The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has decided to suspend the requirement of MS, MPhil to pursue a PhD in Pakistan. As such, HEC has released a new PhD policy that will be followed for all doctoral programmes in Pakistan from now onwards. HEC Chairman, Tariq Banuri, said, “HEC has abolished the condition of having an MS or MPhil degree for admission to PhD.”
HEC had received a lot of critique regarding the new admission policy for PhDs. HEC has still decided to go ahead with the policy that came into effect on 1st January 2021. The new policy allows a student to directly undertake a PhD after their Bachelor’s degree. HEC has also allowed students to pursue a PhD in another discipline if the policy makes the cut.
HEC has removed the requirement of sending PhD dissertations to foreign experts for review and the dissertations can now be sent to Pakistani experts for review. People have critiqued that this will lower the quality of the education and research performed in Pakistan. The policy will not apply to students that are already enrolled in a PhD programme.
The minimum duration of a PhD degree has also been set at 3 years with the maximum at 8 years. PhD students are also required to complete the coursework over at least two years or at least 30 credit hours. In the previous policy, it was set at 18 credit hours.