As many as 2,045 Pakistanis are currently pursuing their higher education in various foreign universities through the Higher Education Commission (HEC). During the last eight years, a total of 674 students returned to Pakistan after completing PhDs in their respective fields, HEC sources revealed on Sunday.
Officials of the commission revealed that most of the students seeking higher education in foreign universities are pursuing their studies in natural sciences including physics, biology, chemistry, engineering and medicine. Other fields include social sciences, business and public administration.
However, the officials said that most of the students selected by the commission for scholarships hail from “developed areas of developed provinces”. The reason, they said is because students from these areas have sound academic background and meet requirements for the scholarships. Resultantly, students from the less developed areas of the country due to their lack of facilities and poor background, they said, “more or less lag behind in the race for seeking higher studies in foreign universities,”
When contacted, an HEC spokesperson said that the commission has set criteria that students need to meet for scholarships in foreign universities, which is why students mostly from developed areas of the country end up qualifying. However, he said that the commission has relaxed this rules to facilitate students belonging to tribal areas and Balochistan.
According to HEC figures, France is the leading country where 476 Pakistani students are presently pursuing their higher studies, followed by Germany with 195 Pakistanis.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 9th, 2011.
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