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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Hundreds of Pakistani students sent abroad for studies with scholarships by HEC never return: report

106 HEC research projects incomplete despite funding, learns PAC sub-committee

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan avidly supports students yearning to study abroad, by providing scholarships. However, reports claim many students do not come back to Pakistan once they reach abroad.

A sub-committee of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was unpleasantly surprised to learn that some 106 research projects at various universities were still incomplete after over a decade, despite funding by the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The committee’s convener Alam Khan directed the commission to submit the record of these incomplete research projects with the audit officials.

Committee Chairman expresses displeasure at the absence of HEC Chairman

The committee chairman also expressed anger on the absence of the HEC Chairman Tariq Banuri in the meeting. Khan asked the HEC Executive Director (ED) Lt Gen (retd) Muhammad Asghar about the chairman. The ED replied that Banuri was in his office. Later, HEC chairman arrived at the meeting. Khan asked Banuri to send an official letter in advance if he had any reason for absence from the PAC meeting.

The committee reviewed the audit paras of HEC. As per the audit report, HEC issued funds to different universities for research projects. However, some 106 projects of 583 were still incomplete after 14 years, audit findings pointed out.

More than a hundred students sent abroad never returned

Besides this, the audit officials apprised the committee that the commission sent various scholars abroad for P.hD and other scholarships.

Read more: Pakistan offers 1000 scholarships to Afghan students at different universities across the country

However, 132 of them did not return. They added that even the cost of training was not recovered from these scholars by HEC. At this, ED said that a case in this regard was already in the court, adding that they have made some recoveries. He asserted that the audit officials dismissed the related para from the report.

Read more: Pakistan offers 1000 scholarships to Afghan students at different universities across country

The convener stated that the scholarships should only be awarded to the deserving students not the well-connected and rich people.

GVS News Desk with additional input by other sources