As per research done by Scimago, an independent research organization and an international evaluation and ranking platform, it was forecasted that by 2018 Pakistan will stand at number 27 in terms of research output.

China will be number one but the biggest jump is expected to be that of Pakistan, which is expected to move from 43 to 27.

This sounds odd when you look around you and see the decapitated situation of our education system. But there is one institution that is making this possible. It is the Higher Education Commission (HEC). The innovative policies and reforms implemented by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan have made a big difference at the research level.

More PhD’s More Research

HEC has driven a strong resurgence of research and innovation in Pakistan having a major impact on the number of PhDs that are being churned out. The first 55 years of independence saw a total of 3281 PhD’s; however after the HEC was established in 2002, the numbers grew exponentially and by 2011 4000 more PhD’s had been awarded.

This culture of research has renewed focus on engineering, technology, agriculture and social sciences to name a few. This is very significant as these subjects are immensely important for the socio-economic development of Pakistan.

One might say that this increase in the number of PhD’s awarded might be due to decrease in the quality of the students. However it should be noted that today the standards to award a PhD in Pakistan are much stricter than they were in the past, at times stricter than some developed nations.

Limited Funds, Unlimited Hope

Although HEC runs on a tight budget, this fact hasn’t stopped it from funding research initiatives via grants. HEC supports research projects and also has collaborative and joint projects with the US, UK, German and many other foreign universities.

These initiatives by the HEC has resulted in a healthy research culture in Pakistan and because of this the number of Pakistani international research publications with impact factor had increased by a factor of  approximately 8 between 2002 and 2011.

HEC has proven its worth by enhancing Pakistan’s repute in the world scholarly community. Who knows, we may just see another Pakistani Nobel prize winner soon!

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