The HEC Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari said at a press conference held at the commission’s secretariat that universities were ranked on the basis of quality teaching and research. “The primary purpose of the ranking exercise was to share with the general public a comprehensive data on the key issues that determined the state of higher education in a particular institution. Institutions established after December 2008 as well as distance education universities were excluded from the ranking lists,” Laghari said.
The chairman said that ranking was a quality indicator and the information would help shed light on key indicators of higher education institutions in Pakistan to allow students, parents, potential employers and all other stakeholders to make informed decisions regarding higher education institutions. “It will also provide a transparent mechanism to universities on how they compare against their peers, and will inculcate a spirit of competition to raise the standard of education. The activity will also help promote a culture of participation in the world university rankings, which will help significantly in reflection of Pakistan’s higher education development at the international level,” he said.
Ranking criteria for the universities include student intake as well as graduates produced at BS, MS and PhD levels, number of qualified faculty members, student-teacher ratio, quality of research produced and published in journals of international repute, physical and technological infrastructure, international collaborations, resource generation and sports facilities.
The initiative of the QS World University Ranking was followed by the HEC with the objective to promote a culture of participation in the world rankings and for getting reasonable reflection of higher education development in the country. Keeping in view the national context and problems faced by the universities in Pakistan, the primary QS world-ranking criteria were amended as per feedback received from the higher education institutions. The universities were ranked specifically by category or area of specialisation to make it logical. The sector-wise sorting was not done to provide equal reflection to both the public and private-sector institutions. Universities are comparable within the assigned category; comparisons among different categories based on the above list would not be logical. Overall top 10 universities announced by the HEC include Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Islamabad, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, University of the Punjab, Lahore, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and Lahore University of Management Sciences, respectively.
In Agriculture/Veterinary category, top five universities announced by the HEC include University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, KPK Agriculture University, Peshawar and Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam.
In Computer Sciences and IT category, the top five were COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Islamabad, Qurtaba University DI Khan, Balochistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences, Quetta, and City University, Peshawar. In Engineering and Technology category, the top five were, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Science, Islamabad, National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering and Technology, Swabi, University of Engineering and Technology, Taxila, and Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad. In General Universities (Large) category, the top five were University of the Punjab, Lahore, University of Karachi, Karachi, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, and International Islamic University, Islamabad, while in General Universities (Other) category, the top five were Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Government College University, Lahore, Gomal University, DI Khan, Kohat University of Science and Technology, and The University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir. In Business Education category, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Iqra University, Karachi, Sukkur Institute of Business Administration and National College of Business Administration and Economics, Lahore, were declared as the top universities. – Dailytimes