The Higher Education Commission (HEC) announced its ranking of universities in the country putting Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad on top of the list.
Dr Javaid R. Laghari, the chairman of the HEC, told a press conference that the ranking was based on quality teaching and research. After evaluation of data and statistics the 116 universities and degree-awarding institutes were divided into eight categories.
He said 17 institutions established after December 2008 as well as distance education universities and those who did not provide data were excluded from the ranking.
According to the ranking, the overall top 10 universities were: Quaid-i-Azam University, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Islamabad; the Aga Khan University (AKU), Karachi; University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; University of the Punjab, Lahore; National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad; Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi; University of Health Sciences, Lahore; Comsats Institute of Information Technology, and Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore.
In the category of agriculture/veterinary, the five universities were ranked as: University of Agriculture, Faisalabad; Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi; University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore; KP Agriculture University, Peshawar, and Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam.
Only two universities were placed in the art and design category – National College of Arts, Lahore, and Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Karachi.
In the category of computer sciences and IT, the Comsats Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, was placed at the top followed by National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Islamabad, Qurtaba University D.I. Khan, Balochistan University of Information Technology and Management Sciences, Quetta, and City University, Peshawar.
First five universities which were ranked in the category of engineering and technology 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.
University of the Punjab, Lahore, topped the list of general universities (large) having more than 3,000 enrolment followed by the University of Karachi, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, University of Peshawar and International Islamic University, Islamabad.
In the category of general universities (other) with less than 3,000 enrolment, the QAU was on the top followed by Government College University, Lahore, Gomal University, D.I. Khan, Kohat University of Science and Technology and University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
First five institutes in the business education category were: Lahore University of Management Sciences, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Iqra University, Karachi, Sukkur Institute of Business Administration and National College of Business Administration and Economics, Lahore.
In the category of medical education, the first five universities were: Aga Khan University, Karachi, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Isra University, Hyderabad and Khyber Medical University, Peshawar.
Universities which could not be included in the list included Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University, Karachi, HITEC University, Taxila; University of Wah, Wah Cantt; Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan; Institute of Southern Punjab, Multan; Lahore Leads University, Lahore; Global Institute, Lahore; Sindh Institute of Medical Sciences, Karachi; Al-Khair University, AJK; Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University Benazirabad, and Upper Dir; University of Swat, Allama Iqbal Open University and Virtual University.
The universities which failed to provide data were Lahore College for Women University, Northern University Nowshera and Al Hamid Islamic University Quetta.
Dr Laghari said ranking was a quality indicator and helped shed light on key indicators of higher educational institutions in Pakistan to allow students, parents, potential employers and other stakeholders in making informed decisions regarding higher education.
Ranking criteria for the universities included student intake as well as graduates produced at the 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.