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The higher education commission HEC Pakistan is formally the university grant commission and this grant commission manage all the issues regarding the education in Pakistan under the act of university grant commission 1974 previously the universities are recognized by this institution and all the rules and regulations which are followed by the universities are given by UGC. The UCG act 1974 was repealed and the new ordinance is came into place with the name of higher education commission ordinance 2002 and after that this institution is responsible for the higher education policy in Pakistan, quality of education (quality control), the main purpose of introducing this institution is to uplift the education sector and the inspiration is given to the universities so that they can improve the system.
Another main task was the development of the education policy, and to bring the quality in teaching methodology through the workshops, seminar etc.
Research and development is important for any institution that's why the spotlight is on R and D sector because it is possibly the key for the growth of any organization and this is the start point of the organization and if the problems are identified then it is easy for the subject matter exports to perform later on.
For betterment and development in Pakistan the Higher Education Commission gives thousands of MS scholarships and also the doctoral scholarships as well each and every year.
The planning and development by the HEC is important because this will forecast the challenges of future and strategies to cope with these challenges is needed in order to meet the international standards of the universities, so the initiative taken by the institution like HEC to give scholarships is right decision by government.
Another main purpose of this institution is that to give strength to the infrastructure of the higher education in Pakistan. In this process the research is important which can provide better results and the work of HEC with other ministries in developing such a projects which help the education sector later on.
The linkage of local and foreign universities ensure that the setup of these universities is learned and the changes were done in our system that is a major change in the process and that is helpful for the higher education.
Another initiative of the introduction of university-industry relationship give more practicality, learning to the students and they can learn more from the industry tours that is another good step taken in regard of development.
Impact of Indigenous scholarships on the growth and promotion of the higher education:
Indigenous scholarships are given by the higher education commission of Pakistan in the supervision of government of Pakistan so that these scholarships encourage and motivate the students to participate and learn more during higher education.
There are a certain policies and procedures or we say rules and regulations are designed by the government of Pakistan in collaboration with HEC to facilitate the students who are more delegated towards learning and have excellent academic record to follow the educational heights at higher level.
They are also have an eye on the students who are concerned with studies but they do not have enough money to participate and study at higher level so government also provide need based scholarships to the students having weak backgrounds.
Indigenous Scholarships of MS/PHD:
The basic concept of giving these scholarships is to strengthen the faculties of universities locally and to improve the quality of education and delegation and more attention towards the research and development R and D sector is improved by the induction of the intelligent students. And if these highly qualified personnel perform their duties in best way in future the industrial sector will also improve.
The recently announced scheme of 5000 indigenous scholarships of MS leading to PHD will improve the research culture in universities of Pakistan and the universities will improve and may adopt the international standards so that the students may get the international standard education locally and it is the milestone if done accordingly.
This project is focused on diversified disciplines including the science and technology, social sciences and humanities and life sciences. More over HEC funded some universities to develop the research labs and it will encourage the researchers to participate frequently. So the thing is that the institution like HEC would have to put spot light on the new disciplines and encourage students to learn new subjects by providing benefit like indigenous scholarships because that would motivate the students and the introduction of new disciplines in Pakistan is more encouraging because the people are only familiar with few discipline.
These indigenous scholarships will help in the socio-economic development of Pakistan because the local researchers will highlight the local problems and would work on them accordingly because the local researchers are more familiar with the cultural norms of Pakistan behaviors of local people.
In this scheme HEC also provide the funds to upgrade the existing laboratories and equipments that are used in laboratories.
The indigenous scholarships are encouraged because this will improve the standards of living at individual level, and more importantly the economy is affected in positive way.
Another good factor is that the local researchers will know there country trends in terms of culture, society, norms and values, attitude and behavior, manners and customs etc so with keeping these things in mind one easily know that the local researchers can perform well in there country because of familiar factors and trends. HEC and the government of Pakistan were doing an anchor role in improving the educational standards.
HEC provide 5000 at PHD level indigenous scholarships to enhance the level of intellectuals in Pakistan and increased decision making ability in different flied of studies and to improve the businesses in institutions public and private etc.
The 300 scholars recently awarded PHD degrees were doing research to improve the socio-economic conditions of Pakistan and there research is valuable because of there contribution to the development. These PHD's belong to different fields like business management, agriculture, engineering and HEC is also introducing the new disciplines at the level of PHD's like total quality management. There publications are important for analyzing the issues at different level because this is necessary to fill the gap first in order to pick up the growth rate. This all will help to improve the situations in future and it also help to improve the infrastructure.
In order to give these scholarship HEC develop a certain criteria and it includes:
No D grade in previous degree.
The person who already studying under any scholarship program of Pakistan cannot get the scholarship for MS.
Candidates must have 16 years of education who are applying for the MS scholarships.
