Islamabad, August 02, 2012 (PPI-OT): An international forecast for research output has shown that Pakistan will be among top 30 countries of the world. Scimago, an independent research organization and an international evaluation and ranking platform, has projected in its recent publication how the world will perform in research by 2018 based on their past performance. The top 50 countries are included in the forecast.
China, as expected, becomes the number one country in the world by 2018 in terms of research output, however three countries which stand out and show the most drastic increase in numbers and rankings are Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan. Iran moves ahead from number 19 to number 4, Malaysia from 30 to 13, and Pakistan from 43 to 27.
The expected output of research in Pakistan moving up 16 notches, which is the second highest increase worldwide, is primarily due to the innovative higher education policies and reforms taking place in Pakistan under the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
During the last few years, in addition to quality reforms, there has been a strong resurgence of research and innovation. In particular, there is a significant growth in the number of PhDs awarded out of Pakistani universities.
The numbers speak for themselves. In the first 55 years since Pakistan’s independence, a total of 3281 PhDs were awarded at Pakistani universities. However, since the establishment of the HEC in 2002, over 4000 PhDs have been awarded to- date, which is more than what was awarded in the previous 55 years.
There is a renewed focus on engineering and technology, agriculture, biological sciences, business education and social sciences, which are relevant subjects important for the socio- economic development of Pakistan.
There is a zero tolerance policy on plagiarism, where every research paper, thesis and dissertation must be scrutinised by anti-plagiarism software before submission. All thesis and dissertation must be evaluated by at least two foreign referees in academically advanced countries in the relevant area of research.
Despite having very limited funds, HEC supports many research initiatives through different types of grants, including split PhDs, post-doctoral fellowships, foreign faculty programmes, hosting conferences and to present papers anywhere in the world, to name only a few.
It is primarily due to this new flourishing research culture at the higher education institutions that the number of international research publications with impact factor has increased drastically.
While 816 impact factor papers were published in 2002, it has now increased to over 6300 in 2011, with the largest numbers of publications in areas of relevance to economic development.
And at the rate Pakistanis are publishing, Scimago forecasts that by 2018, the research output of Pakistan will exceed 29,661. We are beginning to earn our recognition and rightful place in the world scholarly community. Who knows there may be quite a few potential Nobel Laureates walking the corridors of our universities already.
While no university was ranked in the top universities of the world three years back, according to the most recent QS Asian Universities Rankings 2012, there are now six Pakistani universities that are ranked among the top 300 universities.
Similarly, according to QS World Universities Ranking 2011, two Pakistani universities are ranked among the top 300 technology universities of the world. This is another achievement and recognition that has been widely acknowledged.
But all of that may change and reverse if the higher education sector is not supported by the government. Despite having lost over 40 percent of its allocated development funding over the last three years, and receiving the funds today as it did in 2005, the higher education sector has performed exceptionally well. It is a moment for all Pakistanis to be proud of.
For more information, contact:
Higher Education Commission
Sector H-9, Islamabad
Tel: 90402404, 90402412
Category: Government Institutions