Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Pervez's Profile
Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Pervez is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Political Science at University of Management and Technology in Lahore. Pervez completed his PhD (International Relations) from Leiden University, Holland in 2010 where he was an overseas HEC PhD scholar (Higher Education Commission of Pakistan). His monograph, Security Community in South-Asia: India-Pakistan has been published across the globe by Routledge (2012, New York). This book has also been awarded the National Outstanding Research Award for the best book in the Social Science category for the year 2012, by the Government of Pakistan. In this book, he has argued for a normative understanding of India-Pakistan security community, which is precursor to peace in this most volatile nuclear region of the world. He has also written articles in foreign peer reviewed journals like Contemporary South Asia, Religion Politics & Ideology and International Affairs (Chatham House). Pervez was also a post-doctoral Fulbright fellow (2014-2015) at Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University where he worked with Prof. Robert Jervis on conceptual understanding of strategic culture.
The Dilemmas of a Foreign Qualified PhD Researcher: A Qualitative Critical Assessment of Public and Private Sector Universities of Pakistan
It’s been more than a decade since the reforms in university education was pioneered by Pakistan’s Higher Education Commission (HEC) in 2001. In this regard both the HEC and the United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan have worked in tandem to produce quality in higher education. There was massive amount of money thrust into the system in the shape of foreign scholarships for Master’s and PhD degrees and other research grants. So far there are mixed results. Without going into the statistics, this paper is a qualitative assessment of what real dilemmas an accomplished researcher faces in private and public sector universities.
By accomplished researcher, I refer to the person who is the direct recipient of HEC and Fulbright grants, especially PhD. The foremost problem in public sector universities of Pakistan is the insecurity syndrome. The newcomer foreign PhD researcher is (un)-welcome as someone who is bound to create ripples in stagnant waters of research. He has first-hand idea about the competitive research culture and the cliché publish or perish found in western academia. He faces the dilemma of adjustment, whether to align with the status quo by seeking job security or to forget about any qualitative change and seek greener pastures. Another dilemma he faces is the choice between private and public sector universities with both having their own unique set of problems. Public sector universities are involved in a numbers game by mostly churning out redundant researches to acquire good HEC ranking while the private sector universities are big business houses seldom interested in prescreening students during the admission process.
Hence, I will argue that a qualitative critical assessment of the impact of higher education reforms in Pakistan is the need of the hour. So far, studies have been quantitative with emphasis on producing researchers and research in quantity and not in quality.
Dr. Muhammad Shoaib Pervez
Associate Professor and Chair
University of Management and Technology, Lahore