Maximum age 40 for PHD scholarships.
GAT test is necessary for both PhD's and candidates applying for MS.
The candidate cannot change the course of study once he submits an application etc.
Objective of providing the indigenous scholarships:
The objective of providing these scholarships is to train the students for the future benefit of the universities because only the well-trained and qualified personnel facilitate the students and the learning of the students increase and improve. That's why the qualified faculty is recognized as the key of success in learning institutions and another thing is that they change certain things which help to learn more.
Another thing is that by investing in Human capital is important for any country because they change the scenario and work for improvement and development, the main theme of investing in personnel is to get the economic stability in terms of growth and these type of investment encourage the people from any race, ethnic group to became the quality worker of any organization, faculty member of university and serve the country and participate for economic growth.
These indigenous scholarships encourage the talented youth to step-up and get qualifications in technical and non-technical fields and participate in nation building process later-on with there professional and technical knowledge.
And providing these scholarships particularly to the students of MS/PHD will enhance the research culture and environment that is friendly for the research conduction when ever needed with flexibility and which will address the issues of entire sectors of Pakistan.
This will also increase the strength of the industries of Pakistan and new idea creations, and ability to start the new venture is increased because of better knowledge and professional skills and for new ideas planning, development and then implementation, the entrepreneurial mind is also required for that.
The number of PHD's in Pakistan increasing due to the better and improved policies and procedure of higher education and admirable work by HEC. And now the Pakistani universities can produce more PhD's in future than previous 10 years. One research shows the results that at present number of PhD's reach 8142. According to the statistics which are available, the number of PHD's were increased from 347 in 1947 to 676 in 2002 in agricultural sciences, and in biological sciences the figures increased from 586 to 1096 and from 14 to 123 in the field of business and management sciences, in engineering and technology from 21 to 262, and in physical sciences it increased from 709 to 1071 and in the field of social sciences it increased from 887 to 1080 in last 10 years.
In the last decade the ratio of education particularly in higher education is increased as mentioned in the figures above, so we have to recognize that the institution like HEC of Pakistan is doing very well for the betterment of the education and since the creation from 2002 this institution doing great job and particularly in the field of business and management sciences, engineering and technology, agriculture science and the discipline of social science as well.
HEC introduce various indigenous scholarships to strengthen the human resource of Pakistan and to create a critical mass of highly qualified human resource in different field of studies in Pakistan so these researchers will work on the issues important for Pakistan, one of the scholar says that these PhD's are real asset of Pakistan and they will help country to develop economically.
It is to be mentioned that since 1947, a total of 3,281 PhDs were awarded. However, and from the time when the establishment of the HEC in 2002, over 4,850 PhDs have been awarded.
Higher Education commission is also looking to award 10000 indigenous scholarships to the students as the need based scholarships to the deserving students from the different parts of Pakistan in 2012-2013. These scholarships are only given to the students who are very talented and have good academic background in terms of there marks and percentage and having financial crisis or constraints. So more over these students are enrolled in the public sector universities for higher education to ensure the equality criteria. Under this new scheme, the more importance is given to the students belonging to Balochistan, FATA, interior Sindh and southern Punjab to support higher education of maximum number of academically eligible needy students from the very poor part of the country.
Indigenous scholarship purpose:
Indigenous scholarships are the lifeblood of all scholarships. The main objective of the Indigenous Scholarship Scheme is to create a highly qualified faculty to our local universities in all fields. These researchers will improve the rank and potential of all public and private universities in Pakistan.
The scholarships are aimed at creating a pool of specialized scientists and highly skilled professionals trained at MS leading to PhD level in areas which are critical to economic growth. The fields of study covered under these programs include Science and Technology, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities and other selected departments of public universities of the country.
The primary objective of these programs is to increase indigenous capacities in various fields of science and technology.Â Regular employees of public sector universities, colleges and R&D organizations having two years of relevant work experience are eligible for this program. The scholars conduct research in various fields of science and technology and are supervised in their research by HEC approved professors
The specific objective of the Indigenous Scholarship Scheme is to produce acute form of highly qualified human resources in all fields of studies trained at the advanced level in local universities. These locally qualified academics and researchers will increase the R&D potential of public as well as private universities and it will also support the local industrial sector.Â .Â
The impact of a scholarship has an effect felt far beyond the student helped. The student's success, thanks to the scholarship, may inspire younger siblings or the student's own children to pursue higher education after high school. The student will be able to make more money with a college education and be a better provider for his or her family. In addition, that student will touch thousands of lives through his or her career whether it is in health, education, business, research or some other field.
When you provide a scholarship for a student, you do more than help them financially - you impart a lesson of generosity and concern for others that they incorporate into their own lives. Our files are filled with letters from students describing the impact that their scholarships made on their lives, and their hopes that one day, they will be able to provide scholarships for future students just as their donors did for them.
