Pakistan's Rising College Education Rates

There are over 3 million students enrolled in grades 13 through 16 in Pakistan's 1,086 degree colleges and 161 universities, according to Pakistan Higher Education Commission report for 2013-14.  The 3 million enrollment is 15% of the 20 million Pakistanis in the eligible age group of 18-24 years.  In addition, there are over 255,000 Pakistanis enrolled in vocational training schools, according to Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA).

Graduation Day at NED Engineering University For 1300 Graduates in 2013
Pakistani universities have been producing over half a million graduates, including over 10,000 IT graduates, every year since 2010, according to HEC data. The number of university graduates in Pakistan increased from 380,773 in 2005-6 to 493,993 in 2008-09. This figure is growing with rising enrollment and contributing to Pakistan's growing human capital.

Rising University Enrollment in Pakistan Starting in 2001-2002. Source: ICEF Monitor

Source: UNESCO's Global Education Digest 2009

Higher education in Pakistan has come a long way since its independence in 1947 when there was only one university, the University of Punjab. By 1997, the number of universities had risen to 35, of which 3 were federally administered and 22 were under the provincial governments, with a combined enrollment of 71,819 students. A big spending boost by President Pervez Musharraf helped establish 51 new universities and awarding institutions during 2002-2008. This helped triple university enrollment from 135,000 in 2003 to about 400,000 in 2008, according to Dr. Ata ur Rehman who led the charge for expanding higher education during Musharraf years. There are 161 universities with 1.5 million students enrolled in Pakistan as of 2014.

Former Chairman of HEC summed up the country's higher education progress well in a piece he wrote for The News in 2012: "Pakistan has achieved critical mass and reached a point of take-off. For this phenomenal growth to continue, it is important for the government and other stakeholders to support and further strengthen the HEC as a national institution and protect its autonomy. If this momentum continues for another 10 years, Pakistan is certain to become a global player through a flourishing knowledge economy and a highly literate population".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

10 Pakistan Universities Among Top 300 in Asia

Pakistan's Growing Human Capital

History of Literacy in Pakistan

Education Attainment in South Asia

Dr. Ata ur Rehman Defends HEC Reforms

Biotech and Genomics in Pakistan

Business Education in Pakistan

Armed Drones Outrage and Inspire Young Pakistanis


Riaz Haq said…
CNN on Hans Rosling's "Ignorance Project":

The world is spinning so fast that it can be hard to keep track of everything that is going on. Yet despite the fact that we can feel like we are being increasingly overloaded with information, it's not clear that we're doing a very good job of making sense of all that data we're receiving.

Don't believe me? Well, try answering these three questions on major global trends:

1) What percent of 1-year-olds in the world are vaccinated against measles? Is it 20, 50 or 80%?

2) Young adult men today have, on average, eight years of schooling, globally. How many years of school do you think the world's women of the same age have attended? Is it 3 years, 5 years or 7 years?

3) How has the proportion of people living in extreme poverty around the world changed over the past 25 years? Has it doubled, stayed about the same, or been halved?

So, here are the answers: Around 83 percent of the world's 1-year-olds are vaccinated against measles; 25-year-old women have, on average, been to school almost as long as males the same age, having attended for about seven years; and extreme poverty has been more than halved since 1990.

Did you get those right? You probably didn't. And you're very far from alone. In fact, when the Gapminder Foundation partnered with polling firms around the world to ask members of the public in Europe and the United States these and similar questions, what we found was a depressing lack of awareness about some of the most basic facts about our world. In fact, less than a fifth of Americans, Swedes, Germans and Britons answered these three questions correctly.

One of the biggest misconceptions about the world we live in is about global population growth. The number of children in the world has actually stopped increasing, because 80 percent of us live in societies where the two-child family is the norm. And how many people would have guessed that women in Brazil, Iran and Vietnam today have fewer babies, on average, than women in the United States?

In a way, this lack of knowledge shouldn't come as much of a surprise because there is something that actively skews our thought process: Preconceived ideas.

We all have them. Even those of us who think we keep abreast of what is going on in the world have personal biases because we have been taught a mountain of facts that are now outdated, whether we learned them in school or at work. And then there is our news media, which is built upon conflict and a black-and-white model of explanation (hence our susceptibility to negative headlines).

All this means that if you went to the zoo with the questions posed earlier written down on piece of cardboard, placed a banana beside each of the three alternatives and let some chimps have a go at picking the answers, they could be expected to get one in three questions correct, beating most humans in the process.

Does our ignorance of strong positive trends, which makes us believe that the world is a sicker, worse place than it is, really matter?

Yes, because as a result we are more likely to make the wrong decisions. Indeed, a world view based on outdated facts can have severe consequences -- from not investing where we will get the best returns, to allocating aid where it might have little impact.

With this in mind, the director of Gapminder, Ola Rosling, has launched The Ignorance Project in an effort to identify where our collective knowledge is weakest, and therefore where we might be likely to make the biggest mistakes. We will be formulating 250 questions on major aspects of global development and the state of the world and, over five years, will gradually identify the 25 least known but important global facts through surveys across 130 countries.

With luck, by highlighting just how little we know about the world, we will be able to encourage fact-based teaching of the world in our schools.
Riaz Haq said…
NetSol Technologies CEO Najeeb Ghauri Says #Pakistan "Next Tech Hub of the World". via @sharethis

Najeeb Ghauri, chairman and CEO of NetSol Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq:NTWK), a Southern California-based global business services and enterprise application solutions provider with a major presence in Pakistan, today issued the following statement:

"News of Pakistan's upgraded sovereign credit ratings, solid GDP growth estimates, as well as record advances in the KSE100 stock index is indicative of actions set by the elected government.

