Desi Back to Desh

Between airports, airplanes and transit lounges

The next 50 years or Student output – its extrapolation and impact on our future

In the course of my meandering search for Pakistani datasets, I came across the HEC website where I found to my surprise that:

  1. We produce about 150,000 students every year from our nationwide University system.
  2. The actual number was 118,000 in 2004 and projecting growth for 2005, 2006 and 2007 at the prior three year rate of 10% per annum, the end result is about 156,000 in 2007.
  3. This includes about 104,000 undergraduate students, about 45,000 graduate students and the rest would be classified as MPhils, PhD’s and Post graduate Diploma holders.
  4. The best part is that about 16,000 of these came from private universities – which can be read either ways, I will just read it positively especially since this segment is growing at about 30% a year, year on year.
  5. If you carry the growth forward 4 years, you are looking about 180,000 students coming out, with about 30,000 graduates out of private universities by 2011.

Put this in context. You are adding about a million educated youth to the workforce every 5 years. You can question their education, and their standard and their ability to earn a living, but compare this to Dubai, Doha, London and/or Singapore who have to go to all sorts of lengths to attract this level/profile of educated expat immigration over a five year period. We get it for free.

We may not do much with it but it is still ours.

So if you actually had someone crazy enough to dream that they could fix the education system of this country and it is not that impossible a dream, imagine what you could do with this base. This is not an NP-Hard problem. In about 10 years you can fix the issue end to end and start seeing real impact where a local graduate is functional and skilled in his professed subject.

Extrapolate that, and in about 50 years, or one generation, you would have added about 60 million educated voters and their children to your vote bank. And since you are educating faster than you are breeding, you will ultimately cross over to an educated society, versus an ignorant one.

Our current generation of outdated, hopeless, corrupt and ugly politicians will be dead, dying or buried six feet under the ground. All we need to do is hang on and stick it out for another generation and you will not recognize this place. I now get why the late Eqbal Ahmed was so optimistic about our society…

Yes, no, maybe…

I am game.