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Journal of Management and Social SciencesVol. 1, No. 1, (Spring 2005) 24-47 From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: Institute of Business and Technology, Karachi The paper discusses the cause and consequences of the deteriorationand depressing condition of higher education in Muslim countries. Thestudy establishes the links between academic research and economicdevelopment. Alternative hypothesis to envisage the causes ofsustainable economic development were discussed with historicalevidences. The hypothesis of external conspiracy was not accepted inthe study and it was concluded that weak human resources are mainlyresponsible for deterioration in the higher education. 1. IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE CREATING ACTIVITIES FORMUSLIM WORLD To decode the secret of sustainable economic development was not a simple task and allthe attempts to theorize the growth causes and to construct the growth models have beenfailing in different circumstances in different times. However, the last three centurieshave proved at least a significant positive relation between the economic growth and thecontinuity in the creation and utilization of knowledge. This relation will be discussedwith details in section II of this paper. Regardless of their economic implications the knowledge-based activities are important for the Muslim societies from their religion’s point of view. In respect of theimportance of knowledge creating activities, the irrevocable evidences are available inthe Muslim religious literature. According to the Muslims’ beliefs, the Holy Quran is thebook consists of the words of Allah. The book describes that what Allah wants by thepeoples. In Islamic terminology, Allah’s orders are known as Fard (obligatory). About * Prof Dr Ayub Mehar is the Dean of Management Sciences, Institute of Business and Technology.
The material presented by the author does not necessarily portray the viewpoint of the, Management
of the Institute of Business and Technology (BIZTEK).

JMSS 2005, Published by Institute of Business and Technology (BIZTEK),Main Ibrahim Hydri Road, Korangi Creek, Karachi-75190, Pakistan. From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World one-third verses of the Holy Quran, give the orders and instructions for the research andto collect the observations and knowledge about the things in the universe. The nature ofthis order is communal. It does not apply on individuals but it is for whole Muslimcommunity. So the research and knowledge acquisition is like a Fard-e-Kifaya – acommunal obligation can be fulfilled if not all but some persons perform it. It is important to note that in the verses of Holy Quran, different words of preys are associated with different prophets. Adam requested for pardon, Moses askedfor the power of communication, Jesus asked for the determination in the way of Allahand Muhammad (PBUH) asked for extension in the knowledge. It implies theimportance of the ‘creation of knowledge’ for Muslims. In Muslim terminology, Hadith means the saying or action by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Once the Prophet (PBUH) asked the Muslims that every sort ofknowledge and wisdom is the inheritance of a Muslim, he (must) pick it wherever it isfound. According to the Hadith, “Acquisition of knowledge is obligatory for everyMuslim Man and Woman”. It is clear from the above-mentioned evidences and from the sources of Muslim beliefs that all the creation and acquisition of knowledge are desirable andobligatory activities for the Muslim societies. Besides its religious importance, the knowledge related activities are also important from the economic development point of view. The strong and significantevidences are available in favor of the positive correlation between economicdevelopment and knowledge related activities. Their dependency and cause and effectrelationship will be discussed in section 2. Table 1 shows that economic development of the countries are highly correlated with their contributions in research activities (Mehar: 2004b). Table: IIshows the changing in the patterns of foreign trade. It is evident that share ofknowledge-based products is rapidly increasing in world trade basket. While, thecontribution of primary goods is declining in the world trade activities. The knowledge-based technology has the largest share in world trade basket at present. Table 1Economic Development and Knowledge Based ActivitiesCountry The creation and utilization of knowledge is the key element to promote thetechnological advancement and as well economic development. The creation ofknowledge is the core function of the universities and the institutions of highereducation. To accelerate the economic growth and to develop the meaningful relationswith the industry, university faculties have to find the new technologies. They have tocreate new ideas; they have to formulate new theories and procedures. All of those arethe parts and elements of the knowledge creating activities. Table 2Share of Technological Innovations in Global Trade Despite of its religious-based importance and its role in the economic development, thestate of higher education and knowledge creating activities in the Muslim world shows adepressing and deteriorated picture. It is notable that among the 200 finest universities inthe world, not even a single is located in a Muslim country. (Dawn: Nov 28, 2004). Higher education has always been an important component of the social agenda, but it has acquired a new importance today. In the emerging ‘knowledgeeconomy’, nations that fail at creating a decent learning environment will lag behind,and end up becoming virtual colonies of those that do succeed in this regard (TheBoston Group: 2004). With some notable exceptions, in most of the developing worldthe potential of higher education to promote development was being realized onlymarginally (UNDP: 2000). After realizing its role in economic development, higher education has started to regain its importance in academic and policy discussions in the developing countrieswith substantial Muslim populations. A series of reports have been written in the lastdecade on the state of higher education in those countries. A study of these reportsshows that there is a broad similarity among the issues faced by higher education inthose countries. (Aga Khan University: 2002). The dependency of economic development on academic research, innovations and technological advancement may have multi dimensional linkages and inter-dependency between the availability of fiscal resources and accelerated marketabletechnological advancement. The identification of the nature of those relations is the coreobjective of this study.
