Rankings of universities in Pakistan
This article presents an overview of university rankings in Pakistan. Within Pakistan, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) provides official rankings of higher education institutions (HEIs) nationally, based on a multitude of criteria. There are also various magazines, newspapers and international agencies/standards which provide rankings and analysis.
According to the 2015 HEI rankings released by the HEC, the top five universities in Pakistan are, in descending order: Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), University of the Punjab (PU), National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), University of Agriculture in Faisalabad (UAF) and Aga Khan University (AKU).
As of 2016, six universities in Pakistan are currently placed by QS World University Rankings in the top 800 world rankings: National University of Sciences and Technology (#501), Quaid-i-Azam University (#651), Lahore University of Management Sciences (#701), University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore (#701), University of Karachi (#701) and the University of Lahore (#701).
As of 2018-2019 QS Ranking of Universities. There are 7 Pakistani universities in top 1000. P.I.A.S #397 N.U.S.T #417 QAU #551-560 L.U.M.S #701-750 C.O.M.S.A.T.S #751-800 U.E.T Lahore #801-1000 P.U Lahore #800-1000 
Up to date, the HEC has published rankings for the years 2006, 2012, 2013, 2014 and most recently 2015. In addition to the top ten and general rankings, independent rankings are also provided for universities and institutes in the categories of agriculture and veterinary science; arts and design; business; engineering and technology; and medicine. The HEC ranking uses five criteria, all of which have specific weightings and are summed to give an aggregate score out of 100. Institutional rankings are determined based on this aggregate score. Each criterion and its weighting is dependent upon a set of sub-components. The five criteria, along with their weighted score and sub-components are summarised below:
- Quality assurance (15) – Standard of M.Phil., M.S. and PhD courses; eligibility criteria for faculty member appointments; plagiarism policy compliance; assessment of Quality Enhancement Cells (QECs) for internal quality assurance; international awards/honours attained by students; affiliation of coursework with national accreditation bodies e.g. NAEAC, NBEAC, NCEAC, PEC and PMDC; latest international rankings of the university/institute.
- Teaching quality (30) – Staff to student ratio; ratio of PhD faculty and full-time faculty; faculty training and recruitment; student enrollment ratio and selectivity; national and international awards/recognition attained by faculty members.
- Research (41) – Nationally and internationally registered patents, varieties, technologies, breeds and creative work; university industrial linkages through Offices of Research, Innovation and Commercialisation (ORICs); ratio of PhD students and total PhD output per year; amount of external research grants obtained; amount of travel grants obtained by faculties for presentation of papers abroad; number of papers published in ISI Web of Science impact factor journals and HEC-recognised journals; citations per paper; university h-index; number of W and X category journals published; internet bandwidth and HEC Digital Library utilisation; number of national and international conferences/seminars/workshops/symposia organised.
- Finance and facilities (10) – Ratio of non-salary expenditures in total budget; amount generated through own resources; amount of budget expended on research and libraries; computers available per student and faculty; number of books and resources in libraries; number of external scholarships received by students.
- Social integration/community development (4) – Community outreach programs and services; international collaborations and student exchange programs; number of international students enrolled and foreign faculty.
Top ten rankings
According to the 2015 HEC rankings, the following comprise the overall top ranking higher education institutions in the country.
