Pakistan Bureau of Statistics endorsed calculations of “Global Employment Trend” a report published under International Labor Organization, which is envisaging a trend has set to increase unemployment ratio in Pakistan by 2015. This is an alarming situation especially when country is making progress; a law and order situation better than past few years is increasing investment opportunities resultant increase in job opportunities. Besides it, thousands of candidates are passing out of universities after completion of professional degree and HEC is successfully achieving its aim to bring more youngsters towards higher education. When in competitive exams vacancies are left behind because of low ratio of candidates qualifying for interview. The most probable reason lies with gap between education standards and syllabus of competition’s exams.
Economic development of a country is directly associated with knowledge capital.Education institutions are engine for growth of socio-economic development in a country. Higher Education Commission is providing central support, direction and drivers to the Higher Education Sector promoting consistency in standards. HEC has to face with three key challenges: a. Quality b. Access c. Relevance. Improvement in the quality of academic standards and research comes at top priority of HEC. Considerable efforts have been made in last few years on improvement in quality. Two universities of Pakistan are now ranked among the top technology universities of world as per QS world universities rankings 2010. The number of faculty with PhD degrees have doubled in last five years. Pakistan needs to triple the number of PhD faculty at universities by 2015. When it comes to the soft quality reforms, Quality Enhancement Cells (QEC) are being introduced which ‘own’ quality at universities and report on regular basis to Quality Assurance division at HEC. Second major challenge is that of access. Currently, only 7.8% of 17-23 age groups have access to higher education in Pakistan. In Education Policy 2009 it was projected to increase access to higher education to 10% by 2015. Different campuses and Universities are being established in backward areas which are providing financial assistance to the needy students to improve equitable access. The third most important challenge is that of relevance of education and research to national needs. HEC is aimed to support and expand research relevant to socio-economic needs of the region in the vicinity of university. Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) grants are being introduced for this purpose.
Universities are catalyst for the change and revival of creative thought and freedom of speech and of public debate on issues of national importance. Universities are grooming grounds of future leaders of nation. Top policy making authority has fulfilled its fundamental duties leaving the utmost responsibility of its implementation to universities at individual levels. Some high-ranking universities are being benefited by promoting research oriented initiatives at their own universities but things are still to be resolved by putting attention towards universities working at remote areas. HEC has established Quality Enhancement Cell at individual level in a hope this would bring fruits in near future, this is associated with honest and efficient working of QEC. May these efforts prove to fill drastic gap between education standards and competitive examination standards.