IIE Networker - Spring 2007 - (Page 36)

Feature Higher Education in Pakistan A Silent Revolution By Atta-ur-Rahman WE NOW LIVE in a world in which knowledge has become the key driver for socioeconomic development. Only those countries who invest in their human resources, tap into the creativity of their young and harness their potential for development will be able to march forward. Stunning advances made in the last few decades in the fields of information technology, biotechnology, material sciences, health sciences, renewable energy and other disciplines are rapidly changing the face of the globe, leading several countries toward the path of social and economic development and leaving others behind. The pace of knowledge generation and its impact on new product and process development and emergence of new interdisciplinary areas, e.g. nanotechnology and post-genomic sciences, are providing opportunities for nations not traditionally associated with science leadership to leap frog many of the advanced G8 countries. These emerging fields have provided opportunities for nations which were not traditionally classified as scientifically and technologically advanced countries. New knowledge, particularly knowledge related to technology, drives economic systems. Economic agents, including firms and governments are forced to adapt technical change in order to survive in a competitive environment. While governments should act as facilitators, technology capabilities must accumulate in enterprises. This will only be possible if we strengthen our universities and research and development organizations and create effective linkages between them and industry. It will be the increasing use of knowledge in the production processes and service industry which will determine the growth of our GDP. The ability to compete or survive in the globalization of economic systems depends on a commitment to the development of human capital and ensuring a continuous learning process within the government institutions and enterprises to create a culture of innovation. Innovation is concerned with enhancing national productivity and national competitive performance. Dynamic innovation systems involve an interplay between a number of different parts of the society which include the government, private sector, universities and research institutions. The transition of Pakistan from an agriculture-based economy to a knowledge-based economy involves a mosaic of complex interactions between a large number of players. Universities will need to play a central part in this transition through knowledge creation, its use, and diffusion of new knowledge into the society through establishment of technology parks, business incubators, access to venture capital and other such schemes. The new world order requires us to prepare our children to face the challenges of the global economy. This involves the need for a different type of education to be imparted, focused not only on the mastery of subject matters but also on the ability to think critically, be innovative, communicate, work effectively in teams, and develop entrepreneurship opportunities. Redevelopment of these skills requires a focused national effort. While investment towards development of high level science & technology manpower is necessary to meet the critical shortage of teachers and researchers,

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2007

IIE Networker - Spring 2007
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Best Practices in International Education: Andrew Heiskell Awards 2007
In-Country Consortia: Rethinking Collaboration in Education Abroad
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series: A Conversation with President John B. Simpson, State University of New York at Buffalo
Higher Education in Pakistan: A Silent Revolution
Opening Minds to the World: Toyota and IIE
Dual Degree Programs
South Africa–USA Partnership
Faculty View
The Browser: Index of Advertisers

IIE Networker - Spring 2007