|2||University of the Punjab||83.28|
|3||National University of Sciences and Technology||80.27|
|4||University of Agriculture (Faisalabad)||78.72|
|5||Aga Khan University||77.28|
|6||COMSATS Institute of Information Technology||76.51|
|7||Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences||74.88|
|8||University of Karachi||70.09|
|9||University of Health Sciences (Lahore)||68.00|
|10||University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences||66.78|
Agriculture and veterinary science
|1||University of Agriculture (Faisalabad)||100.00|
|2||University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences||83.68|
|3||University of Agriculture (Peshawar)||62.85|
|4||Sindh Agriculture University||46.90|
|5||Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences||42.65|
Arts and design
|1||National College of Arts||100.00|
|2||Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture||82.53|
|2||Lahore School of Economics||98.70|
|3||Institute of Business Administration||96.00|
|4||Institute of Management Sciences (Peshawar)||80.32|
|5||Sukkur Institute of Business Administration||75.82|
|6||Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology||75.70|
|7||The Superior College||74.30|
|8||Institute of Business Management||72.91|
|9||University of Central Punjab||67.34|
|12||COMMECS Institute of Business and Emerging Sciences||41.79|
|13||Dadabhoy Institute of Higher Education||37.54|
|14||Institute of Management Sciences (Lahore)||25.39|
|15||Khadim Ali Shah Bukhari Institute of Technology||22.16|
Computer sciences and information technology
Engineering and technology
|1||Aga Khan University||100.00|
|2||University of Health Sciences (Lahore)||83.54|
|3||Dow University of Health Sciences||64.53|
|4||Khyber Medical University||61.62|
|6||King Edward Medical University||53.62|
|8||Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences||50.56|
|10||Baqai Medical University||41.58|
|11||Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Medical University||37.03|
|12||Sindh Institute of Medical Sciences||36.45|
|13||Peoples University of Medical and Health Sciences for Women||32.25|
- Institutions not included in the HEC rankings include distance learning universities, military academies, universities chartered after the 30th of June 2010 and those institutions for which sufficient data is not available.
- Source: Higher Education Commission, as of 23 February 2016.
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)
The QS World University Rankings is one of the most widely referenced international ranking systems. Pakistan is ranked 50th globally in terms of its higher education system's strength. The 2015–2016 edition academically ranked the following Pakistani universities:
|Ranking||World ranking||Asia ranking||University||Subject ranking/s (world)||Top 50 Under 50||QS Stars|
|1||501–550||112||National University of Sciences and Technology||Computer science and information systems: 251–300; Electrical and electronic engineering: 201–250; Engineering and technology: 340||81–90||—|
|2||701+||149||Quaid-i-Azam University||Computer science and information systems: 351–400; Mathematics: 301–400; Physics and astronomy: 301–400||—||—|
|3||701+||111||Lahore University of Management Sciences||Business and management studies: 251–300; Computer science and information systems: 401–450||—||—|
|4||701+||201–210||University of Karachi ||—||—||—|
|5||701+||241–250||University of Engineering and Technology (Lahore)||Electrical and electronic engineering: 251–300|
|6||701+||—||University of Lahore ||—||—||—|
|—||—||149||Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences ||—||—||—|
|—||—||183||Aga Khan University||Medicine: 301–400||—||—|
|—||—||221–230||University of the Punjab ||—||—||—|
|—||—||231–240||COMSATS Institute of Information Technology||Computer science and information systems: 401–500||—||3|
|—||—||301–350||University of Agriculture (Faisalabad)||Agriculture and forestry: 51–100||—||—|
- The QS Top 50 Under 50 ranking lists the highest-performing universities which are under 50 years old.
- The QS Star methodology rates universities out of 5 stars, based on a multitude of academic criteria.
- Source: World rankings (as of 2015/2016) and Asia rankings (as of 2016) for Pakistan, QS World University Rankings.
Research Papers in Economics/IDEAS
Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) ranks the top 25% institutions and schools/faculties in the field of economics research, using its IDEAS database. The database takes a number of factors into account, such as item citations, journals and working papers, authorship and field-based ranks. The database rankings are updated on a monthly basis. Provided below are the most recent country rankings for Pakistan:
|Ranking||University||School or department|
|1||Pakistan Institute of Development Economics||Department of Econometrics and Statistics|
|2||COMSATS Institute of Information Technology||Department of Management Sciences|
|4||Lahore School of Economics||—|
|5||Quaid-i-Azam University||School of Economics|
|6||Institute of Business Administration||—|
|7||Federal Urdu University||School of Economic Sciences|
|8||International Islamic University||International Institute of Islamic Economics|
|9||University of Karachi||Applied Economics Research Centre|
|10||Lahore University of Management Sciences||Department of Economics|
|11||University of the Punjab||Department of Economics|
|12||Iqra University||Research Centre|
|13||National University of Sciences and Technology||NUST Business School|
|14||University of Sargodha||Department of Economics|
|16||University of Karachi||Department of Economics|
- For the purpose of this article, non-academic institutions ranked in the database have been excluded from this list.
