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Myths of Higher Education

in Pakistan

Prof. Dr. Syed Irfan Hyder


VP and Dean
Karachi Institute of Economics
and Technology
Myths
1. Our backwardness is because of science
and technology
2. There is mushrooming of educational
institutions in Pakistan
3. Public universities cost lower than
private universities
4. Bigger infrastructure (land, building,
equipment) means better education
Myth #1: We are backward
because we lag in science &
technology
• Myth: Society to • We are backward because
magically transform we lack
when when we have
– Principles: Honesty,
– X’000 S&T PhDs,
commitment, fairness,
– Y’000 high impact integrity…
professors – “Principles centered
– N’000 SIS publications leadership”
– Z’000 State of the art •
Emphasize social sciences
labs
for
– Etc., etc,….
– character building,
– societal change
• Movements, mobilizations
for
– justice, honesty,
Myth #2: Mushrooming of
HEI in Pakistan
Population HEI Students
• Pakistan (2005-6) ~ 160 m ~ 400 k
• Texas (1990s) ~ 25 m ~ 900 k

• India: Number of engineering HEI (2006): ~


24 k
– Engineering HEI students: ~
400 k
• Measures to debilitate the nascent private
sector
– High entry barriers
– Financial, non-financial barriers
Myth #3: Public universities
cost lower than private
universities
• Public sector subsidized by tax
money
– HEC funding per student (2005-6) ~ Rs
75 k
– Student pays per year additionally
• Typically: ~ 25 k (KU)
• Exorbitantly: ~ 150 k (IBA, NUST)
– Total Average cost per year = 100k –
225k
– Land dole out extra
Myth #4 : Bigger
Infrastructure Means Better
Education
• Better quality • Not emphasized or
means under emphasized
– Bigger buildings in HEC Criteria
(brick and mortar) – Processes
– More equipment – Systems
– More budget – Culture
– More faculty – Quality of
– More numbers graduates
• More input than
output oriented
Myth #5: Impact factor
measures impact
• Impact factor is the • Group of researchers
holy grail. A game can collude
researchers play – you scratch my back, I
scratch yours
– More references to a
• Relevance for Pakistan
paper means greater
impact – Impact on the industry;
new ventures, new
• Is this impact factor products, new
relevant to opportunities, new jobs,
..
– Steven Spiegelberg,
– Social change,
Disney, Steve Jobs, Bill economic change,
Gates, Sam Walton, change movements
– Edhi, Musharraf, Aitizaz – Impact factor should be
Ahsan? enhanced to measure
concrete change