HEC Bars Universities from Awarding a PhD Against the Prescribed Criteria

Higher Education Commission (HEC) has barred all affiliated universities from awarding PhD degrees to students against the prescribed criteria.

HEC passed this order in a letter issued on December 3 to all the universities.

In the notification, the commission has observed that some universities were going against the prescribed “Minimum Criteria for Admission in MS/MPhil and PhD or Equivalent Programs” in awarding of PhD degrees to the students.

The document maintains that these students face difficulty at the time of degree verification.


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“Despite the guidelines, it has been observed that some universities are awarding PhD degrees in violation of HEC prescribed rules. This creates a problem for degree holders at the time of degree verification. Therefore, a policy to stop the award of degrees in violation of rules has been approved by HEC Competent Authority, attached as Annexure-II. All universities are at this moment advised to adopt this policy and widely circulate among concerned offices, PhD departments, faculty and students for information/implementation.”

The notification mentions that a new policy has been made to stop the ‘violation of rules’ and asked all universities to adopt the new policy for future degree programs.


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The document further intimated that only HEC approved Supervisors shall be allowed to supervise PhD students’ theses.

All the non-approved Supervisors, who are currently supervising any thesis may continue to do so until 30th June 2019.

“But no thesis will be assigned to HEC non-approved supervisor after the deadline,” the notification mentions.

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