"Pakistan continues to show great promise as a bourgeoning tech hub to the world with its growing pool of talented, highly motivated engineers. While Pakistan's KSE-100 Index showed a 15 percent growth over the last fiscal year, outperforming most regional markets including India, Hong Kong and Korea, its software and computer services sector posted a 250 percent return, the highest cumulative stock return in 2014-15.

"As the largest technology company in Pakistan through our subsidiary, NetSol Technologies Ltd., (KSE:Netsol), we have nearly doubled our core NFSTM workforce in the last two years, in part to assist with the rollout of NFS AscentTM, our next-generation enterprise platform for the financing and leasing industry. Many of these new employees were recruited from Pakistan and serve in our expanded technology campus in Lahore.

"We also see Pakistan's economic partnerships with countries such as China, which signed agreements to invest nearly $50B in key sectors, as well as investments from the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia as encouraging signs of its geopolitical and economic turnaround.

"Similarly, the U.S. is Pakistan's largest trading partner with many Fortune 500 companies doing business in the country for decades. More than 85 American-based companies are registered with the American Business Council of Pakistan and it is estimated that these companies have invested $1.5 billion in Pakistan producing about $3 billion in annual economic activity.

"We expect to see these types of investments increase, bringing more opportunity for businesses across the world to expand in Pakistan as the country continues its economic resurgence, and local entrepreneurial endeavors grow into larger companies with new technologies, and new products and services.

"We believe that as the economic outlook improves, coupled by a decisive campaign to improve internal security, NetSol will benefit from an improved perception and a greater recognition of the country's competitive advantage and technology talent."

- See more at:
Riaz Haq said…
Times of India Op Ed by Morgan Stanley's Head of Emerging Markets Ruchir Sharma on "The Quiet Rise of South Asia":

Together, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are now growing at an average annual pace of close to 6%, compared to 2% for the emerging world outside China.
Due to their lower per capita income, it should hardly be surprising that South Asian economies are growing faster than other emerging markets. But that spread of nearly four percentage points is the largest in the region’s post-independence history. While hopes for a revival in India exploded when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took power in 2014, promising major economic reform, its smaller neighbours remained under the radar. Now, however, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan are leading the quiet rise of South Asia.
Since the global financial crisis, a number of emerging markets have been ramping up debt and government spending. But the smaller South Asian economies have largely avoided these excesses, so they still have room to boost growth. While falling prices for oil and other raw materials are hurting most emerging regions, they are a boon to the nations of South Asia, all of which are commodity importers.
The impact of low commodity prices is helping to keep inflation low even as growth accelerates, while countries like Brazil, Russia and South Africa face stagflation. Many emerging economies have been hurt by rising wages and have seen their share of global exports decline, but not Pakistan and Bangladesh. Their wages are still competitive, and they are increasing their share of global exports, even as growth in global trade is stagnating for the first time since the 1980s.
They are benefitting along with Sri Lanka as manufacturers look for cheaper wages outside of China, with wages in the manufacturing sector having increased by 370% in the world’s second largest economy over the past decade. Bangladesh is now the second leading exporter, after China, of ready-made clothes to the US and Germany.
And as China and Japan compete with India for influence in the Indian Ocean, they are pouring billions into new ports in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The upshot of these positive trends is that South Asia could sustain a growth rate of over 5% for the next few years, which would make it one of the fastest-growing regions in the emerging world.
The competition between Japan and China is a huge boost: after Beijing recently announced plans to build a $46 billion “economic corridor” connecting Pakistan to China, Japan beat out China for rights to build Bangladesh’s first deep-water port, at Matarbari. The inflow of foreign direct investment is helping to keep South Asia in what can be identified as the investment sweet spot: strong economies tend to invest between 25 and 35% of GDP. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are now right in the sweet spot, at or near 30% of GDP.
Investment also tends to have the greatest impact on jobs and growth when it is going into manufacturing. Both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have strong manufacturing sectors, representing 18% of GDP. Pakistan is much weaker, with investment at 14% and manufacturing at 12% of GDP. But Pakistan’s manufacturing sector is now growing, due to both increasing electric output and the fact that – like Bangladesh – its young population and labour force is expected to continue expanding for at least the next five years.
At a time when much of the workforce is entering retirement age in larger emerging nations including China, Korea, Taiwan and Russia, the positive demographic trends in South Asia are potentially a big competitive advantage. With exports and investment strong, Bangladesh is running a current account surplus, Sri Lanka is reducing a deficit now equal to 3% of GDP, and Pakistan has cut its current account deficit from 8% of GDP in 2008 to just 1%.
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan, the Next #software Hub? 1500 registered #informationtechnology companies, 10,000 IT grads every year.

Pakistan’s I.T. sector is carving a niche for itself as a favored place to go for freelance I.T. programmers, software coders and app designers. There are now 1,500 registered I.T. companies in Pakistan, and 10,000 I.T. grads enter the market every year. Energetic members of the middle class educated in Pakistan’s top universities, they have honed their skills at the many hackathons, start-up fairs and expos, digital summits and entrepreneurial events at campuses, software houses and I.T. associations across the country.

Next comes showcasing their skills to a global market in order to grow businesses. So Pakistani freelance programmers flock to global freelance hiring sites such as Upwork, or, where digital employers in the United States, Australia or Britain bid to hire programmers for small software and app projects. On these platforms, hiring someone from Pakistan becomes as easy as hiring someone from Ireland or India, because traditional concerns about security, corruption and invasive bureaucracy in Pakistan do not apply.

The formula is working: the Pakistani programmers market ranks as the No. 3 country for supplying — freelance programmers — behind only the United States and India, and up from No. 5 just two years ago. It ranks in the upper 10 to 25 percent on Upwork’s listing of growth rates for top-earning countries, alongside India, Canada and Ukraine. Pakistan’s freelance programmers already account for $850 million of the country’s software exports; that number could go up to $1 billion in the next several months, says Umar Saif, who heads the Punjab I.T. Board and previously taught and did research work at M.I.T.

