possible opportunity in accomplishing his goals.

So, I competed for the HEC’s 90 per cent overseas scholarship for MS leading to PhD (phase II, batch IV). Given my outstanding performance in the NTS test and excellent academic credentials, I was shortlisted for the interview of the scholarship in February 2012.

Encouraged by the development, I started searching for universities and programmes in French universities offering such programmes, in accordance with the instructions given by the HEC. However, the entire process came to naught one once it was communicated that the HEC has been unable to formulate an interview panel (so was the official stance) for France and hence now we were to secure admission in Turkish universities as they had automatically shifted the study destination from France to Turkey.

Sticking to the limited choice of universities, I restarted the application process. I was granted admission in a relevant programme at Bilkent University through an offer letter which I immediately forwarded to the assistant director, overseas scholarship scheme (phase II). To my dismay, on Sept 24, I received an email from the officer, stating that my scholarship candidacy has been cancelled as I had failed to secure admission to any of the university.

This was a total fallacy as not only did I forward the university letter to him, I also sent him a data form indicating my applications and responses from the concerned universities. When inquired, I was told that my candidacy had been withdrawn as I had not applied in the relevant MS leading to a PhD programme and had applied for an MS programme. This is an ambiguous answer because the university does not offer a formal MS leading to PhD programme. Therefore, I went on to apply for an MS programme which could lead to a PhD degree. Thus, I end where I started – disillusioned.


Comments (13) Closed

Vigilant Nov 10, 2012 09:42am
drag them to court
Nafees Bhatti Nov 11, 2012 12:08am
it's not HEC alone, the whole country is up side down. GOD knows what it may take to put things right because the amount of mess is so enormous and increasing every day !!!!!!!!!!
Ayaz Khan Nov 10, 2012 10:00am
You can close most of the Pakistani universities and nothing will happen to peoples welfare. Pakistan needs to invest in improving primary and secondary education.
W Ahmad Nov 10, 2012 08:08am
I can feel your pain brother.Better luck for next time.dont give up .
farmerdr Nov 10, 2012 05:52pm
Red tape and unhelpful state employees laughingly referred to as civil servants endeavour to make each and every citizen's life approximate Hell as closely as they possibly can.
Kamran Nov 10, 2012 03:41pm
Dear Mustafa, After going through urs case, i would simply say that it is not HEC mistake, but it is totally urs cowardness that you provide them a ground to play with urs future. Brother in Pakistan "No one will give you urs Right in a plate, you will have to snatch it. i would like to suggest you that file a case against HEC as soon as possible in the higher courts, and mean while also apply for the same 90% scholarship which has been announced by HEC. My prays are with you and Inshallah you will get urs right if you properly pursue that. Regards Kamran
KHURAM Nov 11, 2012 01:47am
I am really sad to read this as I am myself a HEC scholar studying here in the United Kingdom since 2008. I was shortlisted and selected for the same program, i.e. MSc leading to PhD. I got admission in the Masters program at London South Bank University and submitted my admission letter to the scholarship director in Pakistan. I strongly agree with you brother that no University will offer a MSc leading to PhD program. One has to first complete MSc and then he or she could apply for PhD with a research proposal. HEC should take action of your matter and should re-award this scholarship to you. And those who are saying that this country doesn't need PhDs, please tell us the alternate. I could earn a lot of money if I stay here in the UK but I will never do that. I will be completing my PhD in September 2013 and Insha Allah shall come back to Pakistan, to serve my Pakistan, no matter if I am paid less compared to my friends in other countries. For God sake, don't spread wrong thoughts and please try to stay positive.
ayaz Nov 10, 2012 05:20am
HEC is just a burden on our country.Do we need Phds or primary education is the biggest question.?
Sam Nov 10, 2012 04:52am
HEC and Phd is a complete joke in Pakistan.Phd have been completely abused by private and public Pakistani Universities.
zafri Nov 10, 2012 08:47pm
HEC policies and regulations are really strange
bilal Nov 10, 2012 06:07pm
I have been rejected several times by HEC although my credentials and NTS scores were excellent. I never gave up and then I got a scholarship for United States. I would suggest to my friend never to lose hope. HEC is one of the crown Jewels of Pakistan. It is far better than other ministries in Pak. Once I got a Commonwealth scholarship for Canada based on my NTS score, after completing all the requirements, I was told by the Ministry of Education, to look for admissions in Korea. It was frustrating but i tried again until I found a better option.
Rohail Nov 10, 2012 12:21pm
Dear Ayaz, There is no denial on the importance of primary education but lets be honest, primary education doesnt get any country or institution anywhere in the world! It is all about highly skilled labour (e.g. PhDs) who would train the Bachelors and Masters well to get the wheel rolling for the country! Again, i repeat primary education is important but it definitely is not a substitute to a highly scientific community capable of developing the "economic and industrial" fabric of the nation.
imran Nov 10, 2012 02:52pm
Working by HEC is rubbish, fools believe in what they call merit, having scored 99.98 percentile in NTS and scores of top positions in my academic carrier i was still unable to get a scholarship!!! and no response from the worthy HEC, and has any one ever carried out audit of this organisation about how they decide in which field of study to award scholarships and what is the impact for such discipline on national economic spectrum?