68 Ph.D. scholars from different public sector universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), who went abroad after receiving scholarships through the Higher Education Commission (HEC), didn’t return to Pakistan after completing their research.
Overall, 734 Ph.D. scholars from KP have gone abroad on HEC scholarships in the last 10 years.
550 out of the 734 Ph.D. scholars returned to Pakistan after successfully completing their degrees, 42 returned either after failing or without completing their degrees, and 74 are still studying abroad.
HEC has released these figures under the KP Right to Access to Information Act, 2013.
According to the HEC, the national exchequer has incurred a loss of Rs. 1 billion at the hands of both the absconders and unsuccessful Ph.D. scholars.
HEC has initiated legal proceedings against them in order to recover the losses along with a 25% penalty and forwarded their cases to FIA, Foreign Office, and NADRA for further action.
As per official figures, 10 faculty members of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University Peshawar owe more than Rs. 136 million to the HEC, 2 of Khyber Medical University owe Rs. 20 million, and 2 of Islamia College University owe Rs. 20 million.
Moreover, 17 faculty members of Kohat University of Science and Technology owe more than Rs. 96 million to the HEC, 5 of University of Engineering owe Rs. 10 million, and 5 of Malakand University owe Rs 28.3 million.
Besides, 2 faculty members of Shaheed Benazir University, Upper Dir, 11 of Hazara University, 10 of University of Peshawar, 6 of Institute of Management Sciences, and 7 of Abdul Wali Khan University owe millions to HEC as well.