Stories about degree

Are internships a waste of time in Pakistan?

“Mind the gap.” This is a warning familiar to anyone who has ever taken the tube in London. It refers to the gap that exists between the platform and the train itself. It is also a warning delivered to all of us at university before we step into “the real world” – the platform being college and the bullet train being the corporate sector. What is this ‘real world’ we hear so much about? And why does every working professional refer to it as a world that every student is completely oblivious to and unprepared for? Did we not just spend ...

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Dear NADRA, your failure to recognise Pakistan’s undervalued regional languages is not surprising

I recently came across a disheartening news article which stated that the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) failed to recognise a degree attained in a regional language. This applied to all the areas and provinces of Pakistan and not just Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). Now, let us take in the severity of this statement. In effect, this means that those who have done their Bachelors or Masters in Pashto or any other regional language cannot enter their education data for their national identity cards (NIC) at NADRA. The premier regulatory authority’s online forms only contain and recognise a master’s degree or Doctorate in English, Urdu and Persian. But ...

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Here is why I chose Habib University

Every student stepping out of high school faces a dilemma: which university should they choose for further studies? Recently, a major investment has been made to establish Habib University. This university is a progressive educational institution that has incorporated state-of-the-art facilities along with learned faculty members. This university became my choice and here is why: The faculty Many universities in Pakistan have faculty members from foreign countries but very few are committed to undergraduate research and service inside and outside the campus community. This holds true for Pakistani teachers as well. A majority of the faculty members at Habib University are middle-aged or younger; this just ...

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Got the minimum GPA? No? Then no IoBM degree for you

A convocation ceremony marks the end of an academic journey and the beginning of a professional one. The sixteenth annual convocation of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) took place in Karachi on December 7, 2013. It was a time of celebration for all those students who were finally getting their ultimate reward – their degrees. Among this merriment and joy, however were those living under clouds of gloom and despondency. These students were those who had passed all their courses but had been unable to maintain a minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 — a requirement set by the administration that every student ...

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All in a day’s work: The modern Pakistani (super) woman

If you are a woman who belongs to the circle of society that sees itself as urban and educated, you will most likely find yourself adequately qualified with a degree and then promptly married off within a few years of working. Of course, that is if you managed to put your foot down in the first place to demand that you be allowed to work before marriage. Upon assuming marital responsibilities, it is but natural that your degree and work are pushed to the back seat, because now you are expected to take on domesticity as your foremost occupation. Or so ...

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Dear HEC, your degree attestation process is a nightmare

Getting a degree attested – sounds like a simple enough task, doesn’t it? Turns out, it can be an absolutely maddening task, trust me. I had been trying to apply for a visa to Canada, and as part of the process, I traveled to Islamabad from Peshawar to get my Bachelor’s degree attested. This is a necessary step for everyone who wants to apply for a visa to the US and Canada and even for those who are seeking jobs within Pakistan. Before leaving Peshawar, I went through all the necessary requirements listed on the Higher Education Commission (HEC) website. 8:00am I arrived at the HEC office ...

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The miseries of a Pakistani graduate

So what runs in the mind of an average middle class Pakistani when investing a large proportion of its income into their child’s education? An educated person can add value to society, take mature decisions, know the difference between right and wrong and use his skills to bring prosperity and well-being in general. Sadly, all these factors are secondary; the only primary focus in the mind of most families is the monetary return that education can bring. From an early age, children are told that if they study hard they will become a ‘bara aadmi’ one day. So how exactly is ...

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My art is not for you Prime Minister Gilani

My friend stood painting something abstract, holding a cigarette  in a manner that complimented her artistic persona. She probably noticed my sarcastic smile and said, ‘Hey Ammar! I know you criticize abstract art, but you see artists are free souls. We don’t believe in any rules, regulations and boundaries. We choose to be apolitical and are not disciplined folks at all. Discipline and art do not go along.” I remained silent looking at something black lying next to her bag. She continued, “What are you looking at? The graduation gown? That’s for the convocation dress rehearsal. Everything has to be ...

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Have you contracted the 2400-degree SAT fever?

“I abhor your loquaciousness” “Excuse me?” “Also, your use of rhetoric is highly un-lucid.” “You sound like your English General teacher.” “Shut up! I’m trying to… OK, test me again. What does tenacious mean?” Welcome to SAT fever, the kind hundreds of students across Karachi contract when preparing for the globally administered Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), an inescapable English and Mathematics trial by fire for anyone who wants to apply to American colleges and universities. If you haven’t registered yet, go crawl back under your rock. Your much-anticipated winter break now comes pre-packaged in a three-inch thick Princeton Review SAT preparatory book, guaranteed to get ...

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When in doubt…

Do you know someone who is uncertain, who hems and haws over every little decision, consults everyone around him and only reaches a conclusion after going through a process more painful than a tooth extraction? Congratulations, you have a “doubter” on your hands. You may be forgiven for never encountering this species before. Thanks to Wikipedia and its evil spawn, even the chronically insecure are just a couple of minutes away from feigning blissful expertise. We live in an age of obnoxious certainty, where a couple of Google searches is all it takes to establish professorial authority. Like all things ...

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