The optimism one hears in Karachi and Lahore even withstood a scandal last May, when news broke that Axact, one of Pakistan’s largest I.T. companies, was operating as a fake degree mill. Members of the tight-knit I.T. community reacted at first with fears for Pakistan’s chances to become a major player on the world’s I.T. stage. Perhaps those fears acted as a spur to the authorities, who arrested Axact’s chief within weeks after the scheme was laid bare.

In any event, three days after investigators raided Axact’s offices, Naseeb Networks International, a Lahore-based company that runs the online job marketplace, announced that it had won a third round of investments, worth $6.5 million, from the European investment firms Vostok Nafta and Piton Capital, bringing the company’s total venture capital funding to $8.5 million. It was the latest in a series of large venture capital investments in Pakistan over the last year and a half.


It’s now also faster and easier for foreign companies to acquire the apps these programmers create, in contrast with negotiating traditional service contracts, and Mr. Saif anticipates that such start-ups will themselves become targets for acquisition by overseas companies.

According to him, venture capital is the one missing ingredient in an enabling environment that the government, universities and software associations are building. Per Brilioth, the managing director of Vostok Nafta Investment, agrees. “The macro indicators and demographics are very strong,” he said, “and the country doesn't seem to get a lot of investor attention, so valuations are reasonable."

Those factors — and the rapidity with which Pakistan’s 200 million people are embracing the Internet on sub-$50 Chinese 3G smartphones — are markers on which Pakistan’s entrepreneurial leaders pin their hopes for the future. They see problems like Axact as bumps in the road as Pakistan builds a haven for I.T. development.
Riaz Haq said…
US envoy inaugurates new building at Education University

LAHORE (Staff Report) – Erik Martini, acting US Consul General in Lahore, inaugurated a new Faculty of Education building at the University of Education on Tuesday, highlighting long-term commitment to education in Pakistan.

The building has been funded by the United States Agency for International Development. Education University Vice Chancellor Dr Rauf-i-Azam, Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Nizamuddin and Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashood joined him at the university.

“The United States government is investing in quality education because we recognise that progress and quality of life are directly linked to education. This Faculty of Education will serve to advance not only the quality of teacher training, but also the progress and prosperity of Punjab and Pakistan,” stated Mr Martini, addressing a large gathering of university students, faculty and members of the community.

The USAID-funded faculty building is an environmentally-conscious and earthquake-resistant facility that includes 18,500 square feet of covered area, 6 classrooms, a multi-purpose hall, a learning resource center, laboratories, a seminar room, new office space for faculty and a faculty lounge.

The University of Education in Lahore is one of 17 universities in Pakistan where USAID has funded Faculty of Education buildings.
Riaz Haq said…
#China to build $1.5 billion science park in #Islamabad #Pakistan …

China on Wednesday agreed to invest $1.5 billion to set up Pakistan-China Science Park in Islamabad.

Minister for Science and Technology Rana Tanvir Hussain - who is on a visit to China - signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with his Chinese counterpart UN Urmaqi. He also invited the Chinese investers to visit Islamabad in next month to select location for construction of the Park by March 2016. He expressed his gratitude for huge investment in Pakistan.

The minister said that Pakistan and China had a lot to share with each other in term of technology, expertise and business. “We are looking to strengthen our mutual ties on economic as well as technological fronts,” he said, adding that this project would prove to be a link of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). It would bring prosperity to the people of both sides.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's a Dawn report on an emerging science city in Karachi:

....Of these five centers, one is the only institute for human clinical trials in Pakistan, the other a core of computational biology and the third provides consultancy to people suffering from genetic diseases.


The centers and their growth have been working towards what has been termed as a ‘silent revolution’ and had been described by Professor Wolfgang Voelter of Tubingen University as a ‘miracle.’

The Hussain Ebrahim Jamal (HEJ) Research Institute of Chemistry was only a small post graduate institute before a generous donation of Rs 5 million in 1976 set the center towards the path of excellence. Latif Ebrahim Jamal’s endowment, on behalf of the Hussain Ebrahim Jamal Foundation, was the largest private funding for science in Pakistan at the time.

The center houses old NMR machines of 300 megahertz to state-of-the-art Liquid Chromatograph Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (LCNMR).

Under the leadership of eminent chemist Dr Salimuzzaman Siddiqui and Dr Atta-ur-Rehman, the institute became a magnet for more funding and projects from around the world. Over a period of time, it received $30 million in funding from various countries. Recently, Islamic Development Bank (IDB) donated $ 40 million for research on regional and tropical diseases. Dr Atta-ur-Rehman, a renowned chemist and the former chairman of Higher Education Commission said,

Currently, the center has one of the largest PhD programs in the country in the fields of natural product chemistry, plant biotechnology, computational biology, spectroscopy and other disciplines at the frontiers of science.

Young scholars research scientific literature at the LEJ National Science Information Center. The facility is connected to the world’s largest science database, ranging from thousands of primary research journals and books. -Photo by author
Young scholars research scientific literature at the LEJ National Science Information Center. The facility is connected to the world’s largest science database, ranging from thousands of primary research journals and books. -Photo by author
The ground floor of the institute holds 12 state-of-the-art Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) machines that are vital in the research of the structure, reaction and other properties of various compounds and molecules, as well as an X-ray crystallography setup which uses X-rays to learn the structure of crystalline material.

The X-ray crystallography setup is used to construct 3-D structures of molecules under study. -Photo by author
The X-ray crystallography setup is used to construct 3-D structures of molecules under study. -Photo by author
“We have recently finished the structure of a compound showing anti-inflammatory activity,” said Sammer Yousuf, senior research officer at the institute who was awarded the Regional Prize for Young Scientists by the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in 2011 for her work.