The other objectives of the study is to test the following hypothesis:1. The economic development has strong and significant correlation with the higher
2. The second hypothesis in this study is concerned with the causes of deterioration and stagnancy in the system of higher education in Muslim World. Two alternativehypotheses are proposed to test: (I) the lack of genuine research, stagnancy anddeterioration in the Muslim world universities were created by internal systematicproblems. Those problems may be a joint outcome of socio-political and culturaldeterioration and the lack of economic resources, (II) the alternative hypothesis is Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World that this deterioration in the higher education is an outcome of a conspiracy ofexternal forces. 2. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND HIGHER EDUCATION: CAUSALRELATIONS If one looks at the history of economic development, it will be difficult to find out a"Cause and Effect" relationship. The Greek Empire was on the top rank of economicdevelopment in 500 B.C. Then Romans came on the top rank. Then, Persia, Arabia,Turkey, India, Spain, Germany, Britain, Russia, China, and Japan reached respectively,at the top of the ladder. Now, the United States is on the number one position. A research report, published by the Stanford Economic Department establishes a link between economic history, economic theory, and the application of technology(World Bank: 2000). The sources of competitive strength are never constant for long.
The scientific developments in academia are required for technological advancements.
Scientific development is an outcome of the knowledge-creating activities in theuniversities. This scientific development produces innovations, inventions andtechnological advancements. If a country wants to achieve the higher growth targets, itwill have to create the links between academic institutions, industrial units, andeconomic planning. America's success has been sustained because of the harmonizationbetween academia, industrial management and macro economic policy making.
The ability to adopt such dynamic changes requires a crucial talent. The promotion and adoption of innovations and inventions in the physical and biologicalsciences should have consistency with social and economic requirements and activities.
Social and management sciences provide the catalyst and environment to convert thosescientific developments into economic development.
History of economic development gives a common observation from all the developed nations. The developments in the social and management structures wereappeared always before the technological and scientific changes. There is no evidence inthe history where this process is reversed. Those policies have always failed when triedto revolutionize the scientific and technological development before socio culturalchanges. History of development (Table 3) concludes that monetary and industrial developments were linked with the parallel socio-political developments. The physicaland biological sciences were developed in those societies where the scholasticdevelopment in Economics, Management Sciences, Sociology, Psychology, PoliticalSciences, Administrative Sciences, and Anthropology were taking place. One cannotignore the role of Rousseau, Karl Marx, Martin Luther and Keynes in development ofthe nations. The changes in the western nations’ overall attitude in favor of scientificdevelopment were occurred after the end of crusades and after a successful religion’sreform movement. In Europe scientific development followed the societal change afterRousseau’s ideas and Martin Luther’s religious reform’s movement. This theory isconfirmed also by the Muslim history. The Arabian land produced the intellectuals,scientists and scholars after the changing in the social attitudes because of the raising ofIslam in the region. The region has not produced such scientists and thinkers in the ageof brutality. The golden age of scientific development appeared in the Muslim Worldafter social and managerial changes in Arab land. Soviet scientific development wasbased on the changes in the social and administrative ordering in the states of USSR. The United Sates reached at the top of ladder after the constitutional and social reformsat the end of a civil war. Before the scientific and technological development in theUnited States, it introduced the concept of personal freedom, law against the slavery andmany more such reforms. The United States joined and led the journey of the scientificdevelopment after socio-political reforms in the society. Such socio-cultural changes arecreated sometime by endogenous factors like the Islamic revolution in the Arabiandesserts, religious and social reforms in Europe, and the political reforms in SovietRussia and the United States. However, exogenous factors can also play an importantrole - like industrial development in Japan after World War II. It is a misunderstanding that scientific development changes the societal attitudes. The development of social sciences leads to the scientific development. Thechange in the social attitude must be 1st step in the planning of scientific development. Itis also a misunderstanding that militancy power or political hegemony lead to theeconomic development. The economic developments in those societies, which do nothave the capabilities of continuity in the creation of knowledge, were not sustainable.
The borrowed technology is not a source of sustainable development. Historicalevidences confirm that civilization with great militancy power have been failing tosurvive without a continuity in the knowledge creating activities through social andacademic development. Ottoman Empire, the Mongols brutality, the ancient Romans,and history of the other empires show the irrelevancy of militancy power for sustainableeconomic developments. Use and hold of militancy power – whether in a plannedmilitary institution or individual terrorism – has not proved a source of sustainabledevelopment. The noble missions or terrorist activities – whatever you call it – inPhilistine, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon and the Subcontinenthave not proved their utility for long-term development. Militancy powers of ancientRomans, Persians, Mongols and the former Soviet Union have not confirmed thecorrelation of military power with the sustainable development. The militancy powermay be useful to defend the economic assets and structures; it cannot develop the long-term economic structure. The creation of knowledge is the only factor for sustainableeconomic development; all other factors provide the environment and catalysts for thedevelopment process.
