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Old Wednesday, December 09, 2009
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Higher Education as an Agent of Change

Outline

Introduction:
• Defining higher education?
• Why is it important?
• Higher education is an important factor to bring about a change in the society.
• It’s the need of hour to invest in higher education.


A. Social Sector and Higher Education
• Educated people are more socially responsible individuals.
• They have higher aptitude towards blood donation, voting, volunteering and presenting their opinion on various socio-cultural matters.
• Children of highly educated parents have better cognitive skills.
• They are beneficial to society in many other ways as well


B. Technological Reforms and Higher Education

• This is an era of technological revolution.
• Improved basic facilities of life such as clean drinking water, transportation. Communication is all developed by highly skilled professionals.
• Complex software solutions have made end-user working easier.



C. Industrial Uplift and Higher Education
• Economic growth is linked to strong industrial sector.
• Skilled professionals are needed in industry to enhance production levels.
• There is a need to link university education with industry.


D. Political Scenario and Higher Education

• It is education and social awareness that has shifted style of political leadership from oligarchy, anarchy and dictatorship to democracy and a politics of understanding.
E. Economic Growth and Higher Education
• Innovative individuals contribute immensely towards sustained economic development.
• Society as a whole also enjoys financial returns on the investment on higher education.
• With trained personnel at home, the cost that we spend on hiring foreign expertise is reduced significantly.


International Relations- Image Building of a Nation
Countries with high literacy rates usually have better image building than those with poor literacy rates. Therefore, well-educated people are significant to image building of a country in the outside world.


Inflicting Quality in Higher Education

Higher education is not all about earning a graduate or post graduate degree. It is basically about developing an understanding of the concepts and investing mental energies towards research and development.
Higher Education as an Agent of Change in Pakistan

Pakistan needs an instant revolution in its social, political, technological, economic and industrial sectors. Higher education can bring about this revolution. The need is to encourage and facilitate more and more young students to acquire advanced degrees, research and investigate and work indigenously


Role of Higher Education Commission (HEC)

• Improving salary structure of lecturers
• Designing digital library
• Awarding scholarships
• Carrying out research and development

Controlling Brian Drain
There is a need to control brain drain by:
• Offering competitive salaries to highly educated personnel
• Improving their work conditions
• Provide growth and promotion opportunities

Conclusion


Higher Education as an Agent of Change

Written by: Sehar Sheikh

Introduction:


World today is no more a habitat of wild tribal populace nor it is a haven of furious warriors with swords in their hands and blood on their minds. World has gradually developed into a place that inhibits civilized nations, educated individuals and skilled professionals that are contributing towards the betterment of the globe in one way or the other.

It is a known fact that education changes attitudes of individuals. It makes them more socially responsible and indeed, the children of educated parents grow up to be more aware of their social responsibilities and greater awareness of benefits of investing into higher education. In words of Dr. Heather Allen, “Higher education includes most professional education and is strongly vocationally or professionally oriented. Higher education differs from other forms of post-secondary education such as vocational education. Vocational education is a form of secondary or post secondary education but is considered non-academic as compared to higher education.”
Higher education adds to the highly educated and skilled professional and technical manpower of a nation. Trained managers manage their organisations more effectively; engineers and scientists develop new technologies that ease the human life, doctors and health personnel provide relief to ailing humanity and teaching professionals prepare young generations for future development.

Thus, higher education today is needed in and linked with all sectors of a society. A change in society can be brought only if the benefits of higher education and competencies of highly educated professionals are passed on properly to social, industrial, political and economic sectors. Hypothesis development, preparing research designs, formulating theories, carrying out in depth analysis, exploration of resources and opportunities, finding brighter future prospects are all sheer requirements of the hour. This research and development and strategy formulation can be done none other than by highly qualified individuals. There is a need to invest in higher education to bring a massive change in the world we live in.


A. Social Sector and Higher Education

Social scientists lay great stress on the need to equip individuals with education. Though it is not always true, but generally the more educated a person, the more cultured he/she is in terms of his/her social behaviour. Highly qualified individuals are more likely to engage in voluntary work, donate blood, to vote and raise their voices against social injustices. They are usually more health conscious and take care of hygiene and thus are less prone to falling for infectious diseases which reduces cost for providing them with health care. In addition, children of educated parents have higher cognitive skills and concentration levels than other children.

Social scientists argue that educated people are more aware of their responsibilities as members of society. They are more aware of the importance of family, institution of marriage, population planning, education, spreading awareness, quelling rebellions etc. They understand the hazards of corruption, drug abuse, smoking, juvenile delinquency, violence again women and child labour. Thus they are lesser prone to such activities as compared to illiterate or less-educated people. They are also less likely to be incarcerated because most times they are aware of laws and regulations and try their best not to violate these laws. It is the educated populace who is running youth promotion schemes, promoting a culture of tolerance, boosting national integrity, eradicating extremism, ending bigotry and working for HR development.


