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Students guide for UK visas | Pindi SSC results

BHC issues guide for students applying for UK visas
Islamabad, Aug 09: The British High Commission on Tuesday issued a guide on applying for a student visa for the UK. The guidance is part of an ongoing awareness campaign on the British High Commission's Facebook and Twitter pages throughout June and July. The campaign aims to share useful information and tips for the Pakistanis applying for UK visas, revealed the embassy press statement issued.Launching the guide, the British High Commission's Visas and Immigration Head Claire Murray said, "UK is open for genuine students and we want to attract the brightest and the best to study in our universities.

Every year, we receive tens of thousands of applications for the UK visas, the majority of which are issued.""The summer always sees a surge in UK visa applications, as students apply for their visas to begin university courses in September and October. Through this awareness campaign, we are sharing tips and advice to all prospective UK visa applicants on what types of visas to apply for, what documents we require, and the likely turnaround times.""We have also invited the applicants to send us their questions, via Facebook and Twitter, for our visas and immigration team to answer during a Q/A session on Friday, July 25," he added. "There are many myths surrounding the UK visa application process.Through this guide for the students and the overall awareness campaign, we aim to dispel these and signpost to applicants, all the information they need to submit an application," he said.Daily times

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HEC may re-verify already cleared degrees
Islamabad: Serious questions are being raised on the Higher Education Commission's process of verification of educational degrees while top HEC officials want an independent audit of verifications done by the commission during the last six years.

In recent years, the federal governments have given jobs to hundreds of thousands of people on the basis of political affiliations without considering merit. The only criterion was links of an individual with any of the powerful politicians. However, as these appointments were being made in important government organisations and an education degree was mandatory to keep the record 'straight', many individuals with political references allegedly submitted fake degrees.

When some government departments were informed about these fake degrees, they sent the degrees to the HEC for verification. The individuals who got top jobs on the basis of political influence as a result of fake tests/interviews have now started to influence the HEC.

The HEC has been a reputed institution having rendered great services for the promotion of quality higher education in the country. According to insiders, initially, these political appointees faced problems and could not get any favour from the HEC but with the passage of time things have changed.

For verification of any higher degree such as Ph.D, M.Phil or master's, the HEC requires all lower degrees in original and also issues a "ticket number" to the person who wants to get his degree verified. No degree could be verified without submission of lower degrees or without issuing a ticket number.

During the process of verification of degrees of parliamentarians, the biggest issue was unavailability of lower classes degrees as many parliamentarians have a valid graduation degree but they had never passed F.A./F.Sc. or even the matriculation exams.

Similarly, ticket numbers issued on a certain date, the basic identification to trace out the record of any verification done by the commission, is always written on the stamp of verification on the said degree.

Some senior officers in the federal secretariat say that according to their understanding, some politically appointed officials managed to get their degrees verified under fictitious or fake ticket numbers.

The only way to examine this was to check the details of any specific ticket number printed on the verification stamp of any HEC verified degree of any recently appointed government employee (not necessarily fake degree) by providing the commission only "ticket number" and the exact date of verification.

Also some other facts could have been verified by sending the HEC details of any verified higher degree like PhD and requesting the commission to provide details of lower degrees, as this was basic requirement.

The News did both things and officially sent the HEC a questionnaire requesting to provide details against a "ticket number" by mentioning the exact date of verification by the HEC and also details of lower degrees of a Ph.D degree holder.

Senior government officials said that details would never be provided and instead exact identification of individuals would be sought, which in fact was required. Relevant parts of The News questionnaire read; "Respected Mrs.

Ayesha Ikram/Waseem Khaliqdad Sb, Please provide information regarding following two points; 1- HEC Letter No.8-50/HEC/A&A/2013/*** dated April **, 2013 written by *** Assistant Director HEC is attached with this email. This letter is verifying a Ph.D degree of an individual.

Please provide The News with the dates of passing of Matriculation exam, Intermediate exam, Bachelor degree Exam and Master's degree exam as mentioned on original degrees of this individual from the record of this file as HEC maintains copies of all these lower degrees while verifying a higher degree.

2- HEC verified a degree under serial number 443635 dated June 15, 2011. Please provide the name of the degree, year of examination, date of issuance of degree by the university, name of university that issued this degree and name of person who holds this degree. (Some fields are hidden to maintain secrecy of documents but these are available with The News)

The HEC responded to both the questions as follows; This is with reference to your email below... It is informed that:

1. As per HEC's record, after receipt of PhD degree confirmation from *** University, China, equivalence letter was issued.

2. We will be able to trace record of the case only if CNIC number of that person is available."

Subsequently, The News contacted almost all the relevant senior HEC officials all of whom confirmed that record of any verification done by the HEC must be provided if ticket number and exact date is provided to concerned section of the commission and if CNIC or any other details are being required, there is something very fishy.

The News contacted Executive Director, HEC, Dr Mansoor Kundi, on Tuesday and asked whether it ever came to his notice that some fake or wrong degrees are being verified by the HEC as genuine.

He said "Yes, there were complaints at times". Kundi said that he himself was fired as the VC of Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, as he refused to verify a fake degree of a provincial minister.

Kundi said that he was not aware of any specific case of verification of a fake degree. He said that he was also not aware of the exact process followed and will definitely check it. He said that no doubt transparency must be ensured and every step should be taken if anything wrong had been done. The news

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