Course: Higher Education (8625) Semester: Spring, 2022
Level: B.Ed. (2.5 and 1.5 Years)
Explain the system of higher education in Malaysia. Also describe the role of their higher education in the socio-economic development of Malaysia.
The higher education sector is responsible for the operation of higher education institutions (HEIs) in Malaysia and is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE). The education sector has always enjoyed the highest national development budget which symbolises the commitment of the Malaysian government towards education.
Malaysia’s HEIs (i.e. public universities, private higher educational institutions, polytechnics and community colleges) housed more than a million students in 2011, of which about 93,000 were international students from more than 100 countries. In contrast, there were about 89,686 Malaysian students (27,003 receiving sponsorship and 62,683 self-funded) who were studying overseas in 2011.
With a multi-ethnic population of about 28.3 million, Malaysia had 20 public universities, 50 private universities and six foreign university branch campuses; 403 active private colleges, 30 polytechnics and 73 public community colleges in 2011. These HEIs offer a wide range of tertiary qualifications at affordable prices.
There are also various HEIs from the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, France, and New Zealand which offer twinning and ‘3+0’ degree programmes through partnerships with Malaysian private higher education institutions. At present, some world-class universities such as RMIT University, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Royal College of Surgeons, Ireland have established their collaboration with the local PHEIs.
The first and foremost difference I find in India and Malaysia Education Systems is the inclusion of foreign universities culture. Several American and British Universities have already come up with their campuses in Malaysia for not only Malaysian but also international students while at the other hand, the Indian education system is still dominated by the major government giants like IITs, NITs, Central/State Universities and after that many prominent private institutions i.e. BITS, Jaypee etc. According to All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), India has more than 10,000 engineering institutions in 2016 which offer a wide variety of study options to students. In fact, these institutions are not only catering Indian students but also thousands of students from Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and many African countries also opt Indian universities and colleges for higher education degrees. The second difference is the opportunity of intake. In Malaysia, students get the opportunity of three or intakes in a year. Moreover few institutions of Malaysia takes admission for four times in a year which is double than India where maximum two intakes are allowed in a year. Here Malaysian institutions have a competitive advantage. Another difference in the higher education systems of Malaysia and India which I could personally seem is the difference between assessment methodologies. In India, AICTE and other regulatory bodies are still struggling with finding the deciding line in many areas like plagiarism, documentation methods and assessments of student evaluation. Moreover, there are variations and discrepancies in policies related to higher education in India. At the other side, Malaysia has adopted the Malaysian Qualification Framework (MQF) which is a unified system of post-secondary education implementation and regulations. It clarifies all qualifications and academic achievements in higher education and these qualifications are directly linked with attainment goals of educational delivery. The Malaysian Universities mandates their students to write at least 4-5 individual assignments at even undergraduate level and these assignments are perfectly mapped with MQF guidelines which boost the creative writing skills among students which helps them to understand real-time scenarios. We can compare Malaysia Qualification Framework (MQF) with accreditations bodies of India like National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). As far as the conception is concerned, MQF is quite similar to NAAC and NBA accreditation. Having been worked at India for more than 13 years under the institutions running under AICTE and accredited by NAAC and NBA, I have to say the deliverables of NAAC and NBA could not reach the level where they were intended to. The major barriers of the implementation are the scattered policy frameworks with no clear guidelines and negligence of government agencies in regulating the implementation of same. Another difference is the flavour of the education systems. In spite of having world-class education setups, India lags behind Malaysia when it comes to attracting foreign students from the Middle East and Africa.
The pre-tertiary phase of MOE comprises the following:
- The Policy and Educational Development Sector
- The Education Operations Sector
- The Teacher Professional Development Sector
- The Education Development Sector
- The Education Management Sector
- Matriculation Division
- State Education Departments
- Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka
- Malaysian Examination Council
The higher education phase comprises the following departments and sectors:
- The Department of Higher Education
- Public Higher Education Management Sector
- Private Higher Education Management Sector
- The Department of Polytechnics Education
- The Department of Community College Education
- The Higher Education Management Sector
- The Higher Education Development Sector
- Malaysian Qualifications Agency
- National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN)
- National Professor Council
- Higher Education Leadership Academy
India’s higher education system is the third largest in the world, next to the United States and China. The main governing body at the tertiary level is the University Grants Commission, which enforces its standards, advises the government, and helps coordinate between the centre and the state. Accreditation for higher learning is overseen by 15 autonomous institutions established by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
As per the latest 2011 Census, about 8.15% (98.615 million) of Indians are graduates, with Union Territories of Chandigarh and Delhi topping the list with 24.65% and 22.56% of their population being graduates respectively. Indian higher education system has expanded at a fast pace by adding nearly 20,000 colleges and more than 8 million students in a decade from 2000–01 to 2010–11. As of 2020, India has over 1000 universities, with a break up of 54 central universities, 416 state universities, 125 deemed universities, 361 private universities, 7 Institute under State Legislature Act, and 159 Institutes of National Importance which include IIMs, AIIMS, IITs, IIITs, IISERs and NITs among others. Other institutions include 52,627 colleges as government degree colleges, private colleges, standalone institutes and post-graduate research institutions, functioning under these universities as reported by the MHRD in 2020. Colleges may be Autonomous, i.e. empowered to examine their own degrees, up to PhD level in some cases, or non-autonomous, in which case their examinations are under the supervision of the university to which they are affiliated; in either case, however, degrees are awarded in the name of the university rather than the college.