The purpose of the delay is to facilitate candidates from remote areas of the country. The scholarship will be given for the academic year 2012-13 in all areas of studies and disciplines on the quota basis in accordance with federal government quota policy permitted by the government of Pakistan.Â
To boost the research facilities in these fields the Higher Education Commission has supported many Departments/Universities to establish research labs. This has taken fabulous change in research culture of the Pakistani Universities.
HEC has preserved great stress on indigenous scholarship schemes because locally trained researchers work on local problems of great national implication. Their research, therefore, is expected to have direct significance to the growth and socio-economic development of Pakistan.
In addition, this scheme also offers funds to the Universities for advancing their research facilities particularly small laboratory equipment, chemicals, IT equipment etc. which not only aids research of the HEC scholar but also serves as an strength for the department to start up to date research laboratories.
The need-based scholarships are focused on providing opportunities for access to higher education especially to under privileged students belonging to remote and far flung areas of the country who despite possessing academic merit, are unable to finance their education.
Under this new program, special emphasis is given to the students belonging to Baluchistan, FATA, interior Sindh and Southern Punjab to support higher education of maximum number of academically qualified needy students from the very poor segments of the country. These scholarships would be awarded through Financial Aid Offices at the universities in a transparent and well-defined mechanism.
He also informed that HEC indigenous and foreign scholarships are being awarded as per federal government quota policy. He urged the participants of the workshop to disseminate this information and guide the prospective candidates from Sindh province in this regard. He also emphasized them to avail the benefit of various HEC initiatives.
Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Dr. Parveen Shah extended thanks to HEC and NTS for selecting Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur for organizing such a useful academic activity.
In its endeavor to develop a class of Highly Qualified and professional Faculty in Pakistan, HEC has launched a series of scholarship programs. Through this series, HEC aims to provide the much needed impetus to the academia by offering indigenous as well as foreign PhD degrees to both faculty members and students. It is well cognizant of the need for customizing the existing scholar ship programs along with providing new opportunities for the pursuit of higher education at home and abroad.
With an objective of reinforcing universally accepted principle of excellence in academia, HEC has designed the scholar ship series. Scholar ships are offered not only in reputable disciplines but also in the less recognized but crucial emerging fields.Â
Several scholarship schemes comprising of indigenous as well as foreign scholarship/fellowships are currently being offered under the program. PhD scholars in all disciplines of strategic national significance are proceeding to various reputable foreign universities/institutions/ research centers by availing these schemes. Indigenous scholars now need to move beyond this collaborative process to those hard issues in research methodologies.
The government of Pakistan has demonstrated a heightened sense of commitment to improving the effectiveness of education through its programmed of Education Sector Reforms that includes higher education, and this is further evidenced by the establishment of the task force. While universal literacy and primary education have been in the forefront of development priorities in the past, the pressing need to benefit from the new knowledge based economy has placed an unprecedented premium on higher education.
Pakistan's higher education system, encompassing all level above grade 12, is providing unable to provide the skills necessary, in the quantities necessary, to achieve the dual objectives of nation building and global competitiveness.
Universities are the pillars of the higher education system. They must have autonomy from all extraneous influences in order to govern and manage their academic, administrative, financial functions. In particular, universities must have autonomy to develop their academic programmes, recruit, and select, train and educate their students.
Education is a continuum process primary, secondary, higher secondary and tertiary levels. Its generic purposes are not discipline specifies. The support and accountability for educational functions, whether in the domains of knowledge concerning natural, biological, numerical and social sciences, and humanities, are the responsibilities of the ministry of education.
HEC had paid special attention towards the promotion of higher education in the country. The main initiatives includes special scholarship scheme for the youth, implementation of the federal government's quota policy to award local and foreign scholarships.
The number of the universities had been increased from two to seven including the establishment of the first women universities. It has launched the special projects for the development of the basic infrastructure in higher education institutions in the provinces.
The scholarship provides financial support to enable mature-age indigenous students to complete nationally recognized tertiary qualifications and attain skills and knowledge that will enhance their community's future economies and financial development.
Scholarship are intended for indigenous who Face financial barriers that might otherwise restrict their option for gaining a tertiary qualification. The fund acknowledge that mature-age student often required to make great personal and financial sacrifices in order to complete qualification that will help advance their personal and career goals.
The scholarship provides recipient s with financial assistance to relieve the financial burden of study, which may includes course fees, telecommunication cost, accommodation, transport and textbook. Students must have the support of their family and/or community. This will require emotional support and some contribution to financial support. The level of financial contribution is reviewed on an individual and highly confidential basis, with the expectation that families/communities will contribute according to their capacity.
The Scholarship does not cover the provision of uniform, pocket money or other voluntary School activities. Families are expected to participate in School programs/information sessions, etc, as much as distance and travel permits and be supportive of their daughter's education.
