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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Benchmarking research trends in Pakistan’s universities

Research activities in Pakistan are becoming limited and declining for the last few decades. However, new universities have been established that grant higher degrees , still,  the quality of research practices are in  mourning conditions.

Research activities in Pakistan are becoming limited and declining for the last few decades. However, new universities have been established that grant higher degrees , still,  the quality of research practices are in  mourning conditions. It is a fact that the socioeconomic progress of any country relies on innovative applications and the commercialization of research.

Allah has bestowed enormous talents to  the youth of Pakistan.  Students at the university level are not yet mentored and counseled properly to learn research skills compared to developed countries like the USA, UK, Germany, France, Australia, etc. It has been witnessed that research in Western countries starts from the  bachelor’s degrees, and they trained the youth  in right direction. In contrast to developing countries like Pakistan, students with master’s degrees even do not know how to start a research. Research culture in Pakistan is lacking for many reasons. The most significant barrier in research is the English language.

Most of our Youth  is spending time in extra curricula. They take utmost interest in social media like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, YouTube and so on. Sports is yet another passion of our youth that intoxicate our brilliant minds. Only few people are taking interest in  research; however, due to  lack of counseling and mentoring, neither they grow well nor they achieve as per their desires.

Pakistan is endowed with enormous natural resources and advanced capabilities in the public and private sectors; however, the youth at this region are paralytic with intellectual brains; they just read to pass their exams. The governmental institutions are lacking in research contrary to the private sectors.

Research starts at graduation or post-graduation level; nevertheless, our students face difficulty in research work at this stage. It has been astounding that most students do not know critical thinking at the master’s and M.Phil levels ;however, they read only to pass exams and in return produce nothing.

Pakistan’s education standard is far behind from international standards; old and outdated curricula at the university level are yet another shortcomings that need to be addressed.   The research center in the Private and public sectors are Ill-equipped. As a result, they produce low-quality research. Lack of funding for quality research is another bottleneck, especially for Ph.D. research Programmes.

Our research institutions and universities produce research, but such research is limited to lock shelves, and nobody dares to open it.  Even our project stakeholders have never asked for field research undertaken at the university level. Most of our universities do not deposit research in higher education commission’s  repositories.

The research produced in developing countries can not always take into account by Western countries due to its poor analysis.  Both teachers and students are  reprehensible for low research culture. Most of our  Mphil and Ph.D. Scholars teach in different organizations; neverthless, they do not guide the  students that  how to conduct a research. Those who conduct a research are not properly evident-based research.

It is said that evidence-based research is a systematic and transparent way to inform a new study that answers a valid, efficient, and inaccessible question. Teachers are known as counseling masters; however, they do not produce intellect brain.  It is said that excellence comes with motivation.  Critical thinking in Pakistan has no room in the educational space, how new idea would penetrate our minds.

The lack of experimental laboratories and libraries is another aspect of Pakistan’s poor research culture. A Majority of libraries present outdated material and experimental laboratories are lacking wit quality equipment. What are the various causes of poor-quality research in Pakistan? These are man, machine, material, management, methods, environment, etc. From men’s perspectives, these are Lack of motivation in research skills at the university level and unqualified personnel.

As far as machine affairs is concerned, we have outdated technologies and over-reliance on manual methods. Regarding the material matter, we do not have quality material, and most educational institutions lack standardization in their material. Conflict of interest is yet another phenomenon. When  we talk  about management issues in research culture, it means they we  do not have a vision, mission, and value system. Now coming to the research methods, we as researchers do not follow the the quality in  procedures and above all, we as a nation are inferior in knowledge sharing.

Read more: Librarian’s Role in Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

We all are responsible for the poor culture of research trends in Pakistan . We are a  country with enormous talents; we have a 60% youth bulge. We can make them talented with critical thinking. Research is an endeavor, everyone wants to be a researcher, but,  nobody want to do it. Raewyn Connel rightly said, “Research is something that everyone can do, and everyone ought to do. It is simply collecting information and thinking systematically about it.”

The writer is the Deputy Director of Library Services at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad. He can be reached at abidhussain@issi.org.pk.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.