“In the last two and a half years our institute was awarded 24 international patents,” Dr Rehman proudly adds.

Since its inception, the HEJ which was inducted into the International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) in the ‘90s has produced hundreds of doctorates, thousands of papers and hundreds of international patents, and also helps over 350 industries across Pakistan. The Industrial Analytical Center at the HEJ provides testing, consultancy and research for various industries in Pakistan.

The construction of a state-of-the-art center for nanotechnology is underway while the Jamil-ur-Rehman Center for Genome Research, also falling under HEJ, is almost complete. The center, named after Dr Rehman’s father who was the main donor of the institute, already houses modern gene sequencing machines.
Riaz Haq said…
In #Pakistan, cultivating young #entrepreneurs by specialized vocational training | Pakistan | UNICEF via @sharethis

A vocational training programme supported by Barclays and UNICEF gives a young motorcycle mechanic in Pakistan just the start he needed.

OKARA, Punjab Province, Pakistan, January 2015 – “I have my own motorcycle repair shop and am earning enough for my family to have a decent life,” says Mohammad Tanvir, 19. “Circumstances forced me to give up education after middle school. I started working in a motorcycle repair shop just to learn some skills. I did not get paid for my work since I was a novice and the owner of the shop was teaching me.”

Poverty, along with limited access to both quality education and employment opportunities, is often a major factor hindering young men and women from fulfilling their potential. Through learning demand-driven skills and getting guidance on employment or entrepreneurship opportunities, young people can have the opportunity to brighten their futures. This is precisely the objective of Building Young Futures, a project implemented by UNICEF Pakistan, with funds from Barclays UK.

While working in the shop, Mohammad heard about a course on motorbike mechanics for young people, offered at the Vocational Training Institute (VTI) in Okara. “I thought, Why not do it the proper way and be a certified motorbike mechanic from a reputable organization? I joined the course and am enjoying the benefits now.”

After completing a 14-month training course at the VTI Okara in 2013, Mohammad had enough confidence as a mechanic to start his own business, rather than work for someone else. On the basis of his certificate from the Institute and pledging the land of his modest family home, he secured a bank loan of PKR 80,000 (about US$760).

Hard work and confidence

With capital in hand, Mohammad rented a shop in one of the bazars in Okara and bought all the tools he needed. His hard work and confidence paid dividends, and in a little over 18 months, he managed to establish his shop as a reliable and professional repair point for all types of motorbikes.

“I earn between 20,000 and 25,000 rupees [$190 to $240] per month from my shop,” Mohammad says. “Sometimes I buy a motorcycle that needs major repairs and sell it at a good price after overhauling it. This helps me make additional money, which I invest in purchasing another bike or covering an unexpected family expense.”

In 2012 in selected districts of Punjab province, UNICEF initiated the second phase of the Building Young Futures project. Its goal is to improve income-generating opportunities for socially excluded and vulnerable adolescents by enabling them to access training in life skills, financial literacy and enterprise management. To support the implementation of the project, UNICEF partnered with the Punjab Vocational Training Council (PVTC) and the Department of Youth Affairs, Sports, Archaeology and Tourism.

At the VTI Okara, Mohammad was trained by Zahid Iqbal. For many years, Zahid worked at the Atlas Honda Motorcycle factory in Lahore, but with a passion for teaching, he switched jobs and joined VTI Okara.

“I always wanted to teach and transfer my knowledge about motorbikes to the younger generation,” Zahid says. “It gives me a great deal of satisfaction to help young people progress in life. Some of them become entrepreneurs; some move abroad. But whenever they return, they come to see me and pay a lot of respect. It is a wonderful feeling to see my students do well in life.”

Prosperity and encouragement

Around 850 students are enrolled in the VTI Okara at one time, receiving vocational training in two shifts. Nearly 40 per cent are girls and young women, who often take up embroidery, cutting and stitching, dress-making or beautician courses.
Riaz Haq said…
The (Pakistan) minister (Ahsan Iqbal), while announcing Rs1 billion grants for the University of Swabi said the government is committed to increase access to higher education and for that purpose sub-campuses and virtual campuses of the universities would be established with assistance of Higher Education Commission at district level in the next three years.

He said the government wants that every student irrespective of their financial status get higher education near their homes and no student leaves their education incomplete due to financial constraints.

Quality education and access to higher education is the right of every citizen of Pakistan and the government to fulfill this national obligation has established a network of quality educational institutes to facilitate students, he said.

Iqbal said the past regimes had restricted bilateral relations with US to defense cooperation, but the Nawaz Sharif’s government after coming into power had widened scope of the bilateral relationship with US and laid the foundation of multi dimensional ‘Pak-US Knowledge Corridor’ to bring educational revolution in the country.

Pak-US knowledge corridor is one of the most significant initiatives of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government in the entire diplomatic history of Pakistan with the United States. Under the program, as many as 10,000 talented Pakistani scholars would be enrolled in the top US universities in the next 10 years under Pakistan Vision 2025 for transforming the country into knowledge economy essential for sustained development.

In 1998, total number of PhDs in science and technology in the country was 350. The number now increased to 7,500 PhDs whereas 3,000 more PhDs are being produced to cater to the educational and research needs of the country.

Iqbal said the government accorded top priority to human resource development and took measures for increasing higher education budget during the last three and half years to bring educational revolution in the country.

