Challenges of Equitable Access to Higher Education of Minorities: The Case of Islamabad and Rawalpindi
Author: Fareena Iqbal

Vision 2025 considers nurturing human capital as its most important pillar. The same concern and emphasis is witnessed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as the UNESCO Report 2014 begins with Education. Goal 4 speaks of ensuring inclusive and equitable education to all. Similarly higher education is considered the corner stone in a knowledge economy which Pakistan is aspiring to be, as it is education which trains and polishes the population of a country and turns it into human capital. Pakistan is a Muslim majority state which also houses many minority communities. The founder of the nation aimed to make it a pluralistic state and society where a diversity of religious and other communities would come together and live harmoniously. Generally Minorities are considered to be dominated by the majority influence and their rights are not protected and preserved. They are made to act according to the interests and desires of the majority community who considers it their inherent right to dominate them. The topic under discussion seeks to investigate the issue of access of higher education to minorities. It focusses on minorities residing in Pakistan, and the barriers or challenges if any that they face in attaining higher education. It tries to see whether any minority community has more access to scholarships and jobs offered by Higher education Commission and if so the reasons behind it. It seeks to explore the policies and procedures formulated and put in place, if any, to increase the participation and inclusion of minorities in higher education. It also seeks to know whether there are any future action plans by HEC for the purpose of increased participation. It’s a qualitative research with an explanatory research design, themes have been deduced from the data collected to come to a conclusion. Both thematic and discourse analysis tools have been used to analyze (both textual and oral) qualitative data collected. Supervisor:- Dr. Zulfiqar Ali

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Keywords : Access, Higher Education, Marginalization, Minorities
Supervisor: Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro

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