The emphasis in the tertiary level of education lies on science and technology. Indian educational institutions by 2004 consisted of many technology institutes. Distance learning and open education is also a feature of the Indian higher education system, and is looked after by the Distance Education Council. Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) is the largest university in the world by number of students, having approximately 3.5 million students across the globe.
Some institutions of India, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISERs), Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), University of Delhi, University of Calcutta, University of Madras, Jawaharlal Nehru University have been globally acclaimed for their standard of education. However, Indian universities still lag behind universities such as Harvard, Cambridge, and Oxford.
Indian higher education is radical in terms accessibility, and needs radical reforms in standards, giving value, and pacing. A focus on enforcing both streamlining and holding higher standards of curriculum with the help of international academic publishers for transparency, making the vocational and doctoral education pipeline value-oriented and innovative, personalization of the sector for students to gain immediate and valid transferable credentials in their own pace (e.g., Massive open online course, digital learning, etc.), empowering students to enter the work-force through exit and re-entry options with necessary building blocks of knowledge that leads to a skill/set of skills from a single or multiple academic fields (with required chains of knowledge), instituting stronger institutional responsibility in services for reprioritizing service delivery and working around the complexities, working with international standardization agencies to ensure students are getting value out of the programs, etc are the basic changes needed for gaining international and national competency. The rise of international centers and conglomerates of educational leadership’s has given this forefront institutions and publishers a constitutive role for ascribing what is considered as legitimate knowledge from a foucauldian ‘regime of truth’ perspective, and hence to maintain international competency, ties with international sources of legitimacy is required. The rise of interest in IT sector, and engineering education in India has boxed students with crammed knowledge that gives them lesser chance to explore and develop their passions with modern elements of education such as co-operative education, work-based training, etc. Elective pathways to liberal arts education are also needed for broadening student passions, choices, and concerted/ natural personal growth.
Attending a university adds value to a person’s potential productive contribution to the economy’ comment on the statement also explain the ways used for financing higher education.
Education is very important for every human being. It makes one able to understand what is happening around us logically and clearly. Only educated person has the ability to take practical decisions and make right moves at the right time. Human existence without education is just like fecund land. Education not only enables individuals to put their potential to best use and do something productive in the upcoming future, but also plays a main role in shaping an individual to be a better, responsible citizen and an active member of the society. An educated person with self-confidence and precise moves knows how to transform the world. Education provides the ladder for achieving success in life and enables us to utilize skills and caliber in a constructive way. Therefore, it’s the prime responsibility of an individual to get educated and live a prosperous life while being a responsible citizen.
Problems in Education of Pakistan
Education is considered as the cheapest defense of a nation. But the down trodden condition of education in Pakistan bears an ample testimony of the fact that it is unable to defend its own sector. Though 62 years have been passed and 23 policies and action plans have been introduced yet the educational sector is waiting for an arrival of a savior. The government of Parvaiz Musharraf invested heavily in education sector and that era saw a visible positive educational change in Pakistani society. Now a day, the economic situation in Pakistan is under stress and education is the worse effected sector in Pakistan. The Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan says,
“The state of Pakistan shall remove illiteracy and provide free and compulsory secondary education within minimum possible period.”
In Human development Report Pakistan is placed at 136th position for having just 49.9%educated populace. The primary completion rate in Pakistan, given by Date Center of UNESCO, is 33.8% in females and 47.18% in males, which shows that people in the 6th largest country of the world are unable to get the basic education.
Problems in Education
Following are the problems in education in Pakistan.
1.Education System is based on
The educational system of Pakistan is based on unequal lines. Medium of education is different in both, public and private sector. This creates a sort of disparity among people, dividing them into two segments.
- Regional Disparity
Regional disparity is also a major cause. The schools in Baluchistan (The Largest Province Of Pakistan By Area) are not that much groomed as that of Punjab (The Largest Province Of Pakistan By Population). In FATA, the literacy rate is deplorable constituting 29.5% in males and 3% in females.
- Ratio of Gender Discrimination
The ratio of gender discrimination isa cause which is projecting the primary school ratio of boys & girls which is10:4 respectively. For the last few years there has been an increase in the growth of private schools. That not only harms the quality of education but creates a gap among haves and has not.
4.Lack of Technical Education
The lack of technical education is a biggest flaw in the educational policy that has never been focused before. Therefore, less technical people mean less.
The allocation of funds for education is very low. It is only 1.5 to 2.0 percent of the total GDP. It should be around 7% of the total GDP.