Development of education sector of Pakistan in previous years:
Education is important factor in development of an economy of any country, historically Pakistan is a poor country and poverty creates the alarming situations, so the policies and more importantly procedures are needed to cope that situation, because the factors like unemployment, low per capita income, less GDP and less quality education of the people is concerned factor and needs to be paid attention.
On of the economic survey have the statistics which include the figures and these are the public sectors spending on the education in Pakistan are:
Public sector sending as %GDP is 2.1 and the literacy rate is 57 %. This information includes the age from 10 and above, males 69% and females 45%. ( economic survey of Pakistan 2009-2010).
Pakistan is also depending on the aid from the international sources. The higher education commission is also running a project which includes USAID.
If we talk about the development of education sector the institution like HEC is doing a significant job in developing the human resource or human capital. In this regard the indigenous scholarships are open to every one who is working in the private sector and government sector and also the Pakistani students. HEC has award 1426 undergraduate scholarships and 6635 post graduate scholarships, from which 3765 MS scholarships and this indigenous scholarships program also produced more than 300 PHD's in Pakistan. (Economic survey of Pakistan 2009-2010).
These human resources which are developed and produced by HEC are actively participating in the research and development of Pakistan and they are performing there duties significantly in different department and also in the public and private universities. These scholars also managing to improve the local university standards and infrastructure overall. In this regard HEC has given the post doctoral scholarships to the 503 university teachers which help the university and the new students later on. HEC also trained the 11021 faculty members and administrators of different universities during short and long term courses. But if we talk about the development of the institutions there is a boom or increase in the degree awarding institutions DAI and new universities. The PHD's are increased to 624 in 2009, the funding to higher education reached up to 44000 millions.
HEC is also doing planning and development in order to increase the education in Pakistan for that HEC have a plan for the years 2010-2015 and onwards. This includes the post doctoral, doctoral, and MS leading to PHD these types of indigenous scholarships are encouraging and can help the economy. Funds for promotion of research culture are increased in the recent years up to 800 million in 2010-2011. (Economic survey of Pakistan 2011-2012).
Foreign assistance for education sector:
In 2008 and onwards the foreign assistance is increased for the development of Pakistan and students who are motivated for higher studies, this includes:
USAID funded $2.14 million, project name strengthening teaching education in Pakistan (STEP).
Funded by DFID £3.15 million, project name gender in education policy support project (GEPSP)
These funds are actively donated by the UNICEF, usaid and also different private organizations are also working actively to train the teachers in this regards organizations like ed-links are funded by USAID and they are working to improve the teaching standards and methodology at primary and higher level. This costing $ 90million.
The organizations like ITA, IRM UK-AID project are also working to improve the educational standards and they are conducted a lot of surveys in recent past which help to identify different issues in the regions of Pakistan.
How the higher education system is improved in Pakistan and the recommended suggestions:
The objective of better higher education system is only achieved if the overall system is organized or planned like the international standards requirements and to achieve that particular goal there is a need to work hard, that's why the institution like HEC is appreciated by the international forces who want the progress of education in any country.
But the thing is that there are some forces that show resistance so that is the task for the policy makers to cope the overall situation and make that type of policy and procedure which can bring the change in the system and the ultimate objective is achieved of improvement for higher education.
The universities are the main pillars of the higher education system, they must have the autonomy from the external influences in order to govern and manage there administrative, academic and financial functions. They must have that mush authoritative power to train there faculty or firstly (recruit) hire the potential faculty members who can deliver in the future and council the students in a proper way that can be acceptable and according to the international standards and requirement and which can also eliminate the requirement to study at abroad. The present system is weak because it is hesitant to delegate the powers and job enrichment processes which can motivate the faculty members in order to deliver in a right way. In this process each university must have the governing board which can make autonomous decisions for improvement. And if this type of governing broad perform there duties the overall performance o the institution is improved. Previously the institution named UGC is not up to the mark because of poor administration systems and less and also late funding to the universities, the system requires the institution which is ready to deliver and it is HEC and which is proved later on by the quality performance of the HEC and its planning, development and management in terms of the performance from 2002-2008 is phenomenal.
If the funding from the international forces, government of Pakistan and HEC is given to the universities or DAI then there is a less burden on the students to pay the huge amount of fees and they can learn more easily with out any pressure and also the funding is utilized by giving students quality faculty then they can learn more and may deliver later on and represent the well known organizations and also serve public sector in better way and if the provincial governments also support this type of funding then there is a boost in the improvement in the quality. The thing is that a lot of intellectuals(scholars) were left Pakistan because of less salary and poor economic condition in the country so Pakistani government and public sector universities need more funding in order to retain that type of quality faulty members.
