The Ghulam Ishaq Khan (GIK) Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology was ranked number 24 out of 457 universities across the world (top position amongst all Pakistani universities) on Quality Education[i] by Times Higher Education[ii] (THE) under the University Impact Ranking in relation to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The GIK Institute ranked 201–300 in the overall THE University Impact Ranking 2019[iii] worldwide and is amongst the top 3 universities in Pakistan on the same ranking.
Quality Education is one of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN). This SDG ensures inclusive and equitable quality education and promotes lifelong learning opportunities for all. For the past 25 years, the mission of the GIK Institute has been to impart quality education and develop leaders with the skills necessary to respond to socio-economic challenges. The collective efforts of its founders, management, faculty and alumni have proven fruitful since the Institute has outcompeted many renowned international universities.
A number of criteria[iv] were considered to measure GIK’s strength in providing quality education. The Times Higher Education evaluated the University’s commitment to inclusive education and focus on lifelong learning opportunities to people who are not directly members of the GIK. The Institute, indeed, engages in a number of educational outreach activities with the local community of Topi and offers free access to its library to the general public. It has also remained persistent in awarding scholarships to deserving students from low-income families, enabling many to become the first in their families to pursue higher education.
As a developing country with exponential growth in population, Pakistan faces the challenge of educating an ever-increasing number of youth. Instead of restricting access to its educational resources, GIK has created an environment that makes it easy for the public to learn from the professionals it employs and graduates it produces. The outlook of the Institute towards transferring scientific knowledge without discrimination appears to be in line with a recent report by the World Bank and Elsevier[v] (South Asia: Challenges and benefits of research collaboration in a diverse region) and the UN’s target to encourage more students to enroll in technical, engineering and scientific programmes in developing countries.
The GIK Institute endeavours to have a greater impact on its community in the years to come. Easy access to educational resources and applied research produced by GIK faculty and students is intended to help communities find simple solutions to complex social, environmental and economic problems.