ISLAMABAD - The Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) organised a seminar on Higher Education and Socio-Economic Development of Pakistan on Wednesday. Dr Javaid R Laghari, Chairperson Higher Education Commission, who was chief guest, gave a comprehensive overview of the key challenges in higher education and research. Dr Laghari said that the Asian Development Bank (ADB)s Asia 2050 report has identified seven regions of Asia that have seen maximum economic growth: South Korea, Japan, China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. Pakistan, he said, is not even on the horizon. He stated that India has a population six times more of Pakistan, its GDP ten times and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is 22 times more than Pakistan. While identifying education as directly linked to the socio-economic development of any country, Dr Laghari identified the various challenges in Pakistan education and research network include access to higher education enrolment and equity, quality and standard of education, faculty, and research, and significance of research in universities building - it plays vital role in the building of economies, communities and leadership. He further elucidated that the education enrolment of Turkey, Malaysia, China, Indonesia and India is ten times more than Pakistans. Since the establishment of HEC, the number of universities has increased and so is the number of enrolment in universities. The GTE ratio for Pakistan is 5 per cent as compared to 7 per cent of Bangladesh and 12 per cent of India. South Korea has the highest GTE ratio in Asia at the rate of 95 per cent. Pakistan is even below Togos rate of 5.2 per cent. Only 20 per cent of Pakistani universities have PhD degrees as compared to 100 per cent of India. The HEC chairperson said that the HEIs have shifted from their traditional role of research and higher education to innovation and entrepreneurship. Now HEC, he said further, is facing new challenges of realising the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship, faculty and curriculum development, professional development central, university-industry linkages, market research and regional and global partnership, availability of funding, and grant as well as national innovation policy. Earlier, Director General Institute of Strategic Studies, Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, in his brief welcome address he welcomed the chief guest and highlighted the importance of education in the political development of Pakistan. He said that Pakistan needs an education crusade. The speech was followed by a question and answer session where the audience asked a diverse range of pertinent questions regarding the education system and the responsibilities of the HEC in this context.