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HEC scholarships: a bitter experience

November 09, 2012

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 When inquired, I was told that my candidacy had been withdrawn as I had not applied in the relevant MS leading to a PhD programme and had applied for an MS programme.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.

MUSTAFA ZAFAR CHAUDHARY Islamabad