WITH every passing day, the academic competition is increasing with the result that a number of candidates appear for various scholarship schemes announced by the HEC and international universities.
After a successful candidate is awarded a scholarship, there starts a series of international tests which must be cleared. International GRE by ETS and an English proficiency test IELTS are deemed to be the two most important tests which should be passed by the awardee in order to get admission to a foreign university.
Despite completing 16 years of education in an English-medium institute, the applicant is required to present a separate document showing his/her prowess at the language and he also appears for GRE which assesses basic academic skills.
Of course, there is nothing to be worried about by a talented and diligent candidate until he/she comes to know the fee structure.
A scholarship awardee has to pay Rs17,000 and Rs20,000 to appear for IELTS and GRE, respectively, with some extra amount in hand for the course books to be purchased. This is no less than great trauma, especially for those who hardly manage to make ends meet.
It seems that all the doors of opportunities are closed on them. If such a huge amount is being paid by an awardee, what the scholarship is meant for then?
I request the HEC to take some considerable steps in lessening the financial burden placed on awardees by either granting them some amount or reducing the fee structure charged by foregoing organisations so that prospective candidates become able to seek admission to universities of their choice and fulfil their aspirations. By so doing, the HEC can truly help the people to be educated and make the country prosperous.
SANIA SHAHID NIZAMANI Jamshoro