Pakistan is the sixth largest country of the world by population. It has 177 universities and degree awarding institutions but not a single one is in the top 500 universities of the world. The map on the cover of this issue shows the size of each country by its scientific research output. Unfortunately, Pakistan is hardly visible on this world map.
Higher education remained neglected for many decades in Pakistan, until the Higher Education Commission (HEC) was formed in 2002. Since the creation of the HEC, the government has allocated huge funds every year for higher education, sent thousands of PhD students abroad on scholarships, massively revised salaries of university professors, converted colleges into universities and started faculty exchange and research projects... Read more
Starting its journey in 1947 with only one university, the University of the Punjab (established in 1882), Pakistan today has 177 universities and degree awarding institutions (DAIs), spreading across its map and the number is growing fast. Of these 177 universities and DAIs, 103 are public while the rest have been established by the private sector. The government has awarded charter to 33 of these universities and DAIs while the rest have been chartered by the respective provincial governments. The federally chartered universities and the DAIs are mostly located in the federal capital, Islamabad, but some operate in other cities of the country too. For example, the Karakoram International University is a federal chartered university and is based in Gilgit-Baltistan.