Quality education plays a key role for the development of any country. Success of a country may depend on its educational level. Higher education is important to resolve societal issues through innovative ideas and to provide scientific solutions to the existing challenges. Universities provide platforms for experimentation and equip young generation to place the world on the path of sustainable development. It is therefore imperative to assess the faculties and universities for improvements and to highlight the brilliant minds and their contributions for humanity.
Recently, an independent study of Stanford University, USA released the global list assessing top two percent scientists across the world for the research carried out from data collected up to 2019. The list has about 160,000 scientists around the world-representing top two per cent of the most-cited scientists in various disciplines. The Stanford ranking was prepared according to subject-wise analysis conducted by the University based on standardized citation indicators such as citations, H-index, co-authorship coma and a composite indicator.
It is high time for provincial and federal governments to recognize and appreciate the achievement of all these Pakistani scientists.
Pakistani scientists make their way to the top
Pakistani scientists have also successfully made their place in the list. It includes 81 Pakistanis, named for their career-long citation impact while citation impact in a single year includes 243 Pakistani scientists among the top 2 per cent scientists. These scientists belong to various varsities and different disciplines across Pakistan. Five faculty members from the University of Haripur (UoH) are also listed in the ranking.
The UoH is a young institution based in Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It became full-fledged University in 2012. It is situated about 40 miles away from Islamabad and is located at the gateway of northern areas of Pakistan. Its location signifies its importance as China Pakistan Economic Corridor passes through Haripur and the University has to contribute on socio-economic and socio-political fronts. It is a great achievement for the University to be presented on such a prestigious forum of Stanford’s list. Five faculty members of the University led by the Vice-Chancellor (VC), Professor Dr. Anwar-ul-Hassan Gilani, Dr. Hashim, and Dr. Muhammad Farooq from the department of Mathematics, Dr. Shah Fahad from the department of Agronomy, and Dr. Khalid Zaman from the department of Economics are ranked in the list.
This is an extra-ordinary performance by the UoH as a young University and setting an example for other newly established Universities across Pakistan. It is pertinent to explore how a young University can be named in this list. To me, there are three instrumental factors for the faculty of the UoH to be ranked in the list.
Reasons of University of Haripur’s success
First and foremost, it is the visionary and dynamic leadership role of the VC who always led from the front and set remarkable examples for his entire team. Prof. Gilani, honorable VC of the UoH is a distinguished national professor and is well recognized internationally for his work. In this Stanford list, he is ranked among 10 scientists from Pakistan in the top 2% of scientists worldwide for their career-long citation impact. He is the only serving VC in Pakistan who was placed on the list. He is also the only VC in the history of Pakistan who has been conferred three civil awards including Hilal-i-Imtiaz by the President of Pakistan. Prof. Gilani has a score of achievements at national and international levels which made him distinct from the others and ultimately helping the UoH to show up its presence at all forums. It is, therefore, the leading role of Prof. Gilani, his peerless efforts, and his commitment to place the UoH in top ranking institutions are the driving forces to appear the University’s name is such ranking.
Secondly, the system of meritocracy at the UoH is another key factor for this great achievement. Four out of five faculty members are recently inducted at the UoH. Their names listed in Stanford’s list speak itself that they deserve to be hired which proves that UoH believes in meritocracy and equal opportunities. Merit-based selection is key for an institution’s reputation and bringing it in a position to put it in high ranks. For the last few years under the headship of Prof. Gilani, the meritocracy is at its peak at the UoH. Today’s merit-based decisions will surely take the University to its heights and the time is not far when the UoH will emerge as a learning hub and one of the best national and regional institutions.
Thirdly, the UoH recognizes the contributions of its faculty. Honorable VC himself encourages and always available to the faculty members and scientists for their guidance and he is keen to help and motivate them to produce new projects and proposals that can bring positive change in society. It is highly important for a scientist and scholar when his/her contributions are recognized and appreciated by the top hierarchy. The UoH has set a reputation where your work is truly recognized and awarded. An appreciation program is being scheduled in the upcoming week by the UoH to honor and acknowledge the achievement of these scholars. The UoH is therefore the right platform for young talent to prove their potential. The recognition, friendly environment, and professionalism at the UoH are the reasons for shining the name of the UoH in forums like Stanford ranking.
This recognition of some faculty members in the world’s top 2 percent of scientists list has placed the University of Haripur in the global map of science and has brought great pride to the institute. It is high time for provincial and federal governments to recognize and appreciate the achievement of all these Pakistani scientists. Let us congratulate and pay tribute to all Pakistani achievers especially the ones from the UoH for their great achievement in rising Pakistan’s name at the International level. This acknowledgment will certainly motivate other scholars and researchers and will pave the way to produce the same impactful results in years to come.
The author is an Assistant Professor and Coordinator for Graduate Program in Public Administration and Governance at The University of Haripur, Pakistan.The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.