Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) is the only Pakistani university to be ranked among the top 500 universities in the world, according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020.
The 2020 edition for the annual ranking released on Wednesday includes close to 1,400 universities from across 92 countries. Among them are 14 Pakistani universities.
QAU is the top-ranked Pakistani university at number 401–500.
Additionally, the list includes:
- COMSATS University Islamabad (601-800)
- University of Agriculture, Faisalabad (801-1000)
- International Islamic University, Islamabad (801-1000)
- Lahore University of Management Sciences (801–1000)
- National University of Sciences and Technology (801–1000)
- University of the Punjab (801–1000)
- Bahauddin Zakariya University (1001+)
- University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore (1001+)
- Government College University, Lahore (1001+)
- University of Peshawar (1001+)
- PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi (1001+)
- University of Sargodha (1001+)
- University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore (1001+)
"It is high time that Pakistani universities take the international rankings seriously," says a communication teacher with the Islamic International University, Hassan Shahzad.
"Rankings matter a lot,” he told Dawn.
"The participation in rankings brings a positive competition; it raises participants’ international standing and improves job market for graduates of those universities. And the main contending points in the ranking race are research, teaching, international outlook, industry income and recognition through citations in recognised journals. Unfortunately, these important areas are not our mind, hence there are no world-class elite institutions in Pakistan.
"The ranking should be a lesson for our education policymakers," Shahzad added.
At the top of the 2020 rankings is the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom which has held the position since 2017. The standing of the California Institute of Technology has improved, taking it up to second place in the top 500 ranking while the University of Cambridge dropped a place to third. Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are also among the top five ranked universities.
When seen at the global pace, British and American universities dominated the upper echelons of this year’s rankings. The US grabbed 60 of the top 200 positions. So far for Asia, it is still a China and Japan show as both represent 45 per cent of all Asian entries into the rankings.
Sanctions-hit Iran showed defiance in the higher education sector as it stood out as one of the biggest achievers, leaving behind countries like Australia, France, Russia and Taiwan with 40 universities in the rankings.