|Top 500 Asian Universities. Source: QS University Rankings 2019|
In terms of the number of universities ranking in Asia's top 500, Pakistan with its 23 universities ranks second in South Asia and 7th among 17 Asian nations topped by China with 112, Japan 89, India 75, South Korea 57, Taiwan 36, Malaysia 26, Pakistan 23, Indonesia 22, Thailand 19, Philippines 8, Hong Kong 7, Vietnam 7, Bangladesh 6, Sri Lanka 4, Singapore 3, Macao 2 and Brunei 2.
National University of Singapore ranked number one in Asia followed by University of Hong Kong and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Tsinghua University and Peking University—both from China—round off the top five list in Asia.
|Pakistani Universities Ranked Among QS Asia Top 500. Source: QS Top Universities 2019|
Pakistan's Top Universities:
National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) is the top ranked university in Pakistan in QS Asia University Rankings 2019. NUST has moved up from 91st to 87th position. The second ranked university in Pakistan is Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) at 95th position in the Asian ranking. These are the only two Pakistani universities ranked among the top 100 in the QS Asia University Rankings 2019. By contrast, India has 8 universities ranked among Asia's top 100. My alma mater NED University of Engineering and Technology is ranked 15th among Pakistan's 23 universities included in Asia's top 500 for 2019.
|Top 15 Asian Nations Publishing Research. Source: SCIMAGO|
Pakistan has emerged as the country with the highest percentage of Highly Cited Papers compared with the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) in the last 10 years, according to Thomson Reuters. Pakistan has doe so despite the fact that its "R&D environment faced substantial economic challenges".
|Source: Thomson Reuters|
In a report titled "Pakistan: Another BRIC in the Wall", author Lulian Herciu says that Pakistan’s scientific productivity has quadrupled, from approximately 2,000 articles per year in 2006 to more than 9,000 articles in 2015. During this time, the number of Highly Cited Papers featuring Pakistan-based authors increased tenfold, from 9 articles in 2006 to 98 in 2015.
|Source: Thomson Reuters|
The Thomson Reuters report has found that, in 2012, "Pakistan's normalized Citation Impact was higher than that of all of the BRIC nations".
In 2014, Pakistan became the first Asian country and only the third in the world after Turkey and Serbia to be honored with CERN's associate membership. The status of associate member is a step before full membership. As an associate member, Pakistan is entitled to attend open and restricted sessions of the organization.
College and University Enrollment:
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|
|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.
Rise of research and publications at Pakistani universities began during Musharraf years when the annual budget for higher education increased from only Rs 500 million in 2000 to Rs 28 billion in 2008, to lay the foundations of the development of a strong knowledge economy, according to former education minister Dr. Ata ur Rehman. Student enrollment in universities increased from 270,000 to 900,000 and the number of universities and degree awarding institutions increased from 57 in 2000 to 137 by 2008. Government R&D spending jumped seven-fold as percentage of GDP from 0.1% of GDP in 1999 to 0.7% of GDP in 2007. It has since declined as percentage of GDP.
British ranking agency Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has ranked 23 Pakistani universities among the top 500 Asian universities for 2019, up from 16 in 2018. Other South Asian universities figuring in the QS top universities report are 75 from India, 6 from Bangladesh and 4 from Sri Lanka. Pakistani scientists and researchers are continuing to produced highly cited research in spite of serious economic and security challenges. Enrollment in higher education is rising and giving a boost to academic research. With better policy focus and more investment in higher education, Pakistan can make an even greater impact with its young demographics.
South Asia Investor Review
Pakistan Becomes CERN Member
Pakistani Scientists at CERN
Rising College Enrollment in Pakistan
10 Pakistani Universities Among Asia's Top 300
Genomics and Biotech Research in Pakistan
Human Capital Growth in Pakistan
Educational Attainment in Pakistan
Pakistan Human Development in Musharraf Years
Thanks Riaz bhai for this data. World has moved on since 2009 and more recent education attainment data is available till 2017 on UNESCO website.
India: 26.93% (2016)
So the civilian govt has done something good for Pakistan :-)
Pakistan is among the top 10 countries in Asia for publishing research papers in the period 1996-2017, according to Scimago:
Number of technical and scientific papers published in journals by Pakistan increased from 1,420 in 2003 to 9,180 in 2016.
"Number of technical and scientific papers published in journals by Pakistan increased from 1,420 in 2003 to 9,180 in 2016.
How does that compare to Brazil (roughly same size) or India (neighbour)?
Nisar: "How does that compare to Brazil (roughly same size) or India (neighbour)?"
Brazil has 22 universities in top 500 compared to Pakistan's 23.
But why go half way around the world to Brazil for comparison?
Why not compare in Asia with Indonesia which has a bigger population but fewer universities (22) than Pakistan (23) in top 500?
There is a proposal to translate and publish all Pakistani publications into Chinese language simultaneously along with English. Sister universities in China will make the effort and this could lead to a swell in citations shortly.
Pakistan is expected to be in Asia Top 5 in next 5 years as per my sources.
Pakistan only 40+ score vs India at 1000+...the actual measure of elite science output...read the whole article...
Pakistan ranks 40 among 161 countries for quality adjusted scientific output for year 2017 as reported by Nature Index 2018.
Pakistan ranks 40 with quality-adjusted scientific output of 37.28. India ranks 11 with 935. Malaysia ranks 61 with 6.73 and Indonesia ranks 63 with 6.41. Bangladesh ranks 100 with 0.81. Sri Lanka ranks 84 with 1.36. US leads with almost 15,800, followed by China's 7,500, Germany 3,800, UK 3,100 and Japan 2,700.
The Nature Index is a database of author affiliation information collated from research articles published in an independently selected group of 82 high-quality science journals. The database is compiled by Nature Research. The Nature Index provides a close to real-time proxy of high-quality research output and collaboration at the institutional, national and regional level.
Pakistan's quality-adjusted scientific output (WFC) as reported in Nature Index has doubled from 18.03 in 2013 to 37.28 in 2017.
Pakistan's global ranking has improved from 53 in 2013 to 40 in 2017.
In the same period, India's WFC has increased from 850.97 in 2013 to 935.44 in 2017.
India's global ranking has improved from 13 in 2013 to 11 in 2017.
Higher Education Development in Pakistan (HEDP) project was successfully negotiated between the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the World Bank in May 2019, for a $400 Million IDA credit support. Subsequently, the project was approved by the World Bank Board in May.
The project has five components. The Component-1, Nurturing academic excellence in strategic sectors, will help promote relevant and cutting-edge research in universities in Pakistan, through competitive research, innovation, and commercialization grants to researchers and potential entrepreneurs from among faculty members, and current students.
The Component-2, Supporting decentralized HEIs for improved teaching and learning, aims to improve the quality of education delivered by Tier 2 universities and affiliated colleges through strengthening affiliation systems and technological interventions.
The objective of the Component-3 is to leverage technology to improve the teaching, learning and research environment in Pakistan and strengthen the existing IT resources available to institutions for research and higher education in Pakistan.
The Component-4, Higher education management information system and data-driven services, aims to improve the collection and use of data for national level policy-decisions while automating business processes in higher education institutions.
The fifth component will support HEC in strengthening its core functions of regulation, capacity building, and funding of Pakistan’s higher education sector through strategic and targeted technical assistance, including the establishment of National Higher Education Academy.
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.
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.
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