Table 3Correlated Development in Physical and Social SciencesYear Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World Table 5Muslim World Contribution in the Economic & Scientific DevelopmentEconomic Variable Outstanding External / Foreign Debt Finance and InvestmentMarket Capitalization Research and DevelopmentNumber of Scientists and Engineers in R & D Number of Technicians in R & D Applied for Patents by Non-Residents Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World 2.2 Transformation of Research into Economic Development To convert the knowledge into economic development, universities lead (do not follow)the industry. It is a notable difference between the role of higher education andvocational education that higher education institutions lead the industries because theywork for future. They innovate, invent and develop the new products, process andsystems with the help of new ideas and knowledge advancement. While, vocationaleducation supplies the workers and qualified professionals for the existing system. Economic growth, technological advancement, scientific development, knowledge creating activities and academic research are jointly determined factors. Theacademic research is ultimately transformed into economic growth. However,objectivity, originality and acceptability are the pre conditions for the correlatedmovements of the above-mentioned factors. By objectivity we mean a pre-defined andclear objective of the research. Useless and some time even meaningless objectives aredefined in the research. The prophet of Islam had prayed for God’s protection from aknowledge, which did not provide the yield. To develop the purposeless hypothesis isjust wasting of time, resources and abilities. It was a common practice in academicresearch that researchers have been trying to prove the non-objectives or to discuss thenon-issues. By originality we means there must be no plagiarism; it is very common in the developing world that doctoral dissertations and articles in the journals to fulfill thequantity of publications are heavily based on plagiarism either in the form of a borrowedmodel or reproducing the text or replication of the methodology. By acceptability we mean the work must be passed through an unbiased, impartial, fool proof system of review and scientific process. At first stage, it must beaccepted by the academia, at second stage by the industry and at the third stage by thesociety or masses. The basic function of the academic journals – peer reviewed journals– is to ensure the application of those pre-conditions in a research work – objectivity,originality and acceptability. Those journals provide the brief and initial details of newlycreated knowledge with identification of the areas of its utilization and policyimplications. Such published works may also be useful for the investors, industrialistsand policy makers in searching of the new ventures. The research-oriented higher education in the western world developed this viable and objective oriented research system in the universities. First, the ideas aresubmitted in the universities, where scientists, researchers, or economists test and verifythe originality and usefulness of the ideas. Out of 300 submitted ideas, one hundred are converted only into small projects at the centers of excellence in the universities andonly eight ideas are reached at the stage of large projects. The industrialists and largebusiness organizations provide funds for research only for those eight projects to get theresearch outcomes for commercialization (Mehar: 2004b). One out of 3000 ideas maysucceed in the ultimate marketing of the new innovations. This commercialization ofideas, which accelerates the economic development – is transformed from academies tothe centers of industrial investments. The big financial houses and the largepharmaceutical, chemical and engineering companies are included in the researchsponsors of the big universities. It was observed (Mehar: 2000) that the overall rate of return from successful innovations was averaged 56%, compare that with the 16% average return on otherinvestments over a period of 30 years. However, the research does not provide aguarantee for such handsome profits. The attractive profits through innovations aredirectly linked with the high risk. Table: IV shows that one out of 3,000 ideas maysuccess in the marketing of the new innovations, implies that the probability of successis 0.125 (or 12.5 percent); because, the industrialists spend their funds on eight selectedprojects only. The Centers of Excellence in the universities and academic journals playan important role in the screening process. It was observed that academics support research directly leads to technological innovation. Because the returns to creating and adapting new knowledge are difficult forany individual (or any school, firm, or research institute) to appropriate spillover effect –an externality. There will be under investment not only in research itself (even researchaimed at adaptation rather than creation) but also in the key factor in the production ofresearch, namely researchers. That is one reason why universities and governmentsgenerally subsidize graduate students acquiring research degrees rather than thoseearning professional degrees – the latter already pay off handsomely to the degreeholders (World Bank: 1999). The creation, acquisition and absorption of knowledge are three different activities required for knowledge-based economies. The most important step in creatinga research and innovation environment is to promote higher education and researchactivities in academia. The production of new knowledge is generally associated withhigher-level teaching and research. In industrial countries university research accountsfor a large share of domestic R&D. The same is true in most developing countries, buton a smaller scale. Of Course, high and fast growing university enrollment do notguarantee rapid growth. Universities thus serve a multiplicity of roles – not onlyenhancing the skills of future workers but also producing new knowledge and adoptingknowledge produced elsewhere. The fact is that universities throughout the worldpackage these activities – teaching and research. – Suggests that there is strongcomplementariness between them (World Bank: 1999). According to the globallyaccepted and adopted system of knowledge related activities, the universities areresponsible for the ‘production or creation’ of knowledge. In the golden age of Muslimcivilization, this function has also been performing by the universities (Darul-Uloomand Jamias) in the major cities of the Muslim world. Transformation and acquisition ofknowledge is a subordinated activity, which is performed through teaching processeither in the universities or colleges or the institutes of professional and vocationaleducation. While, the absorption of knowledge is a broad based activity mainly coveredby the industrial and commercial enterprises and the socio-political administration andgenerally speaking by the entire society. Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World Table 7The Pioneer Research Publications in 20th CenturyYear of Interpretation of DreamsGeneral Theory of Being and NothingressThe Common Sense of Book of Baby and Child CaseTheory of Migration Theory of the Wiping out ofDinosaurs Table 8Inventions and Discoveries in 20th Century Finding Fossilized Remains of a Human Like Creature Opened a tomb of Pharaoh who Died in 1325 BC First Successful Launch of Liquid Fitted Rocket Evidence that the Universe is Expanding Artificial Introducing Radioactivity Scale to Measure the Strengths of Earthquakes Green-house Effect (by Temperature Study) Method for Long Term Storage of Blood Plasma Ideas for Dispersing Liquids and Powders in a Spray Electronic Computer to Crack German Codes Fluoride water supply to reduce Tooth Decay Radiocarbon Bating to determine the Age Data gathering Project on UFO Sightings Amniocentesis test for Genetic Abnormalities X-Ray Photographs of DNA to show Molecular Structure Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World 1st Artificial Satellite into Orbit First Implanted Cardiac Peacemaker Finding of Fossilized Skull of Human Ancestor who Lived1.8 million years ago Descends the Deepest Spot in Oceans 1st Successful Coronary - Artery By pass Operation Discovery of Cosmic Background Radiation 1st Successful Human Heart Transplant Vitamin C as Cure for Everything from Cancer to theCommon Cold Ban on DDT because of Environmental Effects Finding of a 3.2 Million Year Old Skeleton Discovery of Endogenous Morphine in the Brain 1st Supersonics Command airplane in Service Identification of new Bacterial Disease Transmitted byTicks Bans Chlorofluorocarbon to Protect Earth's Ozone Layer Discovery of Earlier Signs of the AIDS Approval of 1st Genetically Engineered Drug Replace of Heart by Mechanical One The Genetic Sequence of the AID Virus 1st Patent for Genetically Engineered Animal Formal Start of the Human Genome Project- Launch of the Hubble Space Telescope 300,000 Years Old Paintings Discovered Roaming the Surface Mars & Sending the Picture back toEarth Benchmarks in Academic Development Foundation of the University of Paris, France Foundation of the University of Oxford, Britain Printing of first moveable book, Europe Foundation of the University of Harvard, USA Newton’s Laws of Motion, Britain Darwin Theory of Origin of Species, Britain Einstein Theory of Relativity, Germany/ USA/ Israel Intelligence Testing System, France Intellectual Functioning System, Germany Linking Mathematics with Logic, USA General Theory of Employment by Keynes, Britain The Affluent Society by Galbraith, USA A Brief History of Time by Hawking, Britain Table 10Milestones in Health & Medical Sciences Screening Test for Cervical/ Uterine Cancer Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World In the multi polar world the concept of Muslim economies is being identified. Is thereany Muslim World? In general, Muslim World is considered as the biggest componentof the Third World. However, it is some thing more than the sub set of the Third Word(Aga Khan Foundation: 2002). In the second half of twentieth century, more than 30Muslim countries have come into existence and now world map has more than 55Muslim countries. The fall of Soviet Union brought also a group of Central Asian statesout onto the international stage as the independent countries of Kazakhstan,Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyz, with all exceptKazakhstan having clear Muslim majorities in their populations. To define a "Muslim world" is not obvious. There are said to be more than one billion Muslims in the world at the present time. According to the EncyclopediaBritannica, 637 million Muslims live in Asia (excluding former USSR), 278 million inAfrica, about 13 million in Europe, 3 million in North America, one million in LatinAmerica and more than 39 million in former USSR. Some of these numbers aresuspiciously precise and some are disputed (e.g., the U.S. Muslim community claims 6million in the U.S. alone). With the North American population the Muslims in Europeremind us that the "Muslim world" is more than a subset of the developing world. A large part of the world's Muslim population lives in countries where Muslims are not in the majority. Muslims are big minorities in China, India, United States,Canada and Britain, and those minorities cover thirty-three percent of the world'sMuslim population. But there is a natural disposition, despite the huge Muslimminorities, to think of the Muslim majority states as making up the "Muslim World".
Some of these countries, like Pakistan, Mauritania, and Iran, are officially "IslamicRepublics"; though Bangladesh is a "Peoples' Republic", Indonesia is simply a"Republic"; Saudi Arabia is a "Kingdom" and Qatar flatly the "State of Qatar". Somecountries with predominately Muslim populations like Turkey or Iraq have had clearlyor even aggressively secular governments and ideologies (AKU: 2002).
More than one-third countries in the world belong to Muslim World. Muslim countries represent 20 percent population and 23 percent surface area of the world. It isa visible indicator of the importance of Muslim world. Despite its 20 percent contribution in world population and 23 percent in world surface area, the share of Muslim world is less than 5 percent in ‘World DomesticProduct’ and less than 8 percent in global trade. It is surprising that alone India's GDP -in term of the purchasing power parity - is more than the aggregate GDP of entireMuslim world (World Bank: 2000). The share of Muslim countries in World GDP does not match with their population. It is a source of the low per capita income in Muslim countries. It isnoteworthy that share of the Muslim countries in World GDP is sharply declining. It hasreached at 4.5 percent in 2003 from 7.5 percent in 1980. It is considerable that GDP isnot a stock concept; it is a flow of resources during a year. A sharp decline in the flow ofresources implies the reduction in the wealth stock in future. It indicates also thedeficiency in the availability of funds for development. Despite of the resource-based trading, - oil, cotton, textile and other primary goods from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Bangladesh, Indonesia, andMalaysia -Muslim Economies cannot get even 10 percent share in the global tradeactivities. The Balance of Payments of the Muslim World has been showing adverse signs for the last several years. The aggregate trade deficit for Muslim countries was 155billion dollars from 1994 to 1998. It means Muslim World transferred 155 billiondollars of capital resources to other countries. In addition, twenty-six percent of theworld debts are payable by the Muslim countries. The poverty in Muslims is rapidlyincreasing. At present 1.2 billion Muslims are living on the earth. Out of those 650millions are living at below the poverty line. More than 42,000 companies are listed in the world stock exchanges, less than 4000 belong to Muslim World. Majority of the listed companies in Muslim Worldrepresents the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and family ownerships. Thosesmall and medium entities among the gigantic Multinational Corporations (MNCs)cannot develop the path of research and development (R&D), economic domination oraccelerated growth. Those companies do not have sufficient resources to invest in thenew ventures and research activities; while, the investment in knowledge-basedtechnologies and sophisticated research is necessary for accelerated economicdevelopment. Table 5 shows some statistics for the Muslim World contribution in the research and development (R&D) activities. Only two percent of the scientists and one percent ofthe technicians involved in research activities belong to Muslim countries. Muslimworld’ share in the new innovations and inventions in terms of patents registrationrecord and the expenditures on R&D is less than one percent. 3.2 State of the Higher Education in Muslim World Table 6 to 10 show the history of knowledge-based economic development. The journeyof knowledge-based economies was started during the seventeenth century – known asage of industrial revolution and mass production. Newton’s laws, Stephen’s engine,printing press and many other inventions and discoveries were contributed during thecentury. This journey was entered into the age of information in 21st century. It isimplied that Muslim World has no contribution at all in the development of modernsociety. One cannot ignore the services of Western world in the improvement of the quality of human life. West served the humanity by its great contribution in the education andhealth services. Now, since a long time, Harvard leads the ranking of 500 universities.