The infrastructure is provided by the HEC by giving more indigenous scholarships to the students and motivate them to study in MS leading to PHD, and particularly the PHD scholarships and also they encourage the research culture in the universities, and also provide the labs for technical studies and access to digital library is phenomenal for the students to learn the international books and articles and journals from the Harvard business review and Jstore etc.
The first thing which can be done in order to bring revolution in the educational sector, the government primary, middle, secondary and higher secondary education needs to be deliver more and some quality education which is lacking and the students when they come for the higher studies they suffer because of less knowledge, so in this regard government must have to put more emphasis on the early education in other words the improvement must start from the grass root level.
The role of higher education is important for the developing country like Pakistan to survive in the global environment which is competitive and you can only survive if the higher education is given in a proper way, because it is a chain process one action is linked with another and if one thing is lacking or not done in a way it required then it can cost later on.
By ranking the universities in terms of quality education institutions, it can motivate the students, faculty members and the internal policy makers to work hard for the improvement, and it is good to award the categories to the institutions according to there performance. This policy encourage the high performing universities and they can deliver more frequently because they want to retain there position and that is not less than challenge. By monitoring the private institutions as well is also participating in the improvement.
The economic importance of higher education:
Yes it is right that higher education is important for the economic growth of any country but it is also right that economic growth is more important for the developing countries and it is the fact that higher education can not only contribute to the economic development of the country, it also contribute in nation building process, giving more strength to the society, culture in terms of more civilized culture and the people became more conscious about the things and they may also have awareness more about upgrading there living standards etc.
In this regard the World Bank and UNESCO provided the task force for developing countries including Pakistan to check analyze and put emphasis on the higher education system and living standards of the people and to work for the infrastructure of country. They also emphasis on the development of enlightened leaders, expansion of choices and this type of development also enhances the social mobility and it may be helpful for the talented people to come up and prove there potential in the areas of there choices.
The ultimate theme of providing the indigenous scholarships to the students creates the capability to address the appropriate solutions to the local problems in the country. In this context the promotion of higher education is more important in order to get better future of the country, because this is the era of competition and those who want to compete must have that type of weapons to survive in the race of competition. The promotion is necessary because now the employees, intellectuals and technical people are seen as product by the organizations and candidates who want to get the job they have to market themselves. But the thing is that the individuals are only putted in the competition if they have the knowledge, skills and abilities, this process of KSA is only fulfilled if the students are gone through the process of the learning and more importantly if they get the higher education, this process of indigenous is encouraging for the students who perform out of the skin and those who are below the line of poverty and doesn't afford the burden/expenses of higher education and this automatically motivate the student s to perform and learn more. But this all is interlinked with the quality higher education and institutions (universities).
The developing countries need to invest in good quality schooling (from grass route level to higher studies) that prepares graduates, MBA's, MS leading to PHD, and PHD's for effectiveness and quality in there work when they go to any field or any organization, in this context the syllabus or courses are must be like that they cover the broader learning or in other words the course domain must be larger rather than limitations in the knowledge.
In order to get real growth the institutions (universities) or DAI must put emphasis on practicality and application of the knowledge rather than bookish knowledge, in this regard the higher education commission (HEC) interlinked the universities and the organizations and they put the emphasis on the industrial tours of the students this will give students more learning about how the organizations perform there work practically.
Most of the developed countries after world war II spending on the higher education because of there recognition that it is important for country's economic growth and developing countries also now spending on the higher education but if we talk about or in Pakistani context the fresh graduates, MBA's are looking for job, and the current job market is not so good for new candidates who want to apply, and that's why most of the quality asset in terms of human capital is shifting to the other countries for there better career and future.
So this is the alarming situation for the Pakistan because it affects the growth and impact is bad later on, so the government of Pakistan must show the concern in order to tackle the situation because it triggers badly if not handled properly, and Pakistani government must provide the infrastructure for better higher education which has international standards incorporated, so the actions need to be taken not only in educational sector but also in every sector, these improvements eliminate the disappointment of people of Pakistan who permanently leave the country and they may participate in the nation building process or in other words development of economy.
Particularly in the education sector the emphasis must be put on the grass route level because it is the initial stage and it is the chain process because the basic education further contributes to the higher education. In Pakistan this education system is breakdown into five stages and it includes:
Primary level (from grade I to grade V), Middle level (from grade VI to VIII), Secondary level (SSC), Higher secondary level (HSSC) and the higher education including under graduate, post graduate education etc.
Another initiative which is taken in some remote areas of Pakistan to develop a sub-campuses of the universities to give the quality education to the Pakistani students in these remote areas which is lacking previously, it is better initiative in the process to enhance the number of students at higher level because this counts later on in many ways.
