Capacity building: HED offers aid to college faculty pursuing masters, post-masters degrees

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The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Higher Education Department (HED) has offered 150 scholarships to finance college teachers under the Faculty Development Support Programme (FDSP).

“Financial support is being provided to teachers already enrolled for MSc, MPhil and PhD programmes in any university in Pakistan and we have received around 700 applications,” HED Additional Secretary Dr Khalid Khan told The Express Tribune on Wednesday.

Khan said it was the first time the HED has offered to finance faculty members in a bid to encourage teaching and research faculty to improve and in turn enhance the quality of higher education.

He said the programme is meant to strengthen domestic capability through research and development, which, he added, was vital for future development and self reliance in the field of social science, applied sciences and technology.

“HED has embarked on an agenda of reforms and faculty development forms the cornerstone of this agenda,” said Khan, adding the reforms will not have the desired effect in the absence of motivated, skilled and professional faculty.

The financial support will be from the date of approval of support till the attainment of degrees. The aid will allow faculty members to publish their research paper, compete in events and showcase talent at local and national levels, said Khan.

The major objectives of the initiative are inhibiting brain drain from the department, supporting talented scientists for various competitions, helping publish their research, establish linkages with private sector universities under public-private sector partnerships and collaborating with brotherly countries for faculty development and scientific pursuits.

The Rs0.5 million in financial support for MSc and MPhil students (2 years) also includes monthly stipend of Rs12,000, Rs50,000 per year for reference books, software, internet, stationary and lab use besides Rs65,000 for a laptop (for scholars).

Financial support for PhD scholars (4 years) is Rs1 million with Rs50,000 per year for research, Rs5,000 per year as books allowance, Rs10,000 as thesis charges while Rs3,000 will be provided to a PhD scholar upon completion for evaluation from abroad.

Source: The Express Tribune.