Of the world’s top 20 universities, all but three - Cambridge, Oxford and Tokyo - are inthe United States (5 in California state). This ranking was based on several measures ofresearch performance, and academic quality, including academic citations, assessed bythe Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The Economist (1999) appraised the services ofWest in health sector by pointing out that “The Bible promised 70 years of life, but itwas surely God’s will that most adults in fact had 30 or 40. And when three or fourinfants died in every ten, who could imagine that the figure would one day be six orseven per 1000”.
Although, Islam created several societies – in Iraq, Spain, Iran and Central Asia – where sciences were promoted during the five centuries, from 700 to 1200 AD. Thisperiod of anti scientific attitudes in Europe is classified as dark ages, “When in VanWinkle’s own continent, Christianity was dominant, but the liveliest culture wasMuslim. Europe was yet to acquire from Arabs the basics of public hygiene and health,the navigators’ instruments that would one day take its galleons to the ends of earth, thevery zero and notation that would enable its scientists to calculate; even much of its ownGreek past” (The Economist: 1999). However, it is unfortunate that no mentionablecontribution by the Muslim scholars, scientists, or academicians was observed during Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World the last five centuries. Today, no one looks to the Muslim world for breakthroughs inscientific research, and for good reasons. According to the Chronicle (2004), the 21st countries that make up the Arab region are struggling to teach basic science at theuniversity level. For poor countries such as Yemen and Sudan, the problem is a lack ofmoney and resources. For wealthier ones, such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia,complacency and a relatively new and underdeveloped university system have hamperedprogress. The lack of significant private industry throughout the region also means thatuniversities are essentially dependent on government to provide jobs for their graduates.
The only opportunity after graduation for science majors is teaching in schools, and thatis not the best thing a young person would look for as a career. The textbooks are almosta decade old.
University of California at Berkeley Massachusetts Institute of Technology University of California at San Diego University y of California at Los Angles University of California at San Francisco Most of the recurring budgets of the universities go towards salaries and stipends, whilethe major part of development budget is spent for the construction of buildings andpurchase of vehicles. The stipend to the students in Saudi Arabia accounts for 40 percentof the Ministry of Higher Education’s annual budget. The United Nations’ Development Program and the Kuwait–based Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development released a study showing how dire the situation is.
Among the findings: No Arab country spends more than 0.2 percent of its GDP on
scientific research. By contrast, the United States spends more than 10 times thatamount. Fewer than one in 20 Arab university students pursue scientific disciplines.
There are only 18 computers per 1000 people in the Arab World. The global averagesare 78 per 1000. Only 370 industrial patients were issued to people in Arab countriesbetween 1980 and 2000. In South Korea during that same period 16,000 industrialpatents were issued. No more than 10,000 books were translated into Arabic over theentire past millennium, equivalent to the number translated into Spanish each year (TheChronicle: 2004). Among Arab leaders there is a belief that science and technology,research and development, is something that only rich countries can do it, and it’s a verydefeatist attitude (The Chronicle: 2004).
The Arab World cannot produce the research necessary to develop a strong private sector; but without a dynamic private sector there is little money to invest in scientificresearch. Even at the best institutions in the region, like the Jordan University of Scienceand Technology, with 16,000 students and 650 faculty members, money for research ispittance. (The Chronicle: 2004). It is strange that the United Arab Emirates announcedthat it was creating a national research foundation to pump more money into scientificresearch and help establish research based PhD programs, while the universities in theregion were not in a position to offer doctoral level education. The undergraduateinstitutes in the United States (USA) take 30 years or more to transform into institutionswhere research is done, while, majority of universities in Muslim World was establishedwithout any experience in the research or postgraduate level teaching. The Harvard Report (The Chronicle: 2004) had studied the state of higher education and research in the arc of countries from Indonesia to East Africa and madesevere judgments on the deficiencies they found. There is a lack of accountability. Theuniversities have become ivory towers, and in most countries in the Arab World, peopledo not touch them. The weaknesses are systematic. In many universities in the rest ofthe world it takes a whole year to search for a president, but in the Arab world auniversity president is appointed in one day and sometimes even less. That is part of theoverall governance. If these things would change, everything else would change. There was great faculty in Syria in the 1950s, which had been trained in France. Salaries of professors were elite. Now the teaching loads are high and the salaries are solow that professors have to find outside work to survive. And if one goes into anyscience lab at the University of Damascus today he will find equipment that has notbeen updated since the 1960s. The system has failed to connect with students’ brains toencourage them to think and use information intelligently. It is dangerous that studentsare memorizing every word in the science books, and those who get the highest gradesare going into the most difficult specializations in the university. Universities in Muslimworld serve merely as coaching centers. This is the reason that their graduates cannotadd equitable value in the economy. They are not serving as knowledge producingfactories. Unfortunately, they are just producing the storywriters, clerks and techniciansin all sciences. So, the funds that should have been invested in higher education to bringout ‘comprehensive minds’ are spent on the training and acquisition of clerical skills. Pakistan’s situation is particularly critical, and some consider the system to be in a virtual state of collapse. Pakistan’s history of investment and planning in educationbegan immediately after its independence in 1947 with the consideration of “suchimmediate projects (as) the Provision of Senior All-India Polytechnics on the lines ofMassachusetts Institute of Technology”. More than half a century later, that“consideration” still has no hope of being implemented. The next major educationalpolicy effort was National Commission on education, 1959. It was a serious attempt totackle with the problems of university education and still remain extremely relevant. Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World The Education Policies of 1970, 1972, 1979, 1992 and 1998 had their own bags ofunrealistic (and ultimately unrealized) targets. However they all shared the belief that bythe stroke of a pen, without sound planning and investment, higher education would betaken care. Some exacerbated the situation by recommending that new Universitiesshould be opened when it was obvious that the existing ones were not functioning (TheBoston: 2004). The present series of attempts by the Higher Education Commissionfocuses on the quantitative jump in the number of PhDs in Pakistani universities byoffering monetary incentives and assistance. The system does not ensure the quality,output and economic relevancy of those PhDs. This policy is being a cause of academicdemotion of non-PhDs – but sound and renowned – researchers and academicians. Most of the research in Pakistan is geared toward promotion, and it is found that faculty only does it as a requirement to get promoted. While, research is a hard workingand time-consuming effort, which has no short cut. The rules and procedures for thepromotion, selection and rewarding have been spoiling the academic qualities of theuniversities on human resource fronts. It is astonishing fact, that on average more than90 percent faculty members cannot fulfill the basic requirement to become a professor ina university. Despite the fact, the universities in Pakistan are offering M. Phil and PhDprograms. Academicians and researchers of those universities do not have anyrecognition in the research and academic circles. It is a worldwide practice that researchprofessors are selected on the basis of their last five years cumulative-citations. Usually,their publications and citations are based on top 15 journals in their disciplines. It wasconcluded in a research (Mehar: 1999) that a full professor affiliated with topuniversities are placed an average of 1 out of 3 articles in top 4 refereed journals,compared to 1 out of 6 articles for professors at lower ranked universities. It indicatesthat publications in the top journals by the faculty members are highly correlated withthe university ranking. However, in case of Pakistan, some universities have launchedtheir own research journals, to fulfill the publication requirements only. They try toavoid the international referral and citation system. The so-called journals are notclassified as research journals. In fact, they attempt to encourage their faculty andresearch students by mean of the publication of their articles in the in-house journals.
The structure of their editorial boards and the contents of material tell the truth that thepublishers do not have any idea about the research journals. Majority of the so-calledresearch journals seem the students’ magazines. The published materials in thosemagazines are not accepted as research/ knowledge contributing articles by anyreputable university. Mathematical juggleries and vigorously debates – oral or written-are mere tools of the game of mental luxuries, which are being played in the universitiesof Muslim World. One cannot find the addition of knowledge in the so-called researchworks and doctoral dissertations completed in the universities of Muslim World.
The governance and top-level authorities do not have an idea of customs, procedures and norms to measure the quality and standard of higher education. Theyconsider the higher education merely an extension in college level education. They donot realize that ‘research’ is a basic requirement for serving in a university. Researchorientation is the only difference between college and university education. It is observed that the public sector universities in Muslim world have good physical resources, but they have failed to conduct the useful and economic-orientedresearch. It is a dishonest judgment that financial and physical resources are mainhurdles in the research activities. It has been observed in many cases that huge nationalfunds were wasted in the name of higher education and research. In the commentary on second millennium the Economist (1999) claimed that “This hasbeen the millennium of the West; first Europe, later its offshoots too, above all the giantone in North America. It has exported worldwide its soldiers, missionaries and empire-builders, its goods and its technology, its political and business systems, even itsprincipal currency. Like it or not (and much of the world often has not), for the momentthe West has triumphed. Nothing proves the triumph will endure. Already one quitesmall Asian nation, Japan, has made a huge mar on the World economy. Who knowswhat will happen when China and (surely, one day) India really get moving? AlreadyChristianity, the faith once almost synonymous with Europe, is decaying in itshomelands – as its rival, Islam, is not. Electoral democracy, the rule of law, the toleranceof dissent, the belief in individual rights: all of these which now seem characteristic ofthe West, are quite recent inventions, repeatedly triumphed done in the region thatproclaims them; and there is no guarantee (though fair reason to expect) that they willlast, there or elsewhere. Still for now the world is one largely shaped by the West”. The United State is the leader of the Western Bloc, and the carrier of the ideology's banner throughout the world. Christianity has one way of spreading itself: Pope JohnPaul in a public statement had mentioned that “Christianity triumphed Europe in 1stmillennium, America in 2nd millennium and now it will triumph Asia in thirdmillennium”. Now, the United States is the biggest power, which triumphed many wars, not only in military battlefields but also in the fields of science, technology, economics andpolitics. It was not a defeat of Islam. It was not a deficiency in Muslim soldiers orgenerals. It was the deficiency and weakness of Muslim intellectuals, scholars andprofessors. It was the weakness of the universities in Muslim world. The Economist’s commentary, Pop John Paul statement, and the United States victories are the ultimate consequences of the intellectual development in the westernuniversities (and obviously a long term deterioration in the knowledge creating activitiesin Muslim world). The institutions of higher education in Muslim world are the basicresponsible factor for the backwardness in Muslim world. No Muslim country has apower equal to the militancy power of the United States, not because of the shortage ofresources in Muslim World; but because of the domination of US thinkers, intellectuals,economists, scientists, scholars, and academicians. The powerful corporate sector of theUnited States can control all over the world through their exports and marketingstrategies; not only because of their high quality products but also because of theirresearchers in the field of marketing and business management. They can visualize andplan for long-term strategies. The US has a powerful financial sector; not because ofinherited wealth and resources, but because of their financial expertise. The professorsand financial experts in the United States can utilize all those complicated models,techniques and theories, which even cannot be initially understood in the averageuniversities of Muslim world. Those contemporary theories and models are even notincluded in the post-graduate level curriculum. The declining share of resource-based commodities and increased share of knowledge-based products in the world trade indicate the further deterioration in therelative strength of Muslim world. The Muslim World has to transfer its wealth to thewest for buying the all knowledge based and even manufactured products.