B. Technological Reforms and Higher Education

This is an age of technological revolution. From the alarm that snatches away our extra forty winks from us in the morning to the four-wheeler that takes us to our workplace, to the little electronic gadget that keeps on ringing all the day in our pockets to the microwave oven that serves us our dinner hot, every thing is a miracle of technological era. These all gizmos, which have made our lives easier than ever are designed by highly skilled scientists and engineers. Improvements in manufacturing, production, telecommunications, transportations, sanitation facilities, availability of clean water and harnessing new cheaper and reliable sources of energy is all dependent upon technically skilled professionals.

All organisations are dependent on computers for their working. Complex software solutions have made end-computing easier. These softwares are developed by software engineers and in-house consultants. Workplace conditions can improve significantly if technical expertise is available within the organisations. Highly skilled professionals can help a lot to boost the productivity of various organisations.

C. Industrial Uplift and Higher Education

The economic growth of a nation is strongly linked to the strength of its industrial sector. Countries whose industrial sectors are developed are economically prosperous nations. With improved industrial sector, countries boost their exports thus increasing their revenues. Skilled labour is needed in industries that may introduce counting-edge technologies, processing mechanisms, manufacturing and production techniques and know how to operate heavy duty machinery needed for industries. Educated industrial managers would do cost-benefit analysis before entering into new projects and will work diligently towards enhancing profits of their companies.

University students should be given an exposure to the industry. They should be familiarised with latest trends in industry so that they may understand the work structure and contribute significantly towards improving industrial sector once they enter into the work field.

D. Political Scenario and Higher Education

Politics of a country shape the entire attitude of a nation. It is those who have power and authority who define the destinies of common people. It is education and social awareness that has shifted style of political leadership from oligarchy, anarchy and dictatorship to democracy and a politics of understanding. Political stability and increased social awareness among masses towards their rulers is the gift of education. Educated leaders are a boon for a nation whereas narrow-minded, illiterate and socially unaware leaders have done immense harm to various nations.

Higher education helps not only in the development of world class leaders but also makes people more aware to choose the right person to lead them. Thus, rightly chosen leaders reshape the destiny of a country.

E. Economic Growth and Higher Education


Economic growth is the backbone of a nation’s prosperity. Innovative individuals contribute immensely towards sustained economic development. People with higher education usually have better pay structures. They have lesser chances to remain unemployed and live in poverty. According to a report, people with advanced degrees earn two to three times as much as high school graduates. Thus their living standards are improved and if more and more individuals gain higher education, the disparity among various income groups will reduce considerably. Not only that, but society as a whole also enjoys financial returns on the investment on higher education. Highly qualified individuals with higher earnings contribute significantly to tax-payments at local, state and federal government levels.

Improved banking system, insurance sector, financing system, stock markets, attracting FDI, assisting industrial, agriculture and manufacture sector by introducing new cost effective policies is all because of highly educated personnel who have developed policy guidelines for different economic sectors. With trained personnel at home, the cost that we spend on hiring foreign expertise is reduced significantly.

International Relations- Image Building of a Nation

This is an era where countries have to live a life of co-operation. International relations are being given great importance. Countries improve friendly ties between them by exchanging delegates of students and professionals to learn from each other’s practices. These delegates don’t visit other countries as individuals but in fact carry a country’s ‘image’ with them wherever they go. Why is that some nations of the world are as a whole considered very cultured and organised while others are perceived as cheaters, non trustworthy and unfair in dealings?

It is the because of ‘image-building’ of nation as to how its citizens represent themselves abroad. Countries with high literacy rates usually have better image building than those with poor literacy rates. Therefore, well-educated people are significant to image building of a country in the outside world.

Inflicting Quality in Higher Education

Higher education is not all about earning a graduate or post graduate degree. It is basically about developing an understanding of the concepts and investing mental energies towards research and development. This quality is obtained with student satisfaction, availability of professionally competent faculty, dynamic curriculum designs, up-to-date techniques of testing a student’s abilities, academia liaison with industry and tutoring relevant subject matter.

Enforcing quality in higher education is not possible unless the teaching competence of lecturers is assessed. It is not necessary that an expert in a particular domain turns out to be an expert in teaching as well. A lot of highly knowledgeable individuals are not good at transferring this knowledge to others. Some are not good at communication skills and fail to deliver the contents of their course properly. Also, it is important to note that a faculty member adept in teaching to undergraduates may not be as good at teaching to post-graduate students. Therefore, before hiring a faculty member universities should thoroughly assess his/her teaching competencies.

Higher Education as an Agent of Change in Pakistan

Pakistan is in dire need of higher education reforms. There are a lot of problems that need the attention of highly educated personnel. Pakistan is a developing nation and it badly requires efforts to increase employment opportunities, alleviate poverty through new economic reforms, and invite investment and FDI, development of industry, Information Technology, health, medical, engineering and social sciences.