- Untrained Teachers
The teachers in government schools are not well trained. People who do not get job in any other sector, they try their luck in educational system they are not professionally trained teachers so they are unable to train a nation.
Poverty is also another factor that restricts the parents to send their children to public or private schools. So, they prefer to send their children to madrassas where education is totally free.
Recently, minister of education announced a new Education policy for that next 10 years. The interesting thing is that the previous educational policy from 1998 to 2010 is still not expired. Although it is projected to give new plans and to make more promises with the nation It is said in this policy that all the public schools will be raised up to the level of private schools. No plan of action have been discussed, yet a notice is issued to private schools to induct government course in 5th and 8th class and these classes will bound to take board exams. This disturbed the students of private sector also.
Solutions for Educational System
Estimating the value of education, the Government should take solid steps on this issue. Implementation instead of projecting policies should be focused on. Allocation of funds should be made easy from provinces to districts and then to educational institutes. Workshops must be arranged for teachers. Foreign states are using LSS system. This should be inducted in Pakistani schools to improve the hidden qualities of children. Technical education must be given to all the classes. The education board of Punjab has projected a plan to give tech- education to the children of industrial workers. Promotion of the primary education is the need of time. Teachers, professors and educationists should be consulted while devising any plan, syllabus or policy. The state seems to give upher responsibility and totally relying on private sector. The need of time is to bring education in its original form to masses. Burdening students with so much books will not work as he will not understand what the world is going to do next moment. Education is the only cure of the instability in the state and can bring revolution through evolution,by eradicating the social evils. This is how to remove illiteracy in Pakistan.
The roles of higher education in sustainable economic and social development increase year by year, and this will continue over the next decades. Higher education can be seen as a focal point of knowledge and its application, an institution which makes a great contribution to the economic growth and development through fostering innovation and increasing higher skills. It is looked as a way to improve the quality of life and address major social and global challenges. Higher education is broadly defined as one of key drivers of growth performance, prosperity and competitiveness. UNESCO says its social role provides the link between the intellectual and educational role of universities on one hand and the development of society on the other. Raising skills holds the key to higher living standards and well-being. Investing in knowledge creation and enabling its diffusion is the key to creating high-wage employment and enhancing productivity growth, points out OECD.
Here is an overview of the most important roles of higher education in today’s economy:
Creating a quality workforce
Higher education gives a person an opportunity to succeed in today’s global economy. Modern universities provide their students with various programmes aimed at preparing them for different economic sectors, helping them to stay and progress in the labour market for long, programmes that make a difference for labour market outcomes and keep pace with changes in the global economy and changes in the innovation process. Universities promote lifelong learning; they offer opportunities to engage and attract professionals into training and professional development.
Supporting business and industry
Business has changed over the last decade, the dynamic processes take place in a range of contexts and landscapes. There are a lot of jobs today that failed to exist several decades ago. Technology is changing the nature of work. The 2017 McKinsey report estimated that 49 percent of time spent on work activities worldwide could be automated using existing technologies. The requirements on employee’s skills have also changed. Higher education institutions assure the relevance of their knowledge, identify skills gaps, create special programmes and build the right skills that can help countries improve economic prosperity and social cohesion, adapt workforce development to the economy and changing demand for the new skills, develop relevant skills and activate skill supply, and thus support improvement in productivity and growth.
Caring out research and promoting technologies
Higher education is a technology and innovation driver. One of the missions of the modern universities is finding solutions to big challenges and conducting research within global priority areas, contributing to social outcomes such as health and social engagement. Often it is aimed at designing technologies that result in new products and supplying advanced technology for use.
Knowledge is the true basis of higher education: its production via research, its transmission via teaching, its acquisition and use by students. Hence, excellence must remain the prime objective of any institution of higher education, including universities in any country. Russia retains universities’s tradional role as critics and servants of society and is setting its sights high. Russia’s leading universities Project 5-100 participants guarantee excellence in the knowledge and training that they impart. These institutions are focusing resources on quality education, encouraging students and taking account of students’ profiles and specific needs, strengthening teacher training and exposure to best working practices and creating incentives to attract the most experienced teachers.
Countries are putting knowledge at the service of their societies to create a better world. This can be achieved through the training of first-class minds, through major advances in science and technology and by encouraging an interest in learning. Now, to realize its full potential, higher education is to maintain a pro-active stance, strengthen its position as bedrock upon which countries are and build a new road to growth. It cannot be passive.
Critically discuss importance of assessment in higher education? Also discuss the role of learner in assessment?
Assessment is a key component of learning because it helps students learn. When students are able to see how they are doing in a class, they are able to determine whether or not they understand course material. Assessment can also help motivate students. If students know they are doing poorly, they may begin to work harder.