Pharmaceutical and communication products, Electronics, Automobiles, Arms andImmunation, and Chemicals, are included in those products, which are required forsurvival. Even in the banking, insurance, and financial services, Muslim countries haveto depend on the systems and institutions of the Western World. There is no other
Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World option. This process will go faster in the age of biotechnology for food and other resources. One can image the conditions, when substitute for cotton and petroleum willbe available. It is notable that cotton is a major product of Pakistan, Egypt andUzbekistan, but Israel has the highest yield in the production of cotton. Textile is a mainproduct of Pakistan but its machinery, accessories and chemicals are imported fromindustrialized countries. Oil is the major product of Muslim countries, its by-productsand exploration is in the hand of western investors. Most important strategic step is the acquisition of knowledge from West. Which knowledge and technology can be transferred by the west; and if west is ready totransfer all their knowledge and technology without any bias and prejudice, are Muslimscholars and scientists in a position to absorb and utilize this knowledge? 5 CONCLUSIONS AND POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS The analysis in section II has confirmed the importance of higher education forsustainable economic development. It implies the necessity for a new reform effort inhigher education in Muslim World. However, there must be a strategy of both whyreform is needed, and how it might be actually implemented. It is noteworthy to mention at this stage that it is a common opinion in the Muslim world that Mongols’ attacks on the academic and cultural centers of Muslim World in12th and 13th centuries and many other disastrous incidents were the causes ofdeterioration of Muslim World. History of development does not accept this justification,Western world has been facing most severe crisis in the human history (Table: 12). It isa matter of good fortunate that Muslim World has never faced such severe crisis. Table 12 Major Crises and Disasters in the History of Today’s Developed World Black Death (1347-49) killed one European in threeWorld Influenza Epidemic (1918) killed 25 million persons in world; 500,000in USA onlyGreat Depression in 1930Civil War in USABloody Revolution in RussiaWorld War INazi’s TakeoverJapan’s attack on China Killing and Migration of the millions of JewsAtom Bomb on JapanCold War (1945-89) between USSR and Western World One can found at least three missing links in the system of higher education in MuslimWorld. First missing link can be observed between the strategy for promotion ofresearch culture and the curriculum. The policy for the development of academicresearch and the system of examinations work in opposite directions. Several modeswere adopted to develop and implement the updated curriculums. However, despite ofrepeated efforts, this objective was not achieved. In most of the cases, the curriculumdevelopment committees recommended again and again the outdated books and topics,and even if they recommended contemporary topics, the methods of delivery and knowledge transformation does not create the research orientation in the universitygraduates. The system emphasizes the memorization of texts and mechanical use of theconcepts and formulas. This problem was created because of the stereotype lectures andthe extensive use of the study guides and short notes. In the efforts to develop the research culture in universities, the regulating bodies in Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia have been emphasizing on the use of peer-reviewedjournals – certain number of journals with certain cumulative impact factors isrecommended. Those efforts are not reflected in the curriculum and teaching approachesin the universities. To check the use of peer reviewed journals, development ofcreativity, and level of teaching, the subject wise curriculum and the examinationpapers, must be contemplated by the regulating bodies and foreign experts. It isastonishing fact that undergraduate (and even sometime high school) level standards andnorms are adopted at the postgraduate level examinations in the universities. Indevelopment of the curriculum, the regulating bodies will have to ensure that the job ofcurriculum development must be performed by those experts who must have concernedqualification, sufficient knowledge of current issues and verifiable professional orresearch experience. To achieve the target of high caliber research and delivery ofhigher education in its real sense, the regulating agencies and governing bodies of theuniversities will have to strictly follow the international norms and standards in theselection and promotion of faculties and have to stop the nepotism, political influencesand lobbying in the administrative affairs of universities. The second missing link is the disconnection of doctoral degrees with knowledge creation. The system checks only the ritual requirements. It cannot verify the objectivity,originality and acceptability of research work. Such degrees will increase only thenumber of PhD degree holders. They cannot create knowledge for economicdevelopment. A fairly large number of PhDs have been working at the senior levelpositions in the Universities in Muslim World, who did not produced even a singleresearch paper in their entire academic life. They succeeded to get a PhD degree bycompleting the ritual requirements. To check the quality and standard of a dissertationand to assess the abilities of a doctoral degree holder, the certain number of publicationswith certain magnitude of impact factor must be determined. It is the only criterion,which has lesser chances to cheat the system. It may be applied simultaneously anduniformly for all local and foreign, private and public sectors, new and old PhDs and itwill provide an unbiased and uniform benchmark. The application of this criterion forselections, promotions and retentions of the faculty will provide unbiased andtransparent results. It will also be helpful in the screening out of non-genuine researchers. Third missing link is between the academic research and economic development. It is unfortunate that on the name of economic and industrial requirement, universities aredelivering the clerical and mechanical skills. They are stepping down to a level ofvocational institutes. The universities must feel the difference between the highereducation for industrial and economic development and vocational education forindustrial requirements. To develop the meaningful relations with the industry and toaccelerate the economic growth, university faculties should not deliver the stereotypelectures from out dated books. To develop the economy, universities will have to giveextreme importance to research activities. To achieve the target of high-caliber research,they have to create the research-based learning environment in the academia. They willhave to find the new technologies to achieve success on economic and business fronts,to develop organizational structures, to maximize profit, and to minimize risks. They Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World will have to create new ideas; they will have to formulate new theories and procedures.
All of those are the parts and elements of the knowledge creating activities.