Education budget, for the Higher Education Commission (HEC), which was only Rs100 billion between 2010 and 2013, increased to record Rs2,015 billion between 2013 and 2016. As many as Rs1.4 billion budget that was allocated to three mega HEC projects in Khyber Pakthunkhwa in 2010-13 had been enhanced to record Rs11.4 billion for 13 HEC projects in KP.
Riaz Haq said…
Excerpts of "Mapping Higher Education in Pakistan" from MIT Technology Review Pakistan:

Starting its journey in 1947 with only one university, the University of the Punjab (established in 1882), Pakistan today has 177 universities and degree awarding institutions (DAIs), spreading across its map and the number is growing fast. Of these 177 universities and DAIs, 103 are public while the rest have been established by the private sector. The government has awarded charter to 33 of these universities and DAIs while the rest have been chartered by the respective provincial governments. The federally chartered universities and the DAIs are mostly located in the federal capital, Islamabad, but some operate in other cities of the country too. For example, the Karakoram International University is a federal chartered university and is based in Gilgit-Baltistan.

Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab, with an estimated population of over 90 million, half of the country’s total population, is on top of the rank with its 51 chartered universities and DAIs (27 public and 24 private) while the Sindh province, which has almost population equal to half of Punjab’s, ranks second with its 49 universities and DAIs. But unlike Punjab, Sindh province has more private universities and DAIs as only 20 out of 49 are public.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) has 29 universities, Balochistan province eight while there are seven universities chartered by the Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) government.

PhDs produced in Pakistan since 1947
From 1947 to 2014, Pakistan’s higher education institutes (HEIs) produced 11,988 PhDs. As of 2014, Pakistan, having an estimated population of over 180 million, had student enrollment of 1.4 million, including over 900 foreign students and Afghan refugees, studying in various HEIs. The percentage of female students in the HEIs was around 40 percent.

From 1947 to 2002, Pakistani universities had produced only over 3,000 PhDs. However, the country witnessed a sharp rise vis-à-vis PhDs produced per year. From 202 in the year 2001 before the Higher Education Commission (HEC) was established, to 1,211 PhDs in year 2013 and 1,325 PhDs in the year 2014.

Most of the PhDs, 1,541, were produced in Language and Literature, followed by 1,462 in Chemistry and 933 in Agriculture. Up to the year 2014, the country’s HEIs had produced only 500 PhDs in Engineering and Technology while 908 PhDs were awarded in Religious Studies.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) which drew its powers from The University Grants Commission Act, 1974 was replaced by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in 2002.

A comparison of funding to the universities by the UGC and the HEC is enough to understand the level of commitment to higher education by the successive governments in Pakistan. The UGC provided funding of PKR 7,538.835 million to the universities from financial year 1978-79 to 2001-02 while after the establishment of the HEC, a whopping PKR 115,413.194 million have been pumped into universities by the commission from the financial year 2002-03 to 2015-16.
Riaz Haq said…
The very idea of what #universities are meant to be is under severe attack in #Modi's #India. #highered via @qzindia

Higher education in India is going through a critical phase. The country has witnessed tremendous growth in the sector since independence, and now has 750 universities, 35,000 colleges and 30 million students. But none of its best institutions have managed to secure a place in the list of the world’s top 200 universities.

This is particularly worrying as some of India’s leading institutions are now facing drastic cuts in employment and resources. The prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), for instance, has just announced an 83% cut in its research funds and a reduction in the number of students accepted for doctoral and masters degrees for the academic year 2017-2018.
And on March 25, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), another centre of research excellence, issued termination letters to 25 members of its faculty.
Both moves have come under scrutiny, leading, in the case of JNU, to a massive strike by students.
These are dark times for India’s higher education system. Not only because of the poor showing of universities but especially because of the shrinking space for genuine intellectual freedom on the nation’s campuses.
Universities under attack

In fact, the very idea of what universities are meant to be is under severe attack in India. For the past couple of years, universities in the country have been the theatre of various upheavals.

In 2016, protests erupted in JNU after an event organised by students turned into a political controversy over the Kashmir conflict and led to a countrywide debate on nationalism.

In February 2017, Hyderabad University students, who had taken part in a national solidarity movement in 2016 when Rohith Vemula, a young PhD candidate and a liberal student activist committed suicide over caste discrimination, were barred from taking exams.
The same month, Ramjas College, which is part of Delhi University, witnessed violent protests by the nationalist student organisation Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) against a seminar. The group is an offshoot of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its parent organisation, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
The event, which was called off after the protest, was actually titled Cultures of Protest. It had triggered the ire of the conservative organisation because the list of speakers included two JNU students, Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid, who were deemed to be part of the clash that shook JNU in 2016.
Disruption of free speech

The incidents at Ramjas College and JNU are not one-off episodes. Rather, such clashes have become the new norm in Indian universities.
Just a week before the Ramjas incident, professor Rajshri Ranawat of the Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur (Rajasthan) was suspended after a protest—once again led by the ABVP—simply for inviting JNU professor Nivedita Menon for a talk.
She had allegedly made some controversial remarks about Kashmir and the Indian Army, questioning India’s role in the disputed territory. A police complaint was also lodged against her in Jodhpur.
Riaz Haq said…
#China now produces 8 million #University graduates a year, twice as many as the #USA. #education

A record-breaking 8m students will graduate from Chinese universities in 2017. This figure is nearly ten times higher than it was in 1997 and is more than double the number of students who will graduate this year in the US.

Just two decades ago, higher education in China was a rare privilege enjoyed by a small, urban elite. But everything changed in 1999, when the government launched a program to massively expand university attendance. In that year alone university admissions increased by nearly 50% and this average annual growth rate persisted for the next 15 years, creating the largest influx of university educated workers into the labour market in history.

Annual enrolment of new students in higher education institutions.Author provided

Growth in the number of engineering students has been particularly explosive as part of the government’s push to develop a technical workforce which can drive innovation. But overall student numbers have increased in all subjects – even in the humanities and social sciences. New universities have sprung up and student enrolment numbers have rocketed. The second most popular subject major is in fact literature – and the fastest growing is law.


