Pakistan is lagging in research because of various factors. One of the most critical issues in this industry is the students’ socioeconomic status, which has remained one of the biggest hurdles. After completing their graduation, a majority of students prefer to do jobs to meet their own and family needs. They are unable to continue higher education because of financial constraints.
Though several students enroll themselves in MS and PhD degree programs each year, most of them find it impossible to complete their education as they come across financial barriers. High fee structures and other research expenses are the biggest challenges they go through in their research. Economic issues constrain them differently, and they cannot focus on their work.
In 2002, the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan came into existence to coordinate with institutions to facilitate students in their pursuits of higher education, especially research studies.
The body has been working on designing new policies to improve and enhance quality education through quality assurance. Moreover, HEC was held responsible for promoting the standards of the national degree-awarding institutions through their support. In this regard, HEC has collaborated with other countries to support the Pakistani people through different programs, including financial assistance schemes.
HEC is also responsible for generating funding for the poor and deserving students. Indeed, several students are availing of the scholarships offered by HEC and working to serve the nations. But meanwhile, a large group of people is still deprived of this privilege.
Most students continue their studies with jobs to manage their educational expenses, and their employers have specific demands that they need to fulfill. Employers buy valuable time and services for their own organizational goals and targets. They expect high-level contributions from the employees, and their expectations force employees to give their best inputs.
A researcher who works to earn to pay high tuition fees and manage their day-to-day research expenses finds it difficult to give his full potential to research that results in low quality or no quality production in terms of new knowledge. This is the first and foremost factor that needs to be addressed on a priority basis.
Unfortunately, nowadays, organizations are working to generate their profitability without long-term objectives for sustainable development and growth.
Moreover, organizations have no collaboration with universities, which is a threatening situation as the primary purpose of education is to empower people with self-efficiency and problem-solving skills. But because of the mentioned gap that is lack of communication between industries and research centers, students are deprived of quality education.
Universities should collaborate with industries and launch their research projects. This initiative will help them play their due role in society. Furthermore, it will lead to long-term sustainability and organizational growth. Companies should hire students to conduct research for them; this is how they will get new knowledge of the problems and learn to develop new skills to deal with issues.
Moreover, they will get the financial support that will, undoubtedly, reduce their stress related to finances. They will understand the emerging areas of research and play their role effectively. For long-term success and Sustainable development, companies should sponsor their employees through mutual agreements. This initiative will encourage the employees to conduct their research without financial pressure.
Nadia Saeed (Karachi)
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022