Imagine this situation:
Johnny is a chemistry student. He just took his first exam in his class. He earned a 56%; he needs a 79% to pass the class. The low exam score lets Johnny know that he missed something important he should have learned. Perhaps, he did not understand the material, or maybe he did not study long enough. Whatever the case, the assessment results let Johnny know that he did not successfully learn the material and that he must try something new in order to earn a better score.
Just as assessment helps students, assessment helps teachers. Frequent assessment allows teachers to see if their teaching has been effective. Assessment also allows teachers to ensure students learn what they need to know in order to meet the course’s learning objectives.
Imagine this situation:
Mrs. Brown is a 12th grade biology teacher. After finishing the unit on cell division, she gives a 50-point multiple-choice test. Upon grading the exam, Mrs. Brown realized the average class grade was a 68%, far below the cutoff line for passing. Mrs. Brown can easily see that her students didn’t fully learn cell division. This tells her that she needs to re-visit the unit on cell division and determine why students failed the exam. Perhaps she may need to try a different teaching strategy, or perhaps she did not spend enough time on difficult material.
Frequency and Feedback
Assessment is designed so that students understand their progress towards course goals and modify their behavior in order to meet those goals. In order to do that, assessment should be ongoing. In other words, classes that use one or two exams a term are not using assessment as effectively as it could be used. In order for students to gain a true representation of their understanding, frequent assessment is critical, and it should be accompanied with feedback.
Assessment is really only as good as the feedback that accompanies it. Feedback is the teacher’s response to student work. In order to make assessment as effective as possible, teachers should provide their feedback as well as a letter grade. It is important that students understand why a particular question was incorrect or why their essay did not meet requirements.
Creating a Formative Assessment
The best way to prepare pre-service teachers for their future career is with hands-on learning that they can apply to their lives. After completing this lesson on assessment, there is no better way to have students practice their new skills than by creating their own assessment.
Begin by having students talk about the different types of assessment. A key point from this lesson is that evaluations need to take place during a lesson, before the summative assessment is given, to evaluate how students are learning and what needs to be retaught.
With this in mind, students will create some type of formative assessment that evaluates the content covered in this lesson. Encourage students to be creative. Remember, a good formative assessment is quick, provides feedback for the teacher and students and evaluates a small chunk of knowledge.
Examples of formative assessments include: exit cards, 3-2-1 tickets, quick write, sticky note discussion, short quiz, thumbs up/down, etc.
After students have finished their formative assessment, divide the class into small groups. Each student will take a turn being the teacher and giving their assessment to the students. This will provide real feedback on what it takes to create an effective formative assessment.
Q.4 Critically discuss the role of emerging technologies in higher education.
Education is the basic right of every citizen living in any country and this right is provided amicably by all developed countries on a priority basis. But in Pakistan, consumers of educational services – parents and students – have been left with little choice or idea when it comes to seeking higher education. Higher education is a powerful and essential tool for building a modern, knowledgeable, cultured and peaceful society. It imparts in-depth knowledge related to different spheres of life. By giving a wider perspective of the world. Higher education is no longer a luxury, it is essential for survival. The core mission of higher education is to educate, to train, to undertake research and to provide service to the community. In the context of globalization, the scope and demand for higher education is increasing day by day and this demand can only be fulfilled by quality higher education. Improving the quality of higher education is the need of the hour.
Pakistan’s higher education is not ranked anywhere among the world higher education systems in terms of quality. The quality of higher education depends on various factors such as favorable environment for teaching and learning, infrastructure, teachers, curriculum, effective feedback, research opportunities and monitoring systems.
The problems plaguing the educational system of Pakistan are multidimensional. They include the population explosion, lack of resources, scarcity of qualified manpower, inconsistency in the policies of various regimes, political instability, inefficient educational management system, wastage of resources, poor quality of intake, managerial inefficiency, overcrowded classrooms, inadequate student services, inadequate material resources, non-accountability of institutions, inefficiency in teaching, poor research and lack of research opportunities and poor implementation of policies and programs. The institutions have not only been multiplied, the student enrolments at colleges and universities have registered an exceptionally high rate of growth. The demands of higher education have thus increased by leaps and bounds. Despite quality control and consolidation, these problems will continue to grow constantly for a long time to come.
The major structural issues in higher education system of Pakistan are leading to poor governance of the educational institutions and questionable quality of education. Governance differences are present both in public and private sector universities. The private sector board portrays a more efficient system compared to the public sector board that lacks autonomy and is under strong political influence. In most of the private and public sector universities in Pakistan, the board of governors is a combination of alumni, donors, appointees, public figures, government nominees etc. It is very rare to find a member on the board being appointed because they possess knowledge of how universities need to perform, or they have outstanding academic contribution. Private sector universities in Pakistan have grown by a large number in the last two decades. However, at one end, the growth of such institutions provides more variety to students; there are some universities with questionable status.
