THE Higher Education Commission (HEC) sends a number of Pakistanis to different countries through scholarship programmes every year. However, there is lack of planning.
According its policy, the HEC determines the least possible amount as stipend that includes a living allowance, health insurance and all other things. Some students can’t even afford on-campus residence and they have to collectively rent a home off-campus.
According to the contract signed with the HEC, students receive stipends every month and are barred from doing any full-time or part-time job or using any other scholarship during the PhD period. Unfortunately, the meagre stipend is delayed for several months.
Currently the HEC scholars studying in South Korea are facing one such situation. Our stipend was due since September 1, of this year but yet there is no news about it. Adding to the grievances of scholars, HEC officials have chosen not to reply to any email or phone call made to them.
We have to take care of our rents, visa extensions and health insurance to be renewed every semester, but the HEC has opted to leave us high and dry.
(A Ph. D scholar)