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US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor (Phase I): HEC to Provide GRE, TOEFL Training for 6,000 Students to Study in US Varsities

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ISLAMABAD: (November 1, 2018): The Higher Education Commission (HEC) will provide coaching to 6,000 candidates of GRE/ TOEFL in collaboration with the United States Education Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), public sector universities and private sector trainers and firms. The training is part of Talent Farming component of the US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor.

The coaching will be provided in various cities of the country to shortlisted candidates intending to seek admission in PhD studies at US universities under the US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor. HEC is also exploring the possibility of adoption of virtual technology based training to facilitate learning of the candidates at their own place. Candidates seeking admissions in PhD studies at US universities need to qualify GRE/ TOEFL tests so as to qualify the basic admission criteria.

Talent Farming is scheduled four times a year under “Call for GRE Training” at Islamabad and four provincial capitals through three programme components, namely orientation, workshop about higher education in the US, and Five-Week GRE Training. Furthermore, during the current Fiscal Year, GRE Training is underway at University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, which is attended by candidates from four universities within Faisalabad; while, the training sessions have also been started at two other universities, namely University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir, Muzaffarabad, and Mirpur University of Science & Technology, Mirpur, Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

For provision of such training and award of scholarship, HEC considers candidates with excellent academic credentials. The candidates who are trained through HEC-run GRE/ TOEFL coaching classes may either seek HEC funding under this initiative or may directly seek admission opportunities in the US universities.

The US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor was conceptualized to significantly increase the number and quality of faculty in country’s higher education institutions. It aims to provide opportunities for 10,000 Pakistani scholars over the next 10 years for doctoral studies at US universities.

In the 1st phase, the project entitled “PhD. Scholarship Programme (without tuition fee) under US-Pakistan Knowledge Corridor (Phase-I)” targets at supporting 1,500 PhD scholars at the leading US universities. So far, 31 candidates, who had secured complete fee waivers from US universities, have proceeded for PhD studies. Likewise, 30 more candidates shall be proceeding to US for their PhD studies in the coming Spring-2019 session. So far, 567 candidates have been trained in Orientations; 809 during Workshops, and 330 in Five-Week GRE Training.

 The eligibility criteria for award of HEC scholarship are elaborate and require applicants to have at least 18-years of formal education, International GRE general /GRE subject scores, PhD offer/ admission letter from Ranked Land-Grant US Universities. Nonetheless, the project award is conditional to the fact that the applicant secures a complete tuition fee waiver or TA/RA-ship which covers tuition fee, as the scholarship does not include tuition fee.

To ensure timely achievement of the project targets, HEC is at the same time negotiating on Documents of Understanding (DoUs) with US universities with an aim to place cohorts of Pakistanis in ranked US universities. As of now, a total of four DoUs with full-tuition fee waivers have been formalised with ranked US universities including University of Georgia, University of Delaware, University of Houston, and George Washington University. Negotiations with other US universities are underway for tuition fee waiver.

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