MAKING graduate record-examinations [GRE] conditional for passing PhD degree is tantamount to putting a cart before the horse?

While many scholars at my university have completed their viva voce for a PhD degree after fulfilling codal formalities, they cannot get their degrees because every time they miss out the required score in GRE.

At a time it is only by a margin of two or three marks. Besides this condition is unanimously implemented across the public sector universities in the country.

Some institutions overemphasise it, others do not apply it at all, while some relax and ask the scholars to pass the test designed by the resident professors of respective departments.

The universities across the world require English proficiency tests such as IELTS and TOEFL, at entry level for enrolling in all kinds degree programs including MPhil and PhD.

The universities need to take cognisance of the fact that research scholars already undergo excruciating processes while doing research. The post-submission phase is agonising.

In one instance, at my institute, it took a candidate two years, to obtain the evaluation report from foreign experts for various reasons. Otherwise one year [post-admission] seems to be normal for the purpose of securing reports and conducting the final defense.

This is followed by the approval the degree, which is given by the Board of Advanced Studies and Research [BASR].

At times, the BASR meeting takes place after six-months time. Hence, in total, this consumes six to seven years.

In this entire process, it is unfathomable to find a relevance of GRE to a PhD degree. This condition apparently only adds to the anxiety and depression of the candidate.

It is time the Higher Education Commission devised unanimous policy for public universities across the country where the aspirants may be required to pass a subject specific entrance test devised by the respective universities and do away with the arbitrary condition of GRE.

The World Students Society thanks Dr. Rafique A. Memon, Director Institute of English, University of Sindh, Jamshoro. Pakistan, for taking this matter up.


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