In 2013, Chinese citizens started blogging about the “hardest job hunting season in history” – and each year it seems to get harder for Chinese graduates. In 2017 there will be 1m more new graduates than there were in 2013. And yet, the graduate unemployment rate has remained relatively stable – according to MyCOS Research Institute, only 8% of students who graduated in 2015 were unemployed six months after graduating.

But if you delve a little deeper it’s clear that unemployment rates mask the more subtle issue of “underemployment”. While most graduates eventually find work, too many end up in part-time, low-paid jobs.

Six months after graduating, one in four Chinese university students have a salary that is below the average salary of a migrant worker, according to MyCOS data. History, law and literature have some of the lowest starting salaries, and also the lowest employment rates.

And for students who choose arts and humanities subjects in high school, the average starting salary after university is lower than that of their classmates who didn’t go to university, according to survey data. Of the 50 most common graduate occupations, 30% are low-skilled and don’t require a degree. For these students, low starting salaries and limited career progression call into question the value of their degree.

The high cost of living, particularly in big cities, has also forced millions of graduates into “ant tribes” of urban workers living in squalid conditions – often in basements – working long hours in low-paid jobs.

The big divide

But for a different group of graduates, the contrast is striking. Engineering, economics and science majors in China all enjoy high starting salaries and the top employment rates. These graduates fill the highest-paid entry positions in the most attractive employment sectors of IT, operations, real estate and finance. Chinese tech graduates do particularly well. In 2015 the top five highest paying graduate jobs were all IT related.

Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Education Statistics 2015-16.pdf

In Pakistan, 1,418 degree colleges are
providing their services in education
system. Out of these 1,259 (89%) are in
public sector, whereas 159 (11%) are in
private sector.
The total enrolment at degree college
stage i.e. in grades 13 and 14, is 0.937
million. Out of these students at this
stage of education, 0.808 million (86%)
are completing their degrees from public
sector, whereas, rest of the 0.128 million
(14%) students are in private sector.
There are only 11% degree colleges are
running under private sector of
education, the reason is that these
colleges tend to be more expensive then
public colleges.


There are total 163 universities
providing their services in both public
and private sector of education. Out of
these universities 91 (56%) are working
under umbrella of public sector,
whereas 72 (44%) are working under the
supervision of private sector as
The total enrolment in the universities,
i.e., at post graduate stage, is 1.355
million. Out of this enrolment 1.141
million (84%) students are enrolled in
public universities, whereas, 0.214
million (16%) students are studying in
private universities. Despite the fact
that there are more universities in public
sector there are less students in these
universities as compare of private
The total male enrolment in the
universities is 0.753 million (56%),
whereas, the female enrolment is 0.602
million (44%).
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan doctoral grads produced in 2014: 1351 #PhD #education …
Riaz Haq said…
CDWP approves eight higher education projects worth Rs28.9bn

The Central Development Working Party (CDWP) has approved eight projects pertaining to higher education worth Rs28.9 billion for providing scholarships and strengthening of infrastructure and other facilities.

A mega project worth Rs20.9 billion for Overseas Scholarships (Phase-III) has been approved to send 2,000 Pakistani scholars to foreign universities for doctoral studies.

Other approved projects include establishment of College of Nursing and Community Medicine at Peoples University of Medical Sciences, Nawabshah, with a cost of Rs603 million, establishment of sub-campus of National Textile University at Karachi at a cost of Rs875.5 million, and establishment of Science Laboratory and Creative Art Centre, IBA University, Sukkur at a cost of Rs852.6 million.

Other projects include the development of academic and research facilities at the University of Kotli at a cost of Rs13389 million, the establishment of Women Campuses at Kohat and Bannu worth Rs1958 million and Institute of Science and Technology at Bahawalpur at a cost of Rs2290 million.

It is pertinent to mention that most of the development projects will be executed in less-developed areas such as Nawabshah, Sukkur, Kotli, Bahawalpur, Kohat and Bannu.

HEC, since its establishment in 2002, has been carrying out a comprehensive programme of higher education reforms and institution building and has adopted a holistic approach for expansion and improvement of the sector.

The ultimate goal of the whole effort is that access to quality higher education is increased and the academics, researchers and higher learning institutions play an effective role for developing a knowledge-based economy and identify and provide solutions for various challenges faced by Pakistani society.
Riaz Haq said…
In Pakistan, students despite being the major stakeholder in higher education sector with enrollment of more than 1.7 million at 190 universities and 114 regional campuses, are missed out in the mainstream debate of higher education policies. They are not even consulted for any major policy decision. During 1970s, there was effective representation of students in the universities’ statutory decision making forums i.e senate and syndicate. The university campuses were centres of student activities i.e dialogues, poetry sessions, theatre performance, study circles and interaction with distinghsued speakers. Such useful activities were greatly helped in inculcating values and qualities of leadership, active citizenship, and good communication, culture of dialogue, peace, tolerance, co-existence, and harmony.
Riaz Haq said…
National Assembly Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training was on Monday informed that currently around 3 million students were studying in country-wide public and private sector 195 universities (grade 15-16)

In his briefing to the committee on Monday, Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Tariq Banuri said the number of students was being increased from 10 to 15 percent each year.

The committee meeting held here under the Chairmanship of Member National Assembly (MNA) Najeeb Ud Din Awaisi was also attended by the other committee members and officials from PEIRA, HEC, AIOU and Ministry of Federal Education.

Dr Tariq Banuri further said that HEC distributes the government funds of higher education to the universities. Around 15,000 research journals had been published last years, the Chairman said adding that HEC provides funds of Rs one billion to the universities in term of research work.

To a question of committee member that whether HEC foreign scholars come back after completing education, the Chairman HEC replied that the return ratio of HEC scholars from abroad was around 97 percent. This return ratio, he said was better than many other countries.

MNA Ali Nawaz Awan asked about the conditions of HEC for awarding registration to the private higher educational institutions as the number of private universities in federal capital was increasing speedily.