Government of Pakistan considers the importance of higher education in human and economic development. The government raised the share of post-secondary education in Pakistan up to 13.7 per cent by 2005-06. It resulted in expansion of public sector colleges and universities in the country and twice an increase in student enrolment.

Pakistan needs an instant revolution in its social, political, technological, economic and industrial sectors. Higher education can bring about this revolution. The need is to encourage and facilitate more and more young students to acquire advanced degrees, research and investigate and work indigenously.

Role of Higher Education Commission (HEC)

Thanks to the HEC that previously ignored higher education has now been given utmost attention. HEC has worked remarkably to evaluate, improve and promote higher education in Pakistan. HEC allocates large budgets to public sector varsities which have helped improve the conditions and educational standards of these universities. Almost all public varsities are equipped with latest technological resources helpful in teaching and learning, computer labs, multimedia and projectors etc. University faculty has been awarded with better monetary and non-monetary rewards to boost their productivity. As a result many young students aspire to join teaching profession as salaries are competitive in this profession now.

Development of Digital Library is a very commendable step of HEC. It has thousands of e-books on numerous subjects that are taught at university level in various varsities of Pakistan. Development of Digital Library and scholarship programmes of HEC have helped young students in endless ways by providing them with text book material online and financial help for pursuing their degrees easily.

Highly qualified and experienced professors who were forced to retire are brought back and varsities are benefiting from their knowledge and expertise. R & D projects are being carried out in universities. Larger budget allocations have helped universities invite foreign faculty to deliver lectures at home thus making students familiar with international academics.
Controlling Brian Drain

Efforts to streamline higher education are all useless until and unless the increasing trend of emigration of highly skilled and professionals individuals to foreign lands is controlled. There is a common view that reward structures, salary packages and work environments are better in foreign lands than at home. Therefore, thousands of highly educated engineers, doctors, scientists and managers who were educated and trained here at high social costs have already moved to various developed nations and a lot more are planning to do so. Most of them permanently settled abroad and thus the native expertise that could benefit us benefits the already affluent nations.

To reduce this brain drain and to employ highly educated individuals at home, serious efforts are needed to improve their salary structures, work conditions, devising promotion policies and hiring manpower purely on merit.

Conclusion

Those with advanced degrees contribute to higher labour-force productivity and significantly contribute to national income because R &D activities in industry are undertaken by those who have university education. A world that is driven by technology, higher education determines the state of prosperity, welfare and a brighter future of a country. It is the competencies of our graduates that will determine how much we have been successful in improving the living standards of our people.

Higher education is pivotal to the advancement of our growing population. In order to keep pace with rapidly globalising world, we need to inculcate more technicalities in us. We have to run fast to win the race and even faster to outshine all others because destiny of a country is shaped in her classrooms and for a brighter destiny, we need colleges and universities to produce scholars with advanced degrees.

Last edited by Shooting Star; Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 02:40 AM.
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The Following 11 Users Say Thank You to Sehar Sheikh For This Useful Post:
Asad ullah (Wednesday, December 23, 2009), dr.atifrana (Wednesday, December 23, 2009), HELP (Saturday, April 10, 2010), jadoon khan (Wednesday, December 23, 2009), Naveed_Bhuutto (Thursday, February 18, 2010), Riaz Ahmed Alizai (Wednesday, December 16, 2009), Sajid Sadeem (Wednesday, December 23, 2009), sameen (Wednesday, December 23, 2009), SikanderHayat007 (Wednesday, December 09, 2009), sumaira85 (Tuesday, December 22, 2009), uzma khan youzaf zai (Wednesday, December 30, 2009)
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Old Wednesday, December 23, 2009
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Well done,Sehar Sheikh
Had i been the examiner,i must have awarded u more than sixty marks for this essay(Now u must be praying for that).
I ve certain reasons to appreciate your essay.First of all,i must acknowledge that your outline is stunnig and it is visibly a laborious piece of writing.
Secondly,you very successfully managed to cover almost every angle of the topic.However,let us touch upon some other aspects.

I believe that in such essays you have to prove your point of view by negating other existing differing views.I mean, here, u ve to confront those who say that we need to focus more on primary education than putting huge resources for higher education.you slightly touched it in ur intro.you ve enough points in ur essays in this regard but the only need is to correlate them intelligently.
Secondly,quote examples from developed coutries in order to sensitize the developing countries on the importance of HE.perhaps you ve mentioned it but it can be even more highlighted here since we r taking HE as an agent of change.So that change should be made vivid by taking more and more examples from contemporay world.
on the whole,your essays deserves maximum appreciation and reward.
Keep it up and best of luck
with regards
ASAD
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Old Wednesday, December 23, 2009
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Excellent work sister. Please don't use headings in the essay. It is not advisable.
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