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Total number of PhDs reaches 8,142 in Pakistan

Islamabad The Pakistani universities are now able to produce more PhDs in the next 3 years as compared to last 10 years. The total number of PhDs in Pakistan has reached the figure of 8,142.

According to the data available with ‘The News’, the number of PhDs has increased from 348 (1947 to 2002) to 679 in 2012 in agriculture and veterinary sciences, from 586 to 1,096 in biological sciences, from 14 to 123 in business education, from merely 21 to 262 in engineering and technology and from 709 to 1,071 in physical sciences. In social sciences, the number increased to 887 from 108 during last ten years.

The figures also indicate that during the last decade, special emphasis has been paid to the disciplines of agriculture and veterinary sciences, biological sciences, business education, engineering and technology, physical sciences and social sciences.

Expressing his view over this development, HEC Executive Director Professor Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi said that the production of these PhDs is the harbinger of a great future. “These researchers, who have worked on problems of crucial importance to Pakistan, will play a leading role in the production of knowledge workers with a potential to take Pakistan in the ranks of developed nations,” he added.

He further said that HEC since its inception has introduced various indigenous scholarship schemes to create a critical mass of highly qualified human resources in all fields of studies who conduct research on issues of importance to Pakistan. “These locally qualified academics and researchers are playing an important role to improve the research and development potential of public as well as private universities and it will also strengthen the local industrial sector. With the launching of the schemes, research culture in public or private sector universities has been developed in accordance with international standards.”

The education experts view this development as an achievement in the higher education sector of Pakistan.

Dr. Farida Faisal, a fresh PhD holder from Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi in Economics, views this development as result of provision of incentives and various indigenous scholarship schemes introduced during last few years in Pakistan. She said that good aspect of this development is that along with quantity, there has been strong emphasis over quality of these PhDs, which will improve with the passage of time, she hoped.

She suggested that keeping in view the future needs of Pakistan; there is a need to produce more number of PhDs in the next ten years.

Dr. Ashfaq Ahmed, associate professor at the Institute of Business and Management, UET, Lahore, who has recently completed his PhD degree in Management Science with distinction from Foundation University, Islamabad, termed this achievement an outcome of reforms and education-friendly policies introduced by the HEC, which were aimed at promotion and research and academic activities nationwide and across the globe during the last decade.

In the first 55 years since Pakistan’s independence, a total of 3,281 PhDs were awarded at Pakistani universities. However, since the establishment of the HEC in 2002, over 4,850 PhDs have been awarded to-date, which is more than what was awarded in the previous 55 years.

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