The Government College University Lahore will offer salaries to postgraduate students to attract brightest minds across the world from September 2021. These studentships will comprise not just monthly salaries but also fee waivers for the selected top MPhil and PhD scholars.
MPhil students will be offered Rs. 40,000 per month and a fee waiver, while PhD scholars will get Rs. 60,000 per month plus a fee waiver.
The required funds will be generated from additional seats in the undergraduate programmes.
Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr Asghar Zaidi said “These postgraduate studentships will be highly competitive. We are replicating this model from the leading global universities which allocate a portion of their income from undergraduate programmes for strengthening postgraduate research.”
He added the selected postgraduate scholars in GCU would be required to teach two courses per semester related to their research topic. “This will anchor them in their research and will bring in fresh ideas in teaching. I am glad our Academic Council has already approved this scheme,” he added.
While explaining the rationale, Prof Zaidi said, “it is unfortunate that some universities are minting money by offering self-supporting postgraduate degrees. They admit a large number of students irrespective of their competence to make the programme financially feasible. MPhil and PhD are degrees of excellence and they cannot be offered for monetary benefits alone. Offering studentships to postgraduates is part of our recent drive to improve the teaching and research at GCU.”
A chairperson from GCU Faculty of Social Sciences said: “Our postgraduate students have fewer opportunities for scholarships. They do full-time job along with studies. This is the main issue with our higher education. Part-time postgraduate students cannot spare time to do reasonable research. This whole system of education needs revamping”.
A PhD scholar in the Faculty of Humanities told: “Most of the students are married and have family obligations. They do job with studies and compromise on the quality of research. Our new scheme is a major shift, an exceptional step in the right direction.”
Prof Zaidi said, “These studentships will not be limited to Pakistani students. GCU will attract good international students to create a global impact. No University can excel without attracting global talent. International students will come here with their knowledge, experiences, and work ethics which will help to improve our teaching and research standards.”