Organizational structure issues are the main cause of inefficiency of higher education institutions. Institutional autonomy should be advanced in a context which seeks greater accountability from institutions and a more systematic approach to the structure of higher education institutions. The board of governors of universities seems unaware of these structural issues of universities. This leads to universities being unable to cope with the challenges. These challenges include the evolution of new markets and the creation of new professions and vocations. Governance issues at structural, academic, and organizational level are hindrances in quality education. Universities remain so overly centralized that decision making remains distorted. There is a need for decentralization in terms of decision making.
Higher education system in Pakistan is far from developed. The issue of governance and the role of board of governors in both the public and the private sectors are critical and there is need for better management to ensure quality assurance. Higher education in Pakistan is not at par with international standards leaving a dearth of qualified graduates who can help with the rebuilding of the higher education institutions. On academic level there must be right balance between research and teaching, since research is essential for the development of faculty and the improvement of teaching. Unfortunately, in majority of the universities in Pakistan, emphasis is only placed on teaching leading to large class sizes and high teaching loads leaving no room for proper research.
Pakistan cannot progress until its higher education system is qualitatively strong enough because this poor quality is resulting in low employability, low performance of the specialized individuals, and lack of innovative and creative ideas. These are the key elements of success and progress in present time. All in all, there is a need to enlarge the adaptive capacity and quality of the higher education system so that it is more responsive to the changing world and meets the diversified needs of economy — both domestic and global. For this purpose, diversification of the Pakistani higher education system must be pursued as a goal. This can be achieved by having a proper mix of public and private, formal and non-formal institutions. Special initiatives are required to enhance employability. Curriculum and content must be continually renewed through authorities and skill development network may be set up. Collection of data on job market trends, its analysis and dissemination are important. Drawbacks mentioned above need to be transformed into the strength of the Pakistan higher education system, but this can only be done with strong willpower, determination and willingness to change.
Q.5 Elucidate the nature and significance of contributing education. What are the issues related to expansion of continuing education in Pakistan?
Education is a basic need of every society. A better education system can enhance the social, scientific, and technological improvement of a country. The human resource development of a country depends upon the quality of education imparted in country (Mohanthy, 2000). Higher education caters to the education in the colleges and universities. Allen (1988) observed “It is academically consider suitable to present distinctive feature of two stages for the purpose of clarity of concepts and avoiding duplication” Higher education is admittedly a separate stage quite distinct from primary, secondary, elementary, and higher secondary stage. (Best, 1994)
Higher education is recognized today as a capital investment and is of paramount importance for economic and social development of the country (Barnet, 1990). Institutions of higher education have the primary responsibility for equipping individuals with advanced knowledge and skills required for positions of responsibility in government, business, and other professions (Mughal & Manzoor, 1999). Quality higher education is a source of great potential for the socio economic and cultural development of the country. Stone, Horejs, & Lomas (1997) found “The nation can be transformed into a developed nation within the life time of a single generation.” Factors such as the distinctive nature of higher education institutions, international mobility of students, and teachers accessibility of computer based learning pursuit of research and scholarship, globalization of economy, and emerging challenges of the 21st century have a direct impact on the future development of higher education. (Mughal & Manzoor, 1999).
The purpose of higher education is not simply to impart knowledge in certain branches of knowledge; it has deeper meaning and objectives. The purpose may be multidimensional and may be termed as personal, social, economical, and cultural (Moore & Farris, 1991). Education and particularly higher education cannot be divorced from its milieu and social context. Religious, moral, historical, and cultural ethos permeates through the fabric of the educational system of a country (Best, 1994). Allen (1988) found “In the time of rapid international, political, and economical changes, the universities in South Asia and in developing countries are being transformed. Public expectations about access to higher education direct concern about role that universities can play in innovation and economic development” The applications of principles of market economies to the university systems of all countries have created a new context for higher education (Rao, 2003).
The people in Pakistan and South Asia are neither deficient in talent nor in moral qualities in comparison to any other nation of the world, but about two centuries of foreign rule and blind imitation of western attitudes and methods, unsuited to the genius and spiritual conditions of its people, have spoiled some of the virtues and have brought a bad name to their intellectual capacities (Siddiq, 1978). Hassan (1990) observed “Pakistan is unfortunately really backward in education as in certain other spheres of intellectual activities but luckily people are not inherently incompetent or morally incurable.” It is however necessary that the diagnosis about maladies should be correct and the measures for curing these maladies should be appropriate in the light of that diagnosis (Abdullah, 1992).
Challenges in Higher Education
South Asian countries are facing a critical period in their history, and on that account, everybody concerned with education has a responsibility for knowing what he is trying to do in bring up the next generation and why he is trying to do it (Mohanthy, 2000). Higher education is faced with very severe challenges in the shape of various economic, social, political, and moral changes, and its future depends on the response made by its people to these challenges (Rao, 2003).
Hayes (1987) found “The problems plaguing the educational system of Pakistan and South Asian countries are multidimensional like population explosion, lack of resources, non participation of the private sector, scarcity of qualified man power, inconsistency in the policies of various regimes, political instability, inefficient educational management system, wastage of resources, and poor implementation of policies and programme etc.”
