President ECOSF joined the Book Launch & Panel Discussion on 'Culture of Research in Pakistan' organized by Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) in collaboration with Knowledge Platform and The British Council

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Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad-PK hosted a Book Launch & Panel Discussion on 'Culture of Research in Pakistan' on Feb 12, 2020.  Knowledge Platform and The British Council collaborated with PIDE for the event and PIDE launched the book based on the study on the systems of research in Pakistani universities across the country. The book report with the title; “The University Research system in Pakistan” was launched and copies shared with participants.

A large number of national and international academic experts, scholars, researchers and representatives of development partners and media attended the event. President ECOSF Dr. Manzoor Soomro joined the event on behalf of ECOSF.

The report/book provides an overview of the university research system, and provides valuable recommendations to develop the culture of research in Pakistan. The report says that:

In its recently published vision 2025 statement, the HEC has set forth an ambitious research agenda under which it plans to lead higher education institutions as the principle drivers of knowledge–based Pakistani economy .This will require reforming the university research system by taking it to a considerably elevated plan of inquiry, innovation and impact.

The HEC’s success in developing research activities at universities has come at a price. Its emphasis on research publication has marginalized other research activities .To date, core education stakeholders (policymakers, government officials, regulators, donors, business leaders, professionals and media representative) and the wider public remain disengaged from university research: they generate little by way of demand for research–driven solutions.

While there are notable exceptions, faculty in Pakistan view research as an activity that has, at its principal end journal publication as a requirement for career advancement. Many faculty members across Pakistan feel that research is treated as a ‘numbers games’ in which quantity is incentivised over quality, and faculty discourse by and large misses the spirit of enquiry and debate, the passion to solve globally or locally meaningful problems, and frictional camaraderie of belonging to communities of practice. Funded through individual research projects, driven by personal career targets, unwanted by the government and private sectors as providers of insights, resident in bureaucratically managed institutions, and overloaded by teaching obligations, most faculty members feel that research is solitary and often isolating exercise

A Panel Session on ‘Culture of Research in Pakistan was also arranged during the book launch. Dr. Nadeem Ul Haq, Vice-Chancellor, PIDE opened the session and welcomed all the distinguished guests for attending the event. After opening of the session, Mr. Adrian Chadwick, Regional Director South Asia, British Council also spoke and shared his knowledge and wisdom. Renowned academician Dr Zain Ul Abdin, Director General Research & Development, Higher Education Commission, British Council Pakistan experts Ms. Nishat Riaz Director Education, Ms. Sarah (Higher Education) and the Country Director of British Council for Pakistan Mr. Amir Ramzan were among the speakers. Finally Q&A session was held and Dr. Nadeem Ul Haq, Vice-Chancellor PIDE thanked the participating departments, sponsors and participants.

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