ISLAMABAD (Staff Report) – As many as 5,536 students have been awarded PhD degrees by Pakistani universities in last five years, Higher Education Commission (HEC) told Senate on Thursday.

According to details another 25,812 candidates were enrolled in PhD programs during 2009-14. The HEC representative told the upper house of parliament that commission has been taking steps to promote higher education countrywide.

The house was further informed that currently 180, 000 students are studying in MS or M Phil leading PhD programs in Pakistan.

The representative said thirty five universities have been established during the last five years including two in the federal capital, thirteen in Punjab, nine in Sindh, seven in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and three in AJK and one in Balochistan.

Earlier a world literacy rate monitor claimed that Pakistan’s literacy rate dropped by 2% during year 2014-15 whereas graduates make only 1.6% of Pakistani population.

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) also claimed that more than 30% of Pakistani children do not go to their schools even for a single day. It further added that only 50% of school going children make it to middle schools in Pakistan.