Episode 116 – Reforming Higher Education | A Conversation with Dr. Tariq Banuri

Pakistan’s higher education sector has been in a state of flux for a long time. From regular cuts to funding to scandals about paper mills, the story has not been great. On top of that, research funded by the HEC has not led to innovation on the commercial end, something a country like Pakistan sorely needs.

In this episode, Uzair talks to Dr. Tariq Banuri, Chairman of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, on what ails this sector, his vision for reforms, and the path forward.

Dr. Tariq Banuri holds a PhD from Harvard University and joined HEC as its fourth chairperson. He has extensive experience of working in academia, civil society and national as well as international organisations. He was the member of Steering Committee on Higher Education Reforms, the body that played a vital role in inception of HEC in 2002. He has also worked as Professor of Economics at University of Utah, USA.


0:00 Introduction

1:30 What ails higher education today?

14:10 Where does the economy need research-led innovation?

25:50 Building industry-academia collaboration

30:30 Wishlist for reforms

35:50 Reading recommendation

Reading Recommendations:

– Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

– Dominating Knowledge Edited by Frédérique Apffel Marglin and Stephen A. Marglin