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GEEPS 2018 Report

Way forward to improve quality of Higher Education

Prof. Dr. Mohammad Nizamuddin, Pro-Rector, University of Central Punjab Lahore UCP and Former Chairman, Punjab Higher Education Commission-PHEC shared his views on “Way forward to Improve Quality of Higher Education” at the launching ceremony of “Graduate Employability: Employers’ Perception Survey 2018-19” report by Naqeebz Consulting.

In the past, various attempts have been made to reorganize or restructure the education system of Pakistan. The Current Survey Report titled as “Graduate Employability: Employers’ Perception Survey Report-2018.” It is a very comprehensive and useful report on the theme of youth employability. It is a good addition to the literature.
Talking about the engineering sector, Mr. Nizamuddin highlighted some crucial employment aspects in Punjab. He mentioned that 42,000 engineers are graduating in Punjab, annually. But unfortunately, there is a huge recession for employment in the engineering sector. The prime reason is; industrialists are not investing in the local businesses, instead, they are investing in the foreign countries. If we take into account the unusual demographics of Pakistan, it is the 6th largest country in the world, 60% of which comprises of youth. We should equip our youth with the up-to-date skills and we should prepare them for the future. Districts like Gujranwala, Gujrat, and Sialkot has been neglected over the years, there is a huge potential for employment and business investments in these districts. We should invest more in such cities to develop the infrastructure of academia and industry in those areas.

There is a huge potential for employment in Gujranwala, Gujrat, and Sialkot, districts of Punjab.

After the inception of Pakistan, an institution; Pakistan Industry Development Cooperation (PIDC), established in Karachi and its building still stands there, but it is not functional anymore. The basic purpose of this institution was to build linkages between industry and academia. The other important factor is to build stronger ties between industry and government, to enhance the economic opportunities in Pakistan. For that, we need to develop our industry and provide more opportunities to businessmen.
The curriculum or syllabus followed and taught in our universities is about 100-150 years old. Therefore, we need a revamp in our curriculum development. Academia needs restructuring along with the reforms. If we look into our neighboring countries’ state of education, India has 29% access to Higher Education, whereas Pakistan has only 08% access statistics. Let’s also take inputs from the industry leaders to include their contribution to the country’s economy. There has been no innovation in Higher Education Commission (HEC) since it has established.
India has 29% access to Higher Education, while the statistics of Pakistan are as low as 08%.

Greeks used to say ‘Children should be sent to academies for training’, as parents could provide them the basic way of life, but then there is a need for educational institutes for further training. Unfortunately, our schools, colleges, and universities are not training graduates in any industry. The statistics also reveal the higher unemployment rate in the degree holders. Industry and academia should come to one page for the betterment of both and flourish the economy of

the country. Industry and academia should build liaison for the curriculum development, training and policy making. In the Western countries, billions of dollars are invested by industry for academic development. Here, industry or HR leaders don’t give much thought into the local academic investment.
Unfortunately, our schools, colleges and universities are not training the graduates for any industry.

We need changes in both academia and industry, small group of champions can become the trailblazers and take some fruitful steps to uplift the academic condition of the country. This group should develop the policy statement for the government and speak spade a spade about the country’s current situation. For the prosperity of our country, it is important that people from different walks of life get together and play their part.

We need champions from academia and industry to turn the tables.

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