How can I improve my country Pakistan

DAAD regional information

The following introduction to the higher education system, supplemented by a chapter on the topic of "Internationalization and educational cooperation" and the DAAD activities in Pakistan, can be found in. A more comprehensive analysis of the Pakistani higher education system offers a compact compilation of data on one page.

You can find all available DAAD country status, DAAD educational system analyzes and DAAD data sheets sorted alphabetically by country under

Despite increased state support for the education sector in recent years, state education policy has not been able to keep pace with demographic developments. Pakistan's school enrollment and literacy rates remain among the lowest in the world. Only a small percentage of the gross domestic product has been used by the state for education expenditure in recent years - in 2015 the value was only 2.66 percent. According to the Human Development Report 2014, this was one of the main reasons for Pakistan's decline in the Human Development Index from 125th place in the previous year to 146th place in 2014 (out of 187 countries). In 2015, the country was ranked 147th.

Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and the median age is 23 years. From a theoretical point of view, this is an enormous potential. But regardless of the demographic development, the demand for higher education, which is seen as a key qualification for a successful career start, is rising steadily - and cannot be adequately served by the currently 163 universities (state and accredited private).

Here is basically between Universities and Colleges of Technology differentiated. The former offer an academic training formally comparable to a German university, the latter focus more on technical training. When the state was founded in 1947, the University of the Punjab was only a fully functional university. The number rose slowly in the following years, after the Higher Education Commission (HEC) was founded in 2002, it increased significantly. Often, however, this involves upgrading colleges or establishing very specialized, private or even state institutions. The accessibility for the population outside the urban centers is a challenge: the majority of recognized Pakistani universities are located in the vicinity of major cities such as Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi.
As particularly powerful In recent years the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Islamabad, the University of Engineering and Technology (Lahore), the Quaid-i-Azam University (Islamabad), the Agha Khan University (private, only medicine, in Karachi) and the Lahore University of Management Sciences (economics, politics, technology, private, in Lahore). There are special ones Research institutesaffiliated with the universities. Some of them receive special support as so-called "National Centers of Excellence". In general, it can be stated that the natural and engineering sciences are generally much more powerful than the humanities and social sciences.

The main parent Partner organizations (Ministries / authorities / educational organizations) in addition to the HEC are the Council of Social Sciences (CoSS) and the Pakistan Council for Science and Technology (PCST). The Higher Education Commission (HEC) is responsible for scholarship programs as well as for the establishment, expansion and financing of universities. In addition, it has the task of formulating university policy as well as carrying out accreditation and quality assurance. Since its inception, the HEC has taken a number of measures to both facilitate access to higher education and improve the quality of research and teaching. One focus is on the natural sciences. These measures include the establishment and expansion of universities, the recruitment of foreign academics, the introduction of attractive salaries for qualified academics in connection with a tenure-track system for young academics, an extensive domestic scholarship program, which above all enables talented school leavers from disadvantaged regions to attend leading universities allowed, as well as a foreign scholarship program (master’s and doctorate), which primarily serves to train young academics (see “Government scholarship program with the HEC”).

As an alternative to universities, the importance is increasing digitized educational offers for young Pakistanis too: Besides India, Pakistan has the highest e-learning growth rates in the world. This is a trend that the HEC is trying to take up on the one hand, but on the other hand it would also like to counter it with the accreditation of additional facilities - especially in rural areas.

The state Education System (Primary and Secondary) is very similar to the UK and is controlled by the Ministries of Education at the state and federal levels. The five-year elementary school, which children from the age of five are allowed to attend, is followed by the three-year middle school. The actual secondary education comprises two years of training at a high school, which is concluded with an examination, and then at a higher secondary school, which also lasts for two years (5 + 3 + 2 + 2). However, the majority of students do not go through the full system, with only 40 percent signing up for high school.
In addition to the state schools, thousands of madrassas (Koran schools) represent an important pillar of the education system. As a rule, they also offer free basic education to children from poor families who would not be able to attend a state educational institution. Not infrequently they also provide humanitarian aid. However, they are still not subject to any state control, so religious extremists also use madrassas to spread extremist ideas.

The University entrance takes place in Pakistan through the final certificate of the Higher Secondary School (HSSC) and an entrance examination. The country's colleges are traditionally responsible for both the final phase of school education (grades 11, 12) and the two-year undergraduate education. The traditional Pakistani higher education system distinguishes between four Bachelor variants at the universities: the Bachelor Pass (two years, very general), the Bachelor Honors (three years, stronger specialization), the Professional Bachelor (four to five years, specialized) and the Postgraduate Bachelor (only offered in a few subject areas, e.g. law). After completing a Bachelor Pass, you can take a two-year course, and after completing a Bachelor's Honor, you can take a one-year course Masters program follow, which has only a low scientific claim. These Masters are awarded after 16 years of residence in the educational system (e.g. M.A, Msc.) And do not entitle you to a doctoral stay in Germany. This traditional, four-level system is increasingly being replaced by the internationally common three-level system (four-year bachelor, master, PhD), so that tertiary education is shifted to the universities, resulting in a 4/2 breakdown. The Pakistani master’s new style with an 18-year period in education (e.g. MPhil, MS) is followed by an average of three-year PhD programs.

The Level of training of the teaching staff at the universities is very different. At high-performance universities and institutes, mainly teachers with a doctorate teach. At weak universities, on the other hand, many lecturers only have a master’s degree or even only a bachelor’s degree (both according to German standards). Most of the lecturers at high-performing universities have obtained their doctorates in Europe or the USA. The language of instruction is officially English, but in many universities it is de facto Urdu.

Author: Lars Bergmeyer, Head of the Islamabad Information Center

The DAAD is represented with an information center and a lecturer at the National University of Modern Languages ​​in Islamabad.

Individual advice on scientific cooperation with Pakistan

This actively supports German universities in setting up and developing their international collaborations.

As an employee of a German university, KIWi advises you on how to identify suitable cooperation partners in Pakistan and supports you with information on funding instruments and financing options for your cooperation project. There are also tips on how to successfully manage and develop existing collaborations.

We advise you individually, by phone or email:

  • Arrange a personal consultation. You can reach the KIWi hotline to make an appointment at 0228 882 9 882, this is manned on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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