- Centre for Higher Education Transformation
|Dr. Gilani's professional career started
in late 1970 as an Assistant Superintendent of Police
(ASP) in the Police Service of Pakistan (PSP). From
June 1974 to March 1983 studied and worked as an
academic in the United States, first as a doctoral
student at Rutgers University, then as an Assistant
Professor and Research Coordinator at various institutions
on the East Coast.
In 1983, he joined the University of Peshawar,
one of the largest and most prestigious universities
in Pakistan, as an Assistant Professor of Psychology
and held a number of positions there, including
Dean of the Faculty of Education. Dr. Gilani has
also been a Visiting Fellow at the Institute of
Development Studies (IDS) and a Senior Visiting
Research Fellow at the University of Sussex between
1992 and 1995.
Between 2000 and 2004, he served as Vice Chancellor
of the University of Peshawar where he provided
leadership and championed pioneering reforms at
the university. During that period he was also
a proactive member of the Task Force on Improvement
of Higher Education and the subsequent Steering
Committee on Higher Education, both of which were
engaged in re-formulating higher education policy
and leveraging reform in institutions of higher
learning in the country. He also served as the
Rector Foundation University, Islamabad, a private
sector University. Among other accomplishments,
Dr. Gilani was one of the architects of the Devolution
of Power Plan that resulted in a paradigmatic
restructuring of the political and administrative
structures and systems of Pakistan.
Since July 2004, he has been the Director of
the Centre for Higher Education Transformation
(CHET) which partners with four public sector
universities to reform mutually agreed systems
of each and works with the Higher Education Commission
of Pakistan to develop policy briefs.
- Power and Civil Society in Pakistan,
with Weiss, A. (eds.). Karachi: Oxford University
- Personal and Social Power in Pakistan. In
A. Weiss and Z. Gilani (eds), Power and Civil
Society in Pakistan. Karachi: OUP.
- Authoritarian Thinking: Implications for Education,
Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences,
Vol. IV, No. 2, 1-16.
- Unveiling Bhutto. Economic and Political
Weekly, Vol. XXX Nos. 7 and 8, 376-379.
- Cultural Diversity in Managing the Employee
Selection Event. In R.N. Kanungo & D. Saunders
(eds.), New Approaches to Employment Management,
Vol. 3. Greenwich CT: JAL. With Smith, P.B.
& Peterson, M.F.
|Higher Education Policy in Pakistan:
Academic and Pragmatic Implications for Public and
There is a rather sharp division between public
(or state) and private (or civil society) sectors
in Pakistan, a division that also prevails in
higher education. There exists an antagonistic
relationship between the public and private providers
of higher education, though both ostensibly provide
the same services. The historical baggage in this
arena has resulted in confusions and lack of clarity
at the policy level, a tendency to rigid position
taking, and turf wars. Consequently issues of
quality and equity in higher education have emerged
that are detrimental to public good. By and large
the public sector institutions, that are highly
equitable, lack in quality. On the other hand,
some institutions in the private sector have high
standards and quality of education, but are unaffordable
to the bulk of our populations. Thus, quality
and equity have gotten separated, with institutions
in the private sector catering to the former and
the public sector to the latter. This is an untenable
situation that is bound to erode the already bleak
situation of higher learning in the country. This
divide needs to be addressed in an informed manner
at the policy level; otherwise we risk the emergence
of apartheid in higher education, similar to that
at other levels of schooling.
The research will examine the macro issue of
provision of higher education by the state and
the private sectors globally, but with a focus
on developing countries, especially in the Muslim
world. How are various countries dealing with
the problem at the policy and pragmatic levels,
with public good at the forefront? For example,
a detailed study and analysis of work done in
post-apartheid South Africa, with which I have
good familiarity, will be one such component.
The final output of this work will have dual value.
One, it will enhance the academic understanding
of policy-making and its impact on equity and
quality. Two, it could have a pragmatic impact
on policy-making in higher education such that
the unfortunate divide between equity and quality
may be bridged. The applicant has a significant
edge for conducting the research because of considerable
experience in both the public and private sectors
in Pakistan, and well-established links with many
institutions and individuals globally, but especially
in the South.