- Source: Pakistan rankings, RePEc/IDEAS as of March 2016.
Round University Ranking
The Round University Ranking, compiled by the RUR Ranking Agency in Russia in partnership with Thomson Reuters, ranks the top 750 universities based on standards of teaching, research, international diversity and financial sustainability. The following Pakistani universities are listed in the 2016 rankings:
|Ranking||World ranking||University||Score||League||Dimensional rankings (world)|
|1||610||National University of Sciences and Technology||31.205||World League||Teaching: 482 (Copper League); Research: 639 (World League); International diversity: 427 (Copper League); Financial sustainability: 652 (World League)|
|2||627||NED University of Engineering and Technology||29.520||World League||Teaching: 515 (World League); Research: 635 (World League); International diversity: 466 (Copper League); Financial sustainability: 673 (World League)|
- Source: Round University Rankings, as of 2016.
SCImago Institutions Rankings
The SCImago Institutions Rankings (SIR) are published by the SCImago Research Group, a Spanish academic research organisation. The rankings measure universities using indicators such as research, innovation and web visibility. Included below are the 19 Pakistani universities listed in these rankings and their positions in terms of the latter two indicators (as of 2014).
- Data for research rankings is not publicly available.
- Source: Innovative Knowledge rankings[permanent dead link], Technological Impact rankings[permanent dead link], Website rankings[permanent dead link] and Domain Inbound Links rankings[permanent dead link] for Pakistan, SCImago Institutions Rankings as of 2014.
Times Higher Education
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings is a prominent publication of university rankings, released by the UK-based Times Higher Education magazine. It includes overall, subject and reputation-wise rankings, 150 Under 50 rankings, as well as two regional rankings: Asia, and BRICS and Emerging Economies. In the 2015–2016 edition, the following ranks were applicable to Pakistani universities:
|Ranking||World ranking||Asia ranking||BRICS & Emerging Economies ranking||150 Under 50 ranking||University|
|1||601–800||—||—||—||COMSATS Institute of Information Technology|
|2||601–800||121–130||132||101–150||National University of Sciences and Technology|
|4||801||—||—||—||University of Agriculture (Faisalabad)|
|5||801||—||—||—||Bahauddin Zakariya University|
|6||801||—||—||—||University of Karachi|
|7||801||—||—||—||University of Lahore|
- The 150 Under 50 ranking lists the top 150 world universities which are less than 50 years old.
- Source: World rankings (as of 2016/2017), Asia rankings (as of 2016), BRICS & Emerging Economies rankings (as of 2015/2016) and 150 Under 50 rankings (as of 2016) for Pakistan, Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
UI GreenMetric Ranking
The GreenMetric Ranking of World Universities is published by Universitas Indonesia (UI). It ranks over 400 world universities according to their eco-friendly environment and commitment to sustainability. Three instruments are used as the basis of the ranking criteria: Environment, Economics and Equity. The 2015 edition includes the following overall and indicator-specific world rankings for Pakistani universities:
|Ranking||University||Overall ranking||Setting & infrastructure||Energy & climate change||Waste||Water||Transportation||Education||Campus setting|
|1||University of Agriculture (Faisalabad)||128||92||165||322||148||56||34||Urban: 57|
|2||Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University||220||253||327||291||101||201||95||Urban: 110|
|3||University of Lahore||270||154||270||356||394||92||204||Urban: 138|
|4||University of Karachi||355||60||339||397||291||262||336||Urban: 189|
|5||International Islamic University||392||293||382||406||282||287||226||City Center/High Rise: 53|
- Source: Overall rankings, Setting and Infrastructure rankings, Energy and Climate Change rankings, Waste rankings, Water rankings, Transportation rankings, Education rankings and Campus Setting rankings, UI GreenMetric as of December 2015.
