Pakistan - Country Commercial Guide

This is a best prospect industry for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-01-27


Pakistan’s education sector offers substantial opportunities for U.S. educational institutions offering multiple academic programs and courses. With a population of approximately 220 million people, Pakistan is the 5th most populous and 33rd area-wise largest country in the world. About 70 percent of the total population is in youth bulge with an average age of 30 years. 19.3 percent of the total population falls in the age group of 15 to 24 years old. Urdu is the national language and English is the co-official language in Pakistan.  Per UNESCO, Pakistan accounts for the highest number of tertiary level students to the United States, following Australia.  Since 2012-13, there has been a significant growth of around 66 percent in the number of Pakistani students studying in United States, with the principal coursework including Business Management, Accounting, Supply Chain, Data Sciences, Social sciences, Arts, Engineering, and Medical studies. 

At primary and secondary levels, Pakistan follows a different education system, which includes local and federal education boards and an O & A level system.  The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) is an independent, statutory body that oversees and accredits Pakistan’s network of around 200 public and private universities and degree awarding institutes. Pakistani universities and institutions offer most major disciplines at the Bachelors, Masters, MPhil, and Doctorate levels.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • Junior Colleges
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools
  • Language training institutes
  • Skill development institutes
  • Sports training institutes
  • Computer training institutes


The majority of students rely on recruiting agents in preparation for their study abroad efforts.  Student recruiting agencies in Pakistan are interested in increasing the number of partnerships with with U.S. educational institutes.  Compared to schools from other countries, there is a noticeable under representation of U.S. schools in Pakistan which, if improved, would further support recruitment efforts.
Universities from various countries offer affiliate degree programs in collaboration with Pakistani universities, including in Arts, Law, and Business Management.  Institutes in Pakistan expressed interest in establishing further collaboration and exchange programs with American institutes.

Some of the most prevalent forms of raising awareness of U.S. admission programs include seminars, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other online resources. While Pakistani students prefer in-person learning over virtual studies, some institutes do offer virtual education in Pakistan, with working professional tending to take advantage of foreign-based online courses for their career and skill developments.


In addition to the cost and concerns related to exchange rates, the majority of Pakistani students are unfamiliar with the U.S. education system and the lack of strong representation in Pakistan hinders student recruiting agencies and counselors recruitment efforts.  


Pakistan Bureau of Statistics
The World Bank
Higher Education Commission of Pakistan