The major responsibility of the universities is to create knowledge. Communication of knowledge is the secondary responsibility for universities, althoughit is the only responsibility for schools and colleges. High caliber research, innovationsand creative activities are inseparable part of the university education. If institutes anduniversities are not doing this, they should be given a status of affiliated colleges, notchartered universities. The large number of universities will not add any positivecompetition or output. They will create problems in education sector by unhealthycompetition, shortage of funding, commercialization, and compromising quality.
Competition is a healthy sign but excess competition creates severe problems in theacademic institutions. Distribution of students among the large number of institutionscan creates shortage of funds available for development and research in those genuineuniversities where heavy capitals were invested.
Lack of resources, industry’s willingness and the governments’ determination were not confirmed as the causes of deterioration in the higher education in Muslim countries.
The universities and their professors are considered as symbol of dignity. They enjoy ahigh respect and honor in the society. Government, bureaucracy, armed forces, feudallords, and politicians do not disregard the universities’ teachers; nobody criticize (oreven challenge) their role, contribution and capabilities. In most of the cases, theuniversities have good infrastructures, rich physical facilities, central locations,subsidized services, over employments, guaranteed financial flows and sense ofrecognition. Even some universities in Arab region, Malaysia, Pakistan, BruneiDarussalam and Bangladesh are much better than average universities in western world– in terms of physical and financial resources. The industry in Muslim countries hasalways been contributing in the promotion of higher education by granting funds,development of infrastructure, set up of academic institutions, providing scholarshipsand creation of employment opportunities. By the same time, the industrial sectors havealso been complaining for the lack of proper abilities in the university graduates. Thiscomplains is not for the non-university qualified professionals e.g. actuaries, charteredaccountants, chartered financial analysts and cost and management accountants etc. Thisclearly indicates a serious flaw in the university-level education. The on goingmonitoring and evaluation of the knowledge transformation activities is not possible inthe semester system where the same professor work as teacher and examiner. The onlytool to confirm the level and quality of teaching is the recent contribution by a professorin the knowledge producing activities – publications, inventions, or researchsupervisions. This tool is generally not applied in the universities in Muslim world. Lackof human resources – proper faculty – is the basic problem in the universities in Muslimworld.
It is obvious that problem is systematic and internal. The hypothesis of external conspiracies is not confirmed. Muslim world whatever their institutional disadvantages,have access to one great asset: the technological knowledge accumulated in industrialcountries. They should tap this global stock of knowledge. Acquiring knowledge fromabroad is the best way to enlarge the knowledge base. Indeed, one of the clearest lessonsfrom Japan and the newly industrializing economies in East Asia is the value ofimporting - and building on – established technology from abroad. It is a common observation that faculty and academician in the universities in Muslim world and particularly in Pakistan blame the International Monetary Fund(IMF), the World Bank, and the United States for their underdevelopment andbackwardness. Majority of those academicians have failed to produce even a single peace of research article in the scientific journals. They want to be fame through thepublications in the newspapers and public magazines, where they can politicize theissues without using the scientific process. Adam Smith Institute. 1965. Why the Global Economy Needs Nations, London: The Aga Khan Foundation. 2002. State of the Higher Education in Muslim World, Report Submitted to His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan; London: 2002. Castillo, Daniel Del. 2005. The Arab World’s Scientific Desert: Once a leader in research, the region now struggle to keep up, Foreign Policy Research Institute,Pennsylvania. Dawn. 2004. Statement by the Chairman Higher Education Commission, The daily Helen V. Milner. 1998. International Political Economy: Beyond Hegemonic Stability, Huntington, Samuel P. 1994. The Clash of Civilizations, Boston: Harvard University Institute for Strategic Studies at Harvard University. IMF Survey. 1999. Risk to the World Economy, International Monetary Fund: International Chronicle, 2004, volume 50, issue 26, page A36.
Krugman, Paul. 1999. Economic Culture Wars, The Economist, October 24, 1999.
Laudan, L. 1977. Progress and Its Problems. Towards a Theory of Scientific Growth,
Berkeley: University of California Press. Makdisi, G. 1981. The Rise of Colleges: Institutions of Learning in Islam and the West Mehar, Ayub. 1999. Dependency Theories and Muslim World Karachi: Business Mehar, Ayub. 2000. Research as a Catalyst of Economic Growth, Karachi: Business Mehar, Ayub. 2000. The Growth Secret, Karachi: Business Recorder 1999.
Mehar, Ayub. 2003. Pluralism in Muslim Soci eties: Its effects of development process,
1st, Annual Conference on Critical Issues in Pluralism, Oxford University. Mehar, Ayub. 2004. Creation of Knowledge in Business Schools; Karachi: Business Mehar, Ayub. 2004. Socio Economic Posi tioning of Muslim World, Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences (Paper Submitted), Karachi University. Mirdal, Gunnar. 1975. Asian Drama, Reprint by the National Bank of Pakistan Karachi Sachs, Jeffery. 2000. A New Map of the World, The Economists June 24, 2000.
Smith, Adam. 1759. Theory of the Moral Sentiments, London: The Adam Smith
Stehr, N. 1994. Knowledge Societies, London: SAGE. Journal of Management and Social Sciences From Knowledge Creation to Economic Development: The Missing Links in Muslim World Stiglitz, Joseph E. 1999. Trade and the Development World: A New Agenda, Current The Boston Group. 2004. Higher Education in Pakistan: Towards a Reform Agenda, The Economist. 1994. World Bank Report on Education. The Economist March 5, 1994, The Economist, (1999). Finance and Capitalism, December 19, 1999, Millennium Issue.
World Bank. 1999. Knowledge for Development, World Development Report 2000.
World Bank. 2000. Changing World, World Development Indicator 2000, World Bank.
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World Link. 2001. Corporate Responsibility, March 2001.
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