Replying the question, Dr Tariq Banuri said that HEC do not manage the universities but regulate them. He further said that HEC reviewing this issue and the universities which were violating the HEC rules in educational programs that were being banned for further admissions.

Dr Tariq also told the standing committee on federal education that HEC funds were being reduced and requested the committee to support HEC in this regard as it would be a major crisis for higher educational institutions.

The committee also stressed the need of capacity building for teachers as professors of Urdu University were lodging FIR’s against its students.

On demand of the committee, the representatives of private educational schools presented the recommendations to make the role of Private Educational Institutions Regulatory Authority (PEIRA) more functional.

President Private Schools Association Zafran Elahi told the committee that PEIRA was being run illegally after 2015.

Secretary Private Schools Association Abdul Waheed said that PEIRA had wasted thousands of rupees deliberately in fake cases.

President Private Schools Network Dr Afzal Babar said that PEIRA had failed in its basic aim of registration, regulation and promotion of the institutions.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan Education Statistics 2016-17

There are 1431 degree colleges of which
1,271 (89%) are in public sector,
whereas 160 (11%) are in private sector.
The total enrolment at degree college
stage i.e. in grades 13 and 14, is 0.956
million. Out of these students at this
stage of education, 0.825 million (86%)
are completing their degrees from public
sector, whereas, rest of the 0.130 million
(14%) students are in private sector.
There are only 11% degree colleges that
are functioning under private sector of
education, the reason is that these
colleges tend to be more expensive than
public colleges. There may be few
diversified graduate programs in these
colleges. The classes are normally small,
more intimate learning experience.
Therefore, the private sector is least
interested in opening degree colleges.
As far as quality of education is
concerned, there is no doubt that
private sector is providing high quality of
education. In order to enhance the
quality of education the government
should develop public-private
partnership even at this level of
The total boys’ enrolment* at degree
colleges’ stage is 0.115 million (56%),
whereas, the girls enrolment is 0.089
million (44%).
The total teachers at degree colleges
level are 37,857 out of which 35,481
(94%) are in public and 2,376 (6%) are in
private sector.
* Gender segregated data for Punjab not available


There are total 185 universities
providing their services in both public
and private sectors of education. Out of
these universities, 110 (59%) are
working under umbrella of public sector,
whereas 75 (41%) are working under the
supervision of private sector.
The total enrolment in the universities,
i.e., at post graduate stage, is 1.463
million. Out of this enrolment 1.192
million (81%) students are enrolled in
public universities, whereas, 0.270
million (19%) students are studying in
private universities. Despite the fact
that there are more universities in public
sector, there are less students in these
universities as compared to private
The total male enrolment in the
universities is 0.795 million (54%),
whereas, the female enrolment is 0.667
million (46%).
The total teachers in the universities are
58,733 out of which 40,258 (69%) are in
public and 18,475 (31%) are in private
Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan government sets aside Rs 24 billion for 4-year scholarships for 200,000 undergraduates under #Ehsaas Program. Half of the scholarships allocated for #girls from poor families. #EhsaasUndergraduateScholarshipProgram #PTI #ImranKhan #education

Prime Minister Imran Khan gave away need-based Ehsaas undergraduate scholarships in the first phase to the first batch of deserving bright students on Monday.

As part of Ehsaas, 2 per cent of scholarships will be exclusively awarded to students with special needs.

The flagship programme is being implemented across the country and, according to the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety and Chairperson of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Dr Sania Nishtar, these scholarships will cover 100 per cent of the tuition fee and a living stipend of Rs4,000 (Dh95.11) per month.

The geographical spread of the programme, according to Nishtar, will cover all four provinces, Pakistan-Administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan (GB).

Every year, 50,000 students from low-income families will be awarded scholarships for 4- to 5-year undergraduate degree programmes, she said.

The success and continuation of scholarship programme in future years will depend upon the efficacy, maintenance of academic performance by the students and the evaluation of the desired results.

The programme will be overseen by the Ehsaas Scholarships Steering Committee, co-chaired by HEC chairman BISP chairperson.

According to the poverty alleviation division, the scholarship programme seeks to eliminate inequality in access to higher education.

“Unlike past scholarships that were aimed at MS or PhD programmes, Ehsaas Scholarships focus on the most critical segment namely the 4-year undergraduate programme, which contributes the most to income potential,” said Dr Sania Nishtar.

All students in Pakistan who are admitted to a four-year degree programme in an HEC-recognised public sector university or its affiliated colleges, with family income below a poverty threshold (to be fixed every year by the Ehsaas Scholarships Steering Committee) are eligible to receive the scholarship.

The programme is open to students in all major fields of education, namely agriculture, arts and humanities, business education, engineering, medical, physical sciences, and social sciences.

The final award list is posted publicly at the university, and is also made available on the HEC website as well as the university’s website. Selected students have to open bank accounts, and stipends will be deposited directly into the accounts.
Riaz Haq said…
The (Pakistan) University Grants Commission (UGC) which drew its powers from The University Grants Commission Act, 1974 was replaced by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in 2002.

A comparison of funding to the universities by the UGC and the HEC is enough to understand the level of commitment to higher education by the successive governments in Pakistan. The UGC provided funding of PKR 7,538.835 million to the universities from financial year 1978-79 to 2001-02 while after the establishment of the HEC, a whopping PKR 115,413.194 million have been pumped into universities by the commission from the financial year 2002-03 to 2015-16.

University education versus school education
The Pakistani universities and DAIs are offering academic and research programs in anthropology, agriculture, space sciences, fisheries and aquaculture, computer science and IT, business and management, engineering and technology, veterinary science, psychology, so on and so forth.

