World university ranking and awful performance of Pakistan
EDUCATION IS a key component in stimulating national integration as well as economic development. It can backfire as it provokes the anticipations and cognizance of young minds in ways that either cannot or will not be pleased. This is especially true in Pakistan, where the government is less interested to invest in education. According to Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 only Quaid e Azam University out of our 180+ universities was able to make it to top 500 universities, and got 431st place on the list. It is pertinent to mention that QAU took this position from 601-800 band last year, which is a noteworthy improvement. NUST and COMSATS both fell short and clutched a spot in the 601-800 band and the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad in the 801+ group. Unfortunately, Pakistan is way far behind its neighbors; 60 institutions from China, 30 from India and 11 from Iran were on the list. Pakistani institutions defeat in ranking is upsetting and reasons for the country’s poor ranking attributed to low percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for science and development. Pakistan has a complex environment in converting the critical student mass with regard to targets of academic excellence and professional achievement. Besides HEC’s stance of improvement the stakeholders called it fallacious policies which ultimately led to downfall of Pakistani universities. The country’s Global Innovation Index GII Report has declined significantly by 2011, despite the fact that thousands of PhDs have returned to Pakistan after completing their degrees during this period. Current standard of HEC promotion based on quantity, with little or no emphasis on quality. The basic education dilemma in our educational institutions is pitiful. Government institutions and even expensive private institutes in Pakistan lack syllabus consistency. The flawed systems of admission and examination in many universities just add to the misery. Pakistan’s university progress is also hindered by the huge collaboration gap between universities and industries. China’s involvement in the country’s project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) could call good news for Pakistani institutions because main focus of partnership is to enhance and initiate academic collaboration between the two countries. The business schools in CPEC consortium will contribute to resolve issues such as economic and management of universities by giving projects to business schools to assist the governments of respective countries. Under these worst circumstances, improving Pakistan’s ranking on the innovation list is parallel to a fairytale coming true. To prevent this, we need to bring revolutionary changes in our basic education system. It is the responsibility of government of Pakistan to think something out of box for development of lower and middle education to increase higher education status in the country. Government should facilitate Higher Education Institutes (HEIs); ensure better educational governance and accountability; focus on quality in education and research innovation; to create a knowledge economy and to move forward for socio-economic development of Pakistan.