The major challenges in higher education include:
Despite the constraints of resources, the quantitative expansion has been highly spectacular in the post independence period. The institutions have not only been multiplied, the student enrollments at colleges and universities have registered exceptionally high rate of growth (Aeth, 1975). “The numbers of new entrants is now more than the total number of students in higher education prior to independence” (Iqbal, 1981). “The demand of higher education has thus increased by leaps and bonds. In spite of quality control as well as consolidation, it will continue to grow constantly for a long time to come” (Adeeb, 1996).
“The quantitative expansion is evident due to increasing aspiration of the people and social, economical, and political forces influencing the development of higher education. In the post independence period, the role of higher education has been very well recognized in the development of science and technology, as well as various arenas of human advancement” (Mohanthy, 2000).
The major break through was evident in the democratic countries of the world where franchise was given to all adults irrespective of caste, creed, sex, and economic or social status (Barnet, 1990). Qureshi (1997) stated “The ideal of equity was severely constrained by exiting in qualities in the distribution of property and productive resources, low level of education and awareness among the people, and strong influences exercised by individual and group to further their own sectional interest rather than total social interest.”
“The philosophy of social justice is very much akin to the principle of equity. It is a welcome development over the concept of inherent inequality which was sought to be explained by biological differences among individuals” (Bayli, 1987).
- The philosophy of equality of men being applied to political process, distribution of property, and productive resources is viewed as the source of inequities in society. This approach helped the development of capabilities among men through equal distribution of higher educational opportunities both in quality and quantity.
- There is the philosophy of inequality as a natural hereditary, biological phenomena, without any scientific rational evidence. This concept is rooted in sectional interest rather than in societal interest.
The growing numbers of colleges and universities have provided access to higher education to the people in various parts and sections of developing countries in South Asia. “But the enrollments of students especially female students is relatively very small” (Varghese, 1980).
Development of society not only depends upon quantity of goods and services produced, but also on their quality. “It again leads to quality of life of the people and the quality of the society in general” (Hayes, 1987). It is rightly said that the philosophical basis of quality is the innate characteristics of a human being to attain a higher standard and the need of excellence for attaining a higher stage in the development (Quddus, 1990).
The scope of the idea of quality is severely limited by two widely prevailing views.
- Quality is a selective phenomenon and only few can attain it.
- Quality for quality sake or with regards to specific area rather than quality as mutually exclusive and emphasize selectively at the expense of equity.
Attempts to realize specific objectives of quality tend to narrow down the scope and discourage efforts to attain quality in various walks of life. Allen (1988) determined that “Various programs have been developed and are being implemented for the last two decades for improving the quality of teachers and their proficiency in discharging their duties and responsibilities.”
“The higher education commission has been providing financial assistance for these programs of faculty improvement which enable teachers to keep abreast with the latest development in their subject and conduct research studies as well as interact with experts in their own subject’s area and related field” (Hassan, 1990). “These programs aim at improving the professional competence of teachers so that they can impart high quality instructions and contribute significantly to raising the standard of higher education in developing countries” (Quddus, 1990).
Among the challenges of higher education is the vital role of addressing students unrest. Bayli (1987) studied that “The condition of higher education in universities and colleges is not satisfactory in the eyes of students. Lack of physical and educational facilities is bringing much hindrance in the way of development”. Iqbal (1981) states “Teachers are less motivated to do certain research work. Most teachers are not competent, and they are teaching in higher education institutions.” They have limited knowledge about subject matter they taught and many of them have no clear idea about the subject. “Even in Pakistani universities, the teacher at M.Phil. and Ph.D. level, are not competent” (Rao, 2003). “They feel it difficult to indulge in research work due to lack of knowledge about research methodologies” (Mughal & Manzoor, 1999).
“Most students with backgrounds in arts, humanities, and management rather than in engineering technology, science, and medicine get involved in political activities. Therefore social or academic background is an important factor in determining the attitude of the students toward social economic and political issues” (Allen, 1988). Barnet (1990) found that “Therefore studies are necessary to fulfill the hope of the government and the aspirations of the youth as well as to cope with the changes which are the demands of all students of today”. The university students should learn to think about possible solutions to this fast changing world. “So in order to achieve this, the students at the university level need to get much deeper knowledge about the citizenship role in society and the new opportunities that open to the student due to economic development and technological advancement” (Qureshi, 1999).
Education can play a vital role in strengthening emotional integration. It is felt that education should not aim at imparting knowledge but should develop all aspects of a student’s personality. Allen (1988) found that “It should broaden the outlook, foster the feeling of oneness, nationalism, a spirit of sacrifice, and tolerance so that narrow group interests are submerged in the largest interest of country.”
“Students, the future citizens of the country, should be trained in democracy, its value and ideals so that they will have sense of justice which is conducive for the development of national integration especially in the particular situation of developing countries which are striving to build up a structure of democratic living” (Rao, 2003).
