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Author Topic: HEC Rescinds NOC Condition for Foreign Students  (Read 506 times)

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HEC Rescinds NOC Condition for Foreign Students
« on: September 09, 2013, 08:13:23 AM »
HEC Rescinds NOC Condition for Foreign Students
Lahore : 09 September : In an unanticipated move that surprised educationists across the country, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has backed off from its earlier decision, which had made mandatory for foreign students to acquire NOC from their respective countries before getting admission into Pakistani universities.
According to documents available with Daily Times, HEC had earlier asked universities and degree awarding institutions to award admissions to only those foreign students who could produce NOC from their country’s Foreign Ministry, possibly due to security reasons and fear of involvement of foreigners in terrorism activities.

According to Letter No.5-1/FS/Acad/HEC/2013/1924 issued on April 25, 2013 issued by Assistant Director (Academics) Rabia Jehanzeb, “as per admission procedure agreed by all relevant authorities, effective from November 1, 2006, being autonomous bodies, universities/ degree awarding institutions are authorized to grant admission to the foreign students on merit and according to the eligibility criteria of the concerned university/institution. Under the existing policy, foreign students approach directly to the desired university/institution and get the admission confirmation letter. After the confirmation of the admission, the university refer the case to HEC and HEC endorses the admission cases to Ministry of Interior in order to confirm the authenticity of admission and recognition of the institution.”

The letter further states, “Now it has been observed by the relevant authorities that large number of foreign students especially from Afghanistan and African countries are getting online admission in Pakistani educational institutions while remaining in native countries. It is likely that anti state elements may exploit internet facility for admission of their agents in the garb of student”

It added, “It is therefore, requested that the condition of NOC of respective country be made mandatory for students at the time of admission and when submitting documents to the concerned missions. The proposed NOC to foreign students may be issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the concerned country or by the concerned foreign mission in Pakistan.”

The copy of the letter was also sent to P.S to the Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad, Shahid Hamid, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Interior Islamabad and Lieutenant Colonel Khalid Iqbal, directorate general, Inter-Services Intelligence, Islamabad.

However the decision, made the admission process for foreign students stricter especially for anti state elements who could get admission in local institutions for the sake of any terrorist activity.

But later the decision was withdrawn on August 20, 2013.

According to the letter No.5-1/FS/Acad/HEC/2013/2070 issued by Director (Academics) Ghayyur Fatima stated, “In continuation to this office letter No.5-1/FS/Acad/HEC/2013/1924 dated April 25, 2013, it is to inform that the introduction of additional step for obtaining NOC from respective country is causing delay in the process of getting admission/study visa for the students and restricting their timely admission in institutions of the country. Keeping in view the concerns of foreign students and different universities on the matter, HEC’s letter No.5-1/FS/Acad/HEC/2013/1924 may kindly be treated as cancelled. ”

However the education circles have criticised the revised policy of HEC and said it could lead to the issue already mentioned by HEC about admission of anti state elements. They believed that since the fight against terrorism was going on, it is learnt that foreigners are fighting in Pakistan against our Army in operations in northern areas whereas involvement of foreigners in terrorist activities is also reported, they added.

They said that reports of arrest of alleged foreigners from Punjab University hostel should also be considered seriously in this regard. Therefore the education circles said HEC should retain its previous decision of strict measures of admissions for foreigners for the safety of country.
Daily Times.
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