The human resource development HRD has get significance importance and this have dual objective in terms of enhancing institutional capacity and the local research activities. In this regard recently indigenous scholarships has been given to the university faculty in order to get more education from the local universities and also the foreign scholarships provided to these university faculty members for the improvement in the education sector, because when these faculty members later on when teach the students at under-graduate level and MBA's they will definitely provide more knowledge and learning materials etc which will further help them in organizations. These indigenous and foreign scholarships are provided on merit basis to the existing university faculty members and the individuals from the private sector as well.
Nearly 44% of the scholarships are provided to the scientists of R and D organizations and university teachers and these are managed by the HEC, about 900 to 1000 scholars are returned after completing their studies and about 3000 scholars are studying abroad.
The professional development is given to the different teacher of the universities in order to perform more quality work on the job when teaching particular subjects.
Development of ELTR (English language teaching reform) is another initiative to promote better understanding of the knowledge etc.
4700 scholars are studying under the indigenous scholarship program of HEC, and 1959 scholars are studying under the project initiated for the FATA/BALOCHISTAN students and at both graduate and under graduate level. (Annual plan for higher education 2012-2013).
Financial aid is given to the students who are not able to deposit their full fee or in other wards not having too much money to study; these students are studying in public and private institutions (universities). 2919 scholars have been passed so far, and 526 scholars are still getting education in different local institutions under need based scholarships program.
HEC has also developed NVCN (national video conferencing network) in 2006 e-academia in 79 universities and looking to extend the national video conferencing network in more universities it is very helpful when it comes to learning, many students, faculty members were facilitated by this initiative and this will help in overall improvement of the universities, more over these type of initiatives were needed in order to change the current situation and bringing advancement in higher education sector.
Quality indicators of higher education in Pakistan:
The higher education plays a leadership role in the education sector because at this level students are concerned with quality learning and more focused about professional studies/career studies. In this study it is found that some of the private universities are lacking in giving quality education or in other words the faculty members are not have that type of quality to teach at the higher level or the aspect of training is lacking and another issue is that the merit system in giving admissions to the students is also on the downside, some of the public sector universities lacking even the facilities of the multi-media and libraries and laboratories are not up to the mark or of standards and some of the universities are lacking the facility of hostels for the students. And another important recommendation made under this study is to introduce academic audit system managed by HEC and giving international standard training to the teachers for advancements and the admissions must be given on merit basis for quality assurance.
Higher education plays a vital role in the development of society. "Universities, for centuries, had a crucial role in educating the potential professionals, businessmen, political leaders, religious and social scholars, who serve the society, to enrich its values and develop its resources" (Mustard, 1998). These things are also recommended in Pakistan for development.
Pakistan is even behind Bangladesh in education sector, after more than 60 years of independence Pakistan has only spending 2.7 percent of GNP on the education which is less than recommended by UNESCO they recommended 4 percent, this 4 percent is recommended by UNESCO for all developing countries. It is recognize that for state, higher education became the demanding asset. The problem with developing countries including Pakistan is that they give less priority/emphasis to the higher education; the knowledge-based economy is only developed if the higher education system is well equipped and trained professionals are available in every field to participate in economic growth.
Quality of education is important factor to emphasis because people of country like Pakistan are in need of this but for further advancement some actions required:
The quality of education is only recognized in particular country if it fulfills the criteria under which the local gaps are filled in away that shifts the paradigm on overall basis. So the social, academic, national excellence is gained or achieved, that's why the research culture is promoted in developed and developing countries because the researchers(PHD's) participate in the problems solving process and recommend different solutions for betterment.
Quality indicators can be divided into three classes: educational inputs, educational outputs, and educational processes. Inputs include financial procedures, physical measures, and manpower measures connected with the resources that are given for students at each educational level. Financial measures are usually summarized by educational expenditures per student. Physical measures include the age, condition, and depth of such facilities as classrooms, laboratories, and libraries and the conditions and use of international materials and tools or equipments. Manpower or human resource measures include the number of personnel of different types, often expressed as ratios in relation to student numbers at each level. They also include background information about these human resources such as educational qualifications (knowledge), experience, and perhaps knowledge competencies and attitudes. (Murnane, 1987).
Educational output refers to the quality of students and that depends upon the knowledge of the students gained during their studies and how they are performing and how much they have the ability to perform in the organization or any other field while educational process refers to the quality of curriculum development to final assessment of the students including the students admission and it also include the learning process and active participation from the students side and as well as teachers ability to provide quality knowledge which would be applicable when they go for job etc.
The five different approaches in measuring the quality of higher education:
In term of the exceptional (higher standards)
In terms of consistency (zero defects and getting it right the first time)
As fitness for purpose (meeting stated purposes)
As value for money.
As transformative (transformation of the participant). (Harvey and green 1993)
Another thing is that quality assurance and quality assessment is dearly needed because must of the institution world wide getting the certifications from ISO and it includes ISO 9000,4001 etc but as for as Pakistan is concern only the manufacturing sector gets that type of certification but I think other sectors must also recommended to acquire these certifications for improvement.
