In Pakistan, the Problems That Money Can Bring

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:

Pakistan_1 Over the past four years, Pakistan’s higher-education budget has increased more than sevenfold, to about $449-million. While that amounts to only 0.5 percent of Pakistan’s gross domestic product, it is a big improvement from the days of barely enough to pay “measly salaries and basic bills.” More than 800 Pakistani students, supported by the government, are working toward doctorates in engineering or the sciences in countries including Austria, Britain, China, France, Germany, and South Korea — up from about 20 in 2002.

A plan to attract expatriate professors and foreign faculty members back to Pakistan, with substantial research grants and salaries of up to $4,000 a month — about a third higher than the maximum pay for professors on the tenure track — has lured 350 expatriates, as well as 201 long-term faculty members and 88 scholars on a short-term basis.

Plans are in the works to start nine engineering universities across the country, in collaboration with Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden, and other countries, in order to fix the country’s acute shortage of engineers, at a cost of $4-billion to the Pakistan government. Five law schools and several medical schools are in the works as well.

So why are students and professors alike worried? The chairman’s many critics say the flood of money has led to corruption, plagiarism, and favoritism.

More here. (Thanks to Dr. Pervez Hoodbhoy).