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The problems with Pakistani universities

By: Muqeet Tahir Malik

Have you ever wondered about our undergraduate studies? Did you ever contemplate over the pattern of our stereotyped educational system? How far is it contrary to developed countries? How should ones intellectual ability be assessed? Should academic grades be the only yardstick to distinguish between students? Is formal education required for acquiring intelligence? How far has the job market affected the attitude of students?

A lack of human instinct for patriotism is dimming day by day disintegrating the will of our graduate students to work through the mill for Pakistan.

The institutional hierarchy has raised issues with regards to meritocracy, prejudice, and biased attitudes towards certain policies for a brief period of time.

Expanding upon the politicization of education, the policy makers themselves are not qualified enough nor experienced to tackle higher education issues. Policies are frequently hampered by successive governments owing to vested interests of every government. You have to give a market driven system for the institute to grow; education minister is the least popular plus seldom comes on media to debate on a prevalent predicament.

According to a viewpoint, poverty, lack of resources, and opportunities become the reason for college as well as university dropouts who are not able to continue their studies. The consanguinity between the dropouts, and GTE owes to lack of academic research plus administrative collapse of universities.

Thereafter, we need to relate the aforementioned issue with the demeanor of our nation. Society has evolved in such a way that they gratify those who have degrees but do not praise a person for sole intellectual capability. We are in a phase where we require our youth to possess creativity in the arena of art, of diplomacy, Economics, Fashion Industry along with multifarious other sectors. This is a prerequisite to meet the competing global trends.

They galvanized support for critical thinking, leading to self-respect. A person was to act in contrivance to injustice, even if it is from the top notch.

Today, our universities do not allow students to think out of the box. The institutional hierarchy has raised issues with regard to meritocracy, prejudice, and biased attitudes towards certain policies for a brief period of time. Moreover, expanding upon the politicization of education, the policy makers themselves are not qualified enough nor experience to tackle higher education issues.

Policies are frequently hampered by successive governments owing to vested interests of every government. Some allocate more budget to HEC, and sometimes less. HEC has to be depoliticized plus provided with a uniform code of conduct for all public or private sector universities.

Furthermore, to pick a person for a job from a renowned university is nothing but tantamount to disrupt the structure of a pluralistic society. The fact that certain multi national and national corporations have vested interests to hire graduates from universities like LUMS, GIKI, NUST, and other few universities; though they are without a doubt the talented cream of the country, but some students owing to abridgment of opportunities along with financial constraints are not able to acquire admissions in such institutes. Consequently, government centres captivate them, but are unable to provide jobs as they graduate posing a challenge to them. It is indeed a hard nut to crack if you are rejected by the multifarious companies for the mere reason that your university had not paid enough exceptions are present, but only in some sectors of education.

Society has evolved in such a way that they gratify those who have degrees but do not praise a person for sole intellectual capability. We are in a phase where we require our youth to possess creativity in the arena of art, diplomacy, economics, fashion industry along with multifarious other sectors.

However today, our universities do not allow students to think out of the box. This not only undermines a person intelligence but also inhibits the flow of innovative ideas, and pioneering elucidations. Submission and rationale thinking are both groomed by the institution. In, Germany, a teacher is respected by even the judge, and he rises from his order as the instructor enters the court.

If we dig into the pit, we find that all the strings are attached to our governance. A study from Punjab University categorically states that the core issue lies in an administrative structure of academia.

Financing, and prioritizing education is also the duty of the government. In fact, the funds should be raised by the universities themselves, but not at the cost of exploitation of students.

On the contrary, the private universities generate funds through sponsorship, and contracts with corporate companies. So what discerns us from the urbanized world?  Most importantly, it is  the assessment system that embeds modern education and a liberal  mindset be built upon critical thinking.

In a nutshell, Pakistani universities have complications on smorgasbord which cannot be addressed in one article. However, the gist of all our debate is to enhance the quality of higher education, and research; one has to work on civilizing his or her own methodology of teaching. Along with this, even the government has to enhance funding to HEC but in the form of more foreign scholarships that are depreciating day by day since, 2009.

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