ISLAMABAD: Quaid-i-Azam University is Pakistan’s best university in the general category, according to rankings for 2014 released on Monday by the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and University of Punjab take second and third spot, respectively.
National University of Science and Technology (NUST) is ranked at the top for engineering education; Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi takes the lead in business education; University of Agriculture, Faisalabad in agriculture; Aga Khan University in medical sciences; and National College of Arts (NCA) in arts and design.
Announcing these rankings at a ceremony organised at the HEC Secretariat, HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said ranking universities was a global practice, undertaken to fuel competition in education, research and innovation.
“For students and parents these rankings help provide guidelines in selection of universities according to the disciplines they want to pursue.”
Ahmed said the ranking criteria for 2014 had been modified and improved in light of previous practices and crucial feedback received from stakeholders.
The HEC chairman said this time around, higher education institutes were ranked “overall” and also in six categories — General, Engineering and Technology, Business Education, Agriculture and Veterinary, Medical, Arts and Design.
He said only HEC recognised universities were included in the rankings. However, universities established after June 2009 and those offering distance-learning programmes have not been included in the selection in order to provide them time to adopt required standards and enhance their research ability and capacity.
Ahmed also shed light on parameters considered in the comprehensive selection process, which include “quality assurance, teaching quality, research, finance and facilities, social integration/community development.”
The ranking results are based on data shared by universities relevant to the given standards.
The first HEC rankings were announced in 2006, the second in 2012, followed by the third in 2013. The criteria for the latest report have been amended to bring it at par, and make it more compatible, with global practices.