Higher Education and Human Capital Building: Perspectives of Faculty and Students
Keywords:Human capital, economic growth, higher educational institutions, engagement with industry
A major role of higher education is to generate human capital for economic growth of a country. The purpose of this qualitative research was to explore how higher education programs are contributing to the development of human capital. The head of the department (HOD) and three faculty members of the Department of Education of a private university in Karachi were interviewed individually for their standpoints on contribution of their department for building human capital. Four focus group interviews were held with students of the department regarding their viewpoints on how the knowledge they acquire was helping them engage practically with industry. Findings from data of HOD projected that instead of tertiary education being the base for developing human capital, the foundation should be laid from the school system. Faculty believed that though they were trying via needs analysis and digital resources to understand industry requirements, management has to play a role in connecting faculty with industry. Students described courses as theoretical and were very vocal about incorporating practical and experiential learning. The education department of this university lacked in the generation of human capital. The way forward is to take pragmatic steps to encourage building of human capital via tertiary education as this is a main factor in ensuring economic progress.