The Department of English Language and Literature at the Government College University, Lahore, is yet to schedule viva exams for all students enrolled in 2012 and some enrolled in 2011 session of its masters in philosophy degree programme.
Affected students told The Express Tribune that under examination rules the department is required to process their theses and schedule viva exams within 40 days of submission. They said they had submitted their thesis by the due date in August 2014.
Some of them said they required complete transcripts to apply to doctorate of philosophy (PhD) programmes in foreign universities. They added that the delay in announcement of viva exams was preventing them from doing so.
Requesting anonymity, a student from the 2012 session said that she had missed application deadlines for two scholarships due to the delay in viva exams.
She said she would miss the deadline for another scholarship opportunity if viva exams were not scheduled before August.
Another student said she had completed her course work and submitted the thesis on the due date in August 2014. She said she had since been waiting for the announcement of viva exams.
She said the department had yet to send the theses for a mandatory external review.
“External reviews take 15 to 20 days,” he said. She said students from the 2012 session had been requesting the administration for several months to announce a date. “They tell us they are looking into the matter,” she said.
Some students said they had secured admissions in further study programmes but required complete transcripts to join classes from August.
An official in the department said that the newly appointed chairman had forwarded to the dean office a request for scheduling of viva exams. He said the dean had yet to respond to the request. The former department chairman had been removed and a new chairman appointed in his place a few months ago in view of the delay in announcement of viva exams, he added.
GCU spokesperson Musaddiq Sultan admitted that the announcement of viva exams for the MPhil programme in English literature had been delayed.
He said the administration had started the process and would announce the schedule by end July. “We will ensure that students get their viva results in time to meet August deadlines for PhD applications,” he said.
The spokesperson refused comment on the appointment of the new chairman and whether or not the dean’s office was responsible for the delay.
The website for the GCU Department of English Language and Literature states that the department was established in 1873.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2015.