In the last fifteen years or so, Pakistan and countries in South Asia have been giving increasing attention to the problems of university administration (Adeeb, 1996). Abdullah (1992) observed “They have noticed that despite the resources available for university expansion, they have not been able to obtain the best possible results.” “Further they have also begun to realize that much of this is due to lack of proper administration and what the outcome is on the development of higher education” (Aeth, 1975).
Social and cultural factors, which are often ignored, are as significant as any of the purely technical factors in the formulation and implementation of administration policy. Barnet (1990) states that “The linkages between the policy and these factors are neither casual nor limited to the contemporary period so the university administration clearly demonstrates that the success or failure of university administrative reforms hinges on the presence and absence of certain variables given below.”
- Strong commitment and determined leadership
- Appropriate political environment
- Supportive social environment
- Types of reform agents
- Nature of reforms
- Favourable bureaucratic attitude towards change
However bureaucratic resistance to reform is a phenomenon which can be found both in the advanced and the third world countries (Mohanthy, 2000). “Resistance to reform within a bureaucracy usually manifests itself in the behavioural patterns and attitudes of its members” (Hayes, 1987). “These responses may be grouped in two broad categories, those that seek to project the university administration service as an institution, and the individual responses to various threats, perceived from within and outside the bureaucracy. In both cases changes in the status quo are regarded as a potential threat to survival” (Varghese, 1980).
The current size of present faculty is very small according to the general international standard. Mughal & Manzoor (1999) found that “The teacher/student ratio is very small even according to many third world countries standards. The quality of university education at the college has decreased because of the exiting faculty”. “Many present faculty members are teaching courses which are not their own specialization” (Bayli, 1987). “Many faculty members in most of universities are just master degree holders with little or no practical knowledge and higher education experiences” (Iqbal, 1981).
“The salary, financial rewards and benefits for the faculty is very low according to the rising cost of living in Pakistan. The higher education commission is making an effort to provide facilities to their teachers and hiring foreign faculty for the uplift of educational standards in Pakistan” (Rao, 2003). Still the staff and technical support of the teaching professor are not present. Adeeb (1996) found that “There is no real plan or set of rules for teaching evaluation or teaching effectiveness. The above problem is a great challenge for higher education in Pakistani and South Asian developing countries.”
“Studies include: an examination of the present supply and future prospects for attracting competent faculty members in sufficient number to meet requirements in various areas; appropriate action should be taken to provide an attractive and competitive faculty salary; reasonable teaching and research assignments; and fringe benefits to attract top ranking educators” (Allen, 1988).
The faculty should have primary responsibilities for determining the educational policies of the institution. Barnet (1990) found “If this responsibility is not conferred and defined by the character of the institution, it should be expressed in legislation of the governing board.” “Educational polices include such fundamental matters as the subject matter and methods of instruction, facilities and support for the research work of faculty members and students, standards for admission of students, etc” (Aeth, 1975).
Hayes (1987) identify that “They also include those aspects of student life that relate directly to the educational process.” Mohanthy (2000) observed that “The faculty should also actively participate in decisions made on other matters that may directly affect the educational policies for which it is primarily responsible.” “These matters include major changes in the size of the student body, significant alteration in the academic calendar, establishment of new colleges and universities or division, the provision of extension services to the community, and assumption by the institution of research or service obligations to private or public agencies” (Allen, 1988).
The right of academic freedom must be recognized in order to enable the faculty members, researchers, and students to carry on their roles. Gibbons (1998) studied “The freedom of universities in making professional appointments, tenure research, salary scales, and all academic decision.” “Academic freedom and university autonomy are sometimes regarded as synonymous, but they are two quite different concepts, although they overlap at many points” (Taylor & Tashakkori, 1997).
Rao (2003) found that “These two functions are the essence of the progress and development of the higher education and administrative endeavours.” Quddus (1990) studied that “The basic function of a college or university is to preserve, augment, criticize, and transmit knowledge and to foster creative capacities.” “These functions are performed by a community of scholars who must be free to exercise independent judgment in the planning and execution of their educational responsibilities” (Varghese, 1980).
“Unfortunately a university may find it difficult to earn the academic freedom or autonomy and retain it in a new state where most, if not all, the cost of university education is a direct charge on the government” (Siddiq, 1978). Qureshi (1997) identified that “The board of trustees should be more concerned with matters affecting the relations of the university with the outside bodies and general policy than with the routine administration work which is dealt with by the university council.”
Courses and Curricula
The courses and curricula are not designed in accordance with the standard of higher education of the present day. Iqbal (1981) observed that “There is no continuity of some of the important courses: there is also no relationship between the related courses of common or similar knowledge.” Bayli (1987) studied that “So many important and modern courses required for higher education are not taught at all.” “The curricula are not written in detail and are left to the professors personal likes, dislikes, interests or experience” (Adeeb, 1996).
