Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy is professor of physics at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad where has taught for over 33 years. He holds a Ph.D in nuclear physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the recipient of the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics, the Baker Award for Electronics, Faiz Ahmad Faiz Prize for contributions to education in Pakistan, and the UNESCO 2003 Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science. He is visiting professor at MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Maryland, Stanford Linear Accelerator, and often lectures at
US and European universities and research laboratories.
In 1988, Dr. Hoodbhoy produced and anchored a 13-part television series in Urdu, Rastay Ilm Kay, broadcast weekly by Pakistan Television, that comprehensively reviewed and analyzed the problems of education in Pakistan. These included issues of standards, admissions, and student violence in universities; curriculum matters; distorted representations of adversaries in history books; the problem of ghost schools and teachers; etc. This led to the award of the Faiz Ahmed Faiz Award in 1990. In 1998, Oxford University Press published a book edited and partly authored by Dr. Hoodbhoy, the first that comprehensively analyzed the state of education in Pakistan. Between 1999-2000, he was a member of Educational Advisory Board, Government of Pakistan, a body that was empowered to make structural changes in primary and secondary education.
Dr. Hoodbhoy is a member of governing board, Developments in Literacy, Islamabad; a trustee of the Hashoo Education Foundation, Islamabad; former chairman of the academic council of the Textile Institute of Pakistan; former member of governing board, Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi; and is a founding board member of the Eqbal Ahmad Memorial Education Foundation. Currently he is chairman of the physics department at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. He also heads a body to oversee the conversion of his university from the British model to the US model of higher education.
Some of Dr. Hoodbhoy’s newspaper articles on education are listed below and may be found at www.chowk.com, a South Asian website.
- Islam & Science: Religious Orthodoxy and the Battle for Rationality, published by ZED Books, London, in 1991 with translations in Turkish, Malaysian, Indonesian, Arabic, Spanish, and Urdu.
- Education And The State – Fifty Years of Pakistan, published by Oxford University Press, 1998.
Reforming Pakistan's Higher Education System – The Search for New Pathways
The proposed research will evaluate the opportunities offered by the massive and unprecedented increase in the funding and size of Pakistan’s higher education system over the last several years. While this expansion offers the chance for Pakistan to increase access to universities and colleges beyond the current figure of less than 3% of the eligible population, it’s well known that serious problems have accompanied the sudden expansion. The principal purpose of this research will be to explore the nature of these problems, develop meaningful indicators of academic quality, make recommendations aimed at avoiding the severe drop in standards that the system currently faces, and define rules and goals for future expansion. Similar experiences from other countries will be an important input for the final analysis and recommendations.