The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has closed 228 PhD programmes across the country due to a teacher shortage, according to the 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday.
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The HEC report also made some startling revelations, such as the fact that many PhD scholars are still unemployed.
Despite the fact that some 4000 PhD scholars are still looking for work, there are a number of vacant positions in many government and private universities.
According to a HEC survey conducted in 2021, the teacher-to-student ratio was not proportionate in 268 PhD programmes out of a total of 869.
According to the report, Punjab University requires 953 PhD teachers to carry out their PhD programmes; however, the university currently employs only 662 PhD degree holders, and the university is in need of 291 teachers to fill the gap.
Government College University for Women, Faisalabad requires 448 PhD scholars to conduct PhD programmes in various disciplines; however, the university only has 224 teachers for the purpose and requires an additional 204 teachers to continue its programmes.
The University of Balochistan has 168 vacant positions in addition to the 368 seats designated for PhD scholars, despite the fact that the university only has 156 PhD scholars in various faculties.
Only 20 PhD scholars are currently employed by Government College University for Women for PhD in Science and Technology programmes, despite the fact that 119 seats are specified for the purpose, with 99 seats remaining vacant.
Dow University Sindh has 110 teachers for PhD programmes, despite the fact that the university requires 244 teachers and only has 134. Only the Dow University Faculty of Medical Science requires 208 PhD teachers, but the faculty only has 96, with 112 seats remaining vacant.
Only 167 PhD teachers have applied for a total of 288 seats at Federal Urdu University Sindh, with 121 seats remaining vacant.
Ghazi University, Dera Ghazi Khan, requires an additional 138 PhD scholars because the university only has 51 PhD teachers to fill a total of 189 vacancies. The university’s Faculty of Arts and Humanities has only eight PhD teachers, compared to the 52 needed to fill the gap. In addition to the nine PhD scholars currently employed by the Faculty of Basic Sciences, 52 more PhD teachers are required.
Similarly, 71 PhD positions remain unfilled at Jinnah Medical University, 88 at Abbottabad Science and Technology University, 37 at Allama Iqbal Open University, 60 at Bacha Khan University, 84 at Pir Mahar Ali Shah Barani University, and 84 at Government College University, Lahore.
According to the report, universities only hire new PhD holders for one year, and scholars who earned their PhDs between 2009 and 2019 are still unemployed.
According to the report, only 642 scholars have registered on a job portal designed specifically for PhD scholars.
According to the report, 358 new PhD holders have been appointed for one year under the Interim Placement of Fresh PhDs programme.
According to HEC rules, a department requires three full-time PhD teachers in the relevant subject to run a PhD programme, and one teacher can only supervise five students at a time.