Quddus (1990) observed that “The basic science courses are not designed well to fit the need of the students, and they are not well organized, or correctly supervised by the department.” “Generally speaking, there are not enough well equipped faculty and administration offices, classrooms, or engineering, science, and other laboratories for the growing student body and faculty members” (Hassan, 1990).
Taylor & Tashakkori (1997) studied that “The workshops at the higher level are not suitable for training, because necessary materials, equipment, space, and techniques are not up to the mark according to the required standard.” “Equipment is old and not fit for some of the more specialize laboratory experiments” (Quddus, 1990). Varghese (1980) identify that “There has been constant change in and lowering of the standard of syllabi and courses leading to lazy mindedness resulting in lack of urge for higher achievements.” “Frequent change of study material and difficulties in availability is another contributory factor” (Quddus, 1990).
“While education cannot directly reduce unemployment, except by requiring more teachers, a reform of the educational system could help alleviate its impact especially on young people” (Mohanthy, 2000). Hayes (1987) found that “There is a marked mismatch in terms of the field and specialization of graduates and the absorptive capacity of the labour market.” “In the sense of employment, the planners of higher education are handicapped in the assessment of the actual labour market needs for skills in various sectors of the economy” (Aeth, 1975).
Barnet (1990) studied “Even though empirical evidence justified investment in higher education for economic growth, except for direct self-consumption, higher education failed to create additional employment since the type of education offered restricted the entrepreneurial spirit and initiative and discourages self employment.”
Budgeting and Financing
Central to all the foregoing is a new concept of budgeting and financing at the higher level. Bayli (1987) observed “The conventional system of an annual budget is probably the most confusing and least understood.” “The budget of course, performs a number of essential functions which even the most frustrated will acknowledge” (Rao, 2003). Allen (1988) identify “The concern here is with the budget as an instrument of academic planning which may promote the special aims of each college and constitute a practical means by which all university purpose may be realized ideally it must not only insure financial solvency of the university, but should also place responsibility and commensurate authority where it may be exercised most.”
Gibbons (1998) observed “Concerning other elements of the budget and the allocations made by officers or governing boards among competing demands, the faculty should be informed of important developments in administrative planning including proposed capital expenditures, and the faculty should also be consulted on major issues of policy involved in such development.” Taylor & Tashakkori (1997) says “Obviously any viable plan must be designed as to capitalize as fully as may be consistent with academic standards upon all of these, and hopefully to forestall periodic crises.”
Rao (2003) studied “In fact realistic planning and decisive action are the only way to prevent educational strategies from degenerating into spasmodic reactions to unforeseen exigencies.” “The university’s aim should be to fashion a system which in its year to year operation may provide for its own continuing renewal” (Adeeb, 1996).
“The fast growing population in Pakistan and South Asian developing countries is another problem by causing over crowding in the higher educational institution because the number of higher level institutions is deficient” (Hayes, 1987). Mohanthy (2000) observed “The demand for the quantitative expansion of education at all levels remains one of the primary concerns because of the continuous population expansion.” Adeeb (2000) stated “The developing countries will account for nearly 50% of the total world population compared with 66% in 1950.” “The population of Asia as a proportion of the world’s total population (a reduction of 29.4% to 18.4%) is in a much weaker position than some ten to fifteen years ago” (Allen, 1988).
Suggestions to meet the Challenges
- Stress is laid on the need for improving the quality of education at every stage so that a proper foundation can be laid for advanced study in science, engineering, agriculture, and those other areas which are most closely allied to the national economic development and reconstruction of the nation as a whole.
- To begin from the top without reforming the lower stages is against the law of nature; it is against the law of evolutionary progress. Before any restrictions are imposed on the higher education, the earlier stages should be improved so as to produce better students for the higher stage.
- A critical point to be considered by educational planner is the adaptation of a multidimensional, flexible, and dynamic education system, which serves people according to their ability and aptitude and is responsive to their economic, social political and cultural needs.
- The new system of higher education should be flexible enough to offer a variety of courses, formal and non formal, full time and part time, correspondence and media based to fit every individual as well as the economic needs of the country
- Economic conditions of the people cannot be ignored in all matters in which the question of equal opportunities to all is involved. In an atmosphere of economic depression as it is today in Pakistan how could one expect from our youth to be able to develop their potential qualities in desired way.
- The test of qualities must be made reliable upon examination and more effective; the teaching method must be made more rational and natural; and last of all, the teachers must be kept fully satisfied. It is well known, that a foreign medium of instruction and examination is seriously hampering the progress of education. Pakistan will have to determine its policy with regards to this question also.
- There is great question of availability of qualified university teachers, suitably equipped libraries, and fully developed plants and laboratories. It is a matter of common knowledge that our resources in all these areas are very merger. Any unnecessary addition to the number of the universities at present would therefore mean nothing, but more ill-fed and ill-equipped institutions with no specially or individuality of purpose.
Higher education institutions must be responsive to the challenges of the rapidly changing and challenging new world: expectation of society and growing demands of the rising student population. This policy therefore looks forward to a new beginning in higher education in South Asian developing countries.