One big reason why western education systems are more successful than the ones in emerging economies like Pakistan
is the exceptionally strong bond between industry and academia. Industry professionals and startup founders alike often work directly with universities to base their curricula on real market needs, enabling students
to learn the right skills that land them to relevant jobs.
The senior BBA students
at NUST Business School (NBS) take the Product Design and Development elective every year. In fall of 2016, NBS teamed up with Aneeqa Ishaq, then manager in customer experience at Telenor Pakistan, to reorient and co-teach the course. The curriculum was adapted to give students
a hands-on experience of user-centered product design through a semester-long Design Thinking
project in collaboration with industry partners.
With a master’s degree from Stanford
d.school and work experience as a designer at HP Labs and Lutron Electronics, Aneeqa is one of the few foreign-educated Pakistanis who come back to work and teach here. It is a rare example of reverse brain drain—movement of human resources from developed economies to fast-growing, developing ones—and I believe this is serving as a foundation for improved industry-academia partnerships in Pakistan.
The Institute of Design at Stanford
is one of the most prestigious design schools
in the world. Besides many other accomplishments, it is famous for popularizing the Design Thinking
methodology—a set of powerful human-centered design strategies that is now being used in companies
like IBM, SAP, Apple, and Google, to name a few.
Since returning to Pakistan, Aneeqa has exposed nearly 1,000 professionals and students
to Design Thinking.
By adding Design Thinking
to the Product Design and Development curriculum and pairing up students
with industry partners to solve real-world business problems using user-centered design, Aneeqa and NBS together have laid the foundation of continued industry-academia collaboration in Pakistan.
This is an excerpt from Tech in Asia. You can read the full article here