Global alliance for transnational education (GATE) proposed the following principles for the quality higher education:
Their must be desired Goal and objectives for advancement.
Standards for improvement and quality management.
Legal matters are managed in a proper way.
Student enrollment and admission including merit.
Human resources are now treated as human capital.
Physical and financial resources.
Teaching and learning is important for development.
Evaluation is important for finding gaps and problems in order for further advancement.
Especially in higher education quality is a multi dimensional concept because it covers the university including the academic life and the infrastructure, the learning process, students participation, and endorsement and promotion of talented people in terms of giving admission on merit basis and also indigenous scholarships can create better results in future and nation building process and increases the percentage of education which is currently 2.7% and as recommended by UNESCO 4%. So in this regard for quality assurance, the number if factors such as internationalization, marketing, creation, competition this all enhance the quality of higher education.
Quality of faculty and staff members must be increased, development of instructions, organizational development, teachers training program, increase the quality of curriculum, quality management on overall basis and presence of good governance participate in the boost of country living standards and economy etc. so the collective effort is needed in order to perform management principles; organizing, planning, controlling, leading, staffing and monitoring and evaluation are also important aspects in this context.
Issues of quality higher education in Pakistan:
In one particular research it is recommended that the evaluation criteria is needed for the identification of the problems, only the quality is enhanced if the benchmark is designed and implemented in a way that local institutions are evaluated in accordance with these benchmarks. So in this regard diversity needs to be increased and the element of synergy creates the more power in the institutions when universities work with industries in order to give practical knowledge to the students and also the connection and networking of international universities with local once enhance the learning and capacity building process.
Different issues of the quality of higher education in Pakistan as recognized by Iqbal (2004) are:
Ineffective governance and management structure and practice.
Inefficient use of available resources.
Inadequate funding which leads to poor laboratories and libraries etc.
Poor recruitment practices and inadequate development of faculty and staff.
Inadequate support for research.
Politicization of faculty, staff and students.
Pakistan's government must develop the indigenous scholarship program at higher level which is better than the current one which is managed by HEC under the limited funds of government and the new one may act like the common wealth scholarships program and give the scholarships to the needy students, on merit basis, and this program may also help the students or fresh graduates in getting the jobs, HEC is doing good job for improvement but due the limited funds quality results are not achieved. So the thing is that most of the developing countries like Pakistan facing the problem of less quality, because of lacking of the financial constraints (FUNDS) and also most of people having better knowledge want higher salary packages and to retain them in the public sector universities is difficult task.
To support talented individuals by providing opportunities to study in quality institutions locally under the indigenous scholarships to promote indigenous culture, norms and values the focus on research is encouraged by the local institutions or DAI and also that is encouraged by the international forums.
In Pakistan HEC takes that initiative for betterment in a context they provide the scholarships to the existing faculty members of different universities locally and after training these teachers will serve the universities in a more effective way. This later on have a stronger impact on local communities and society will be served in better way. This change in environment effect the current situation or typical situation which has been injected from so many years. So for improving the situation in a more proper way the interviews, suggestions and recommendations from the alumni were important because this will help in filling the gaps or tackling problems.
For the development of higher education and at lower level (primary education) the World Bank recognized that the funding is a necessary need of these countries in order to advance, improve and develop there socio-economic conditions. And for all this the international donors like UNICEF, UNESCO, UK-aid and US- aid are also working in developing countries. In past years the World Bank establish the task forces to analyze the role of universities in developing countries and that will help to handle the overall situation in proper way. So the need is to embrace the higher education in developing countries because this will contribute later on.
The role of indigenous scholarships in promoting development:
With this growth of higher education as a tool for socio-economic development, and that the education system should be taken as an incorporated whole rather than as sections competing for resources. Primary school teachers, faculty member of higher education, themselves, skilled workers (Doctors), engineers, policymakers, scientists, and entrepreneurs, are almost entirely generated by Higher Education system and, as such, their ability to bring out their work at the higher level is dependent on quality training and research at the level of higher education, that's why most of the better universities are producing good quality graduate, post graduates and PHD's from many years possibly it would also be effected by the type of intake of students they give admission.
The capacity to deliver high-quality teacher training and postgraduate study and research is therefore a key component in increasing the ability of lower income country to deal with development challenges and therefore the higher education commission HEC can play a vital role in this regard by giving the indigenous scholarships to the students from the poor background, those who are performing well in previous academic career, mainly the scholarships for MS and PHD students were important because further they can play a vital role in the research sector and they can also help in the problem identification process and then after that the recommendations or solutions by them may help to foster better results.