With institutes of higher learning like the Virtual University (VU), the country’s first university based completely on modern information and communication technologies offering academic programs while “using free-to-air satellite television broadcasts and the Internet” and the Information Technology University (ITU) which is nurturing “an environment of hightech research and entrepreneurship with its state-of-the-art facilities, world-class faculty, in-house startups incubator and well-established government and industry linkages,” Pakistan’s higher education landscape is certainly versatile.

The Pakistan Education and Research Network (PERN), an initiative of the HEC, launched in 2002, is providing communication infrastructure to the 250 plus universities and institutes of higher learning, including colleges and research organizations of the country to meet their networking and internet requirements.

Whereas, as per the latest Pakistan Education Atlas, a staggering 46 percent of public sector primary schools (124,284 primary schools) in Pakistan are without electricity. The Pakistan Education Atlas, prepared by the federal government’s Academy of Educational Planning and Management (AEPAM) and UN World Food Program, was launched in September 2015. Besides many others, the country’s school education system is facing challenges of missing facilities. Luckily, most Pakistani universities do not face such challenges.

Scholarships galore

Presently, there are some 40,000 faculty members in public and private sector universities and DAIs of the country and only about 10,000 of them are PhDs which makes it a 25 percent of the total teaching strength in Pakistani universities.

After the establishment of the HEC, Pakistan witnessed a kind of ‘revolution’ in indigenous and foreign scholarships for MPhil and PhD programs both for the faculty members and the students.

The HEC, under its Faculty Development Program (FDP), has so far awarded 2,450 foreign scholarships, executed by universities and DAIs, with maximum 938 scholarships in the discipline of Engineering and Technology. These are followed by 493 scholarships in Physical Sciences and 431 in Social Sciences.

So far, the HEC has sent 7,806 Pakistani students under its Overseas Scholarships Program out of which 5,683 have returned while 2,123 are currently pursuing MPhil leading to PhD or PhD programs abroad. Those who have returned 1,874 scholars completed their studies in Biological and Medical Sciences, 1,406 in Physical Sciences and 979 in Engineering and Technology.

Of those who availed Overseas Scholarships, 1,341 were sent to United States, 1,226 to United Kingdom and 907 to Cuba.
Riaz Haq said…
Tertiary enrollments spiked from only 305,000 in 1990 to 1.9 million in 2018, according to UNESCO. There are currently 209 recognized degree-awarding institutions (DAIs), up from 59 in 2001 and 139 in 2010. The majority of HEIs and tertiary students are clustered in the province of Punjab.,in%20the%20province%20of%20Punjab.

TVET in Pakistan is provided in various forms, from informal industry-based apprenticeship programs to secondary-level skills certificate and diploma programs of one or two years, as well as 10+3 programs that straddle secondary and post-secondary levels. Examples of the latter include the 10+3 Diploma in Nursing and Diploma of Associate Engineer (DAE)—qualifications that are examined by state boards of technical education and boards of nursing education. These qualifications provide graduates access not only to specialized employment but also to tertiary education programs, given that the curricula typically include the compulsory subjects of the national upper-secondary curriculum. Completion of the DAE, for example, enables students to enter directly into applicable Bachelor of Technology programs. In addition, there are several post-secondary diploma and certificate programs in various occupations that are awarded by state boards of technical education.

TVET programs are taught at technical secondary schools, trade schools, polytechnics, and technical colleges, most of them public institutions. In 2018 there were more than 3,600 vocational and technical institutions in the sector enrolling over 400,000 students, most of them concentrated in cities and population-rich provinces like Punjab and Sindh. This represents a significant increase from 2013 when there were 1,650 institutions with approximately 315,000 students. Despite this growth, the TVET sector accommodates less than 15 percent of the nearly three million young people who enter the job market each year. The government is currently trying to create a system with the capacity to accommodate 20 percent of all school leavers by 2025.
Riaz Haq said…
Higher Education in Pakistan (Pakistan Economic Survey 2019-20

vii) Degree Colleges (Classes XIII
An enrolment of 0.59 million students is expected during 2018
enrolment of 0.60 million in 2017
were functional during 2017-18.
of students to the professional and vocational
viii) Universities
There were 211 universities with 51.5 thousand teachers in both public and private sectors
functional during 2018-19, according to the data received from
Commission (HEC). The overall enrolment of students in higher education instituti
(universities) increased to 1.86 million in 2018
Overall Assessment
The overall education situation based on
institutes, and teachers, have shown a slight improvement. The total number of enrolments
during 2017-18 was recorded at 51.0 million as compared to 47.6 million during the same
period last year, which shows an increase of 7.1 percent. It is estimated to increase to
million during 2018-19. The number of institutes stood at 262.0 thousand during 2017
compared to 260.1 thousand during last year. However, the number of institutes is estimated
to increase to 266.3 thousand in
The number of teachers during 2017
million during the last year showing an improvement
is estimated to increase to 1.83 million during 2018
2016-17 2017-18 P
(In thousand)
Fig-10.1: Enrolment at each level
(In thousand)
Fig-10.3: Teachers at each level
Pakistan Economic Survey 2019-20
17. However, it is estimated to increase by 8.7 percent,
million to 0.47 million during 2018-19.
vii) Degree Colleges (Classes XIII-XIV)
An enrolment of 0.59 million students is expected during 2018-19 in degree colleges against
enrolment of 0.60 million in 2017-18. A total of 1,659 degree colleges with 41,233 teachers
18. The slight decline in enrollment might be due to preference
of students to the professional and vocational courses.
There were 211 universities with 51.5 thousand teachers in both public and private sectors
19, according to the data received from the Higher Education
Commission (HEC). The overall enrolment of students in higher education instituti
(universities) increased to 1.86 million in 2018-19 from 1.58 million in 2017-18.
Riaz Haq said…
There are about 10 million college graduates in Pakistan in 2020, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.

About 7 million have a bachelor's degree and another 3 million have master's or PhDs.

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