The funding being such a critical issue for Higher education in developing countries, especially indigenous scholarships can potentially play an essential role in socio-economic development and also in that process it will support academics to progress their knowledge and skills, and as well as their exposure and experience increases with the passage of time. The collaboration between academics and industries is process that foster practical learning for the students and they serve their organization more practically and they can use the theories in better way which they learned during their academic career.
The institution like HEC must put emphasis on the selection processes and placing importance on academic merit and, The suggestion is that HEC must support the individuals from all over Pakistan through scholarships and fellowships this will put a strong impact on Higher education. Scholarship programmes play a key role in poverty reduction and it will enforce individuals to work hard for uplifting their lives and consequences are better for them because of this motivation (to do something).
Indigenous students if participate more frequently in the higher education of any country then it will be considered as a plus point because it will contribute in future, and policy makers must keep in mind that the four indicators of indigenous educational outcomes: (access, participation, retention and success) are important and another thing is that quality management is needed for desired results. Another initiative in previous years by (PEEF) to give indigenous scholarships in Punjab to the deserving students both on merit and need-based, and another thing is that the students who get scholarships and study in the institution like LUMS is huge benefit and may foster greater impact in future.
In this regard the private sector is also taking initiative to participate in giving scholarships to the universities in this context they will sign the MOU with the institutions and especially these MOU are signed with HEC, because organizations have to recognize that they have the philanthropic attitude towards the society or we can say that they fill the social responsibility by doing this act and attract all stakeholders by behaving in that way.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has started different scholarship programmes for the financial assistance of brilliant but poor students, with an aim to give them an opportunity to respond well and get quality education and come upfront . Financial Support is further helping them to get jobs in multi-national organizations. As the number of indigenous scholarships increases then the level of education will also increases because of greater enrollment in higher education. The emphasis must be given to those areas of the country where the basic education system is lacking so in this regard the infrastructure needs to be designed for the development and by promoting the local people it will enhance the educated people in country and another thing is that government must put emphasis on the new business development and industry building process because these fresh graduates, MBA's later on needs to be employed in different areas and the government must provide them jobs in order to retain the quality intellectuals and also prevent them from going abroad for ever which is becoming dilemma for developing countries. If the people from the remote areas were given scholarships then they can became role model for their region and the development process increased because individuals from these regions were automatically motivated and consequences are better in future and this all contribute to poverty reduction and overall society, community and economy of the country developed.
According to the programs and students' enrolment, facilities be made available and finances should be provided to the public sector universities.
Local government should support universities/DAI under their observation or in other words public sector universities, through relaxation in taxes as an encouragement, financial support on utilities, student support and infrastructure development grants, this type of grant may work to increase in the facilities of the universities and students, faculty members were facilitated by the new technology.
Finances for the projects should be available on timely basis because delay of funds foster negative impact, the timely available funds helpful in going forward, and this act for development must be the national priority of the Pakistan.
The acquired government funds, university itself make a committee for allocation of funds and then spending in a right way is important which can be checked later on during the process of audit.
University ranking must be linked with the resources utilization and the way the students perform and it is also linked with the university faculty members, and the research and number of publications per year and this will incorporate or encourage the institutions and the healthy competition come into play.
16 years degree programs are introduced like the rest of the world, this initiative is done by the universities of Pakistan but it needs improvement because if we want quality and international standards in our institutions we need to work more hard and reward are than better for country and goal of greater economy can be achieved.
Resources made accessible and should be utilized at optimum level.
Faculties should be distributed between public and private sector universities at equal level if we deviate from one sector it will create bad result for another sector, so this tradeoff needs to be managed properly and the balance of faculty between institution is important factor for universities rankings and students quality because quality teacher can deliver and quality education and better knowledge for the students.
If monitoring is made a regular component of the institutions/DAI as a feature of the inputs, processes and products then the output will be as desired by the Higher education systems and the outputs including access, participation, retention and success are achieved.
Private universities are standardized and must be monitored by the HEC in order to retain the quality because if the admissions are given to the students on merit basis and the hiring of faculty members is a crucial factor for the private sector as well and this will also monitor by the higher education commission in order to retain quality, but some of private sector institutions give better packages for retention of qualified faculty members.
Emphasize on qualitative aspect because qualitative factors count more as we written in brief earlier these qualitative aspects include the quality of students, the quality of teachers, the quality of labs (IT ) facilities, libraries, and quality education rather than quantitative education.
Systems are prepared for efficient and effective in terms of their performance and execution of work at different levels.
Wastages of funds should be minimized.
Research foundation should be made sufficiently strong because it will encourage most of the researchers to conduct their research more effectively and efficiently.
Internationalization and Globalization plays a major role in the advancement of the institutions and its will induce or inject the new ways of learning and many students including teachers can gain more knowledge from the exposure of the globalization and this all help to address in all the processes right from planning .