U-Multirank is an independent ranking system funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus Programme. The ranking is supported by a consortium of academics in Europe. It provides multi-dimensional listings for universities, in terms of academic fields as well as various education-specific indicators. Universities are rated against these indicators using a grading system, ranging from 'A' (very good) to 'E' (weak). The 2016 rankings include the following Pakistani universities along with their grades:
|Rank||University||Teaching & learning||Research||Knowledge transfer||International orientation||Regional engagement|
|1||University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences||Bachelors graduation rate: A; Masters graduation rate: A; Graduating on time (bachelor): A; Graduating on time (masters): A||Citation rate: D; Research publications: A; External research income: A||Co-publications with industrial partners: D; Private income: D; Patents: E; Publications cited in patents: E||International joint publications: D||Bachelor graduates working in region: D; Regional joint publications: B; Regional income sources: E|
|2||Institute of Management Sciences (Peshawar)||Graduating on time (bachelor): A; Graduating on time (masters): A||—||—||—||—|
|3||Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences||Bachelors graduation rate: B; Masters graduation rate: C; Graduating on time (bachelor): B; Graduating on time (masters): C||Citation rate: D; Research publications: D; External research income: D||Co-publications with industrial partners: B; Private income: D; Patents: E; Publications cited in patents: E||Student mobility: D; International joint publications: A||Bachelor graduates working in region: B; Regional joint publications: B; Regional income sources: B|
University Ranking by Academic Performance
The University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP), developed at the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, ranks the top 2,000 global institutions with an emphasis on research impact and quality, and scientific productivity. It uses indicators such as articles published, citations, total documents, article and citation impact, and international collaboration. The 2015–2016 edition provides the following national, international and regional rankings along with field-based ranks (as of 2014–2015) for Pakistani universities:
|Ranking||World ranking||Asia ranking||University||Field-based ranking/s (world)|
|1||595||128||Quaid-i-Azam University||Biological sciences: 772; Chemical sciences: 661; Engineering: 588; Mathematical sciences: 189; Medical and health sciences: 949; Physical sciences: 305|
|2||967||259||COMSATS Institute of Information Technology||Chemical sciences: 872; Engineering: 669; Information and computing sciences: 577; Mathematical sciences: 499; Physical sciences: 699|
|3||973||263||University of Agriculture (Faisalabad)||Agricultural and veterinary sciences: 167; Biological sciences: 625; Engineering: 1,015; Environmental sciences: 400|
|4||1,040||292||University of the Punjab||Biological sciences: 651; Engineering: 1,139; Mathematical sciences: 656; Medical and health sciences: 986; Physical sciences: 692|
|5||1,059||295||Aga Khan University||Medical and health sciences: 513|
|6||1,101||309||National University of Sciences and Technology||Engineering: 933; Mathematical sciences: 487; Physical sciences: 761|
|7||1,261||375||University of Karachi||Biological sciences: 777; Chemical sciences: 688; Medical and health sciences: 878|
|8||1,343||407||Bahauddin Zakariya University||Engineering: 1,224|
|9||1,403||435||Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences||Biological sciences: 995; Engineering: 1,061; Physical sciences: 932|
|10||1,475||464||Government College University (Faisalabad)||—|
|11||1,558||503||University of Peshawar||—|
|12||1,581||512||Government College University (Lahore)||Mathematical sciences: 871|
|13||1,646||533||University of Sargodha||—|
|14||1,701||561||Lahore University of Management Sciences||—|
|15||1,752||577||Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University||—|
|16||1,890||641||University of Engineering and Technology (Lahore)||—|
|18||1,937||661||University of Sindh||—|
|19||1,968||670||Dow University of Health Sciences||—|
|20||1,975||673||Kohat University of Science and Technology||—|
- The 17th rank is intentionally omitted due to database error.
- Source: Pakistan rankings and Asia rankings (as of 2015–2016); Field-based rankings (as of 2014–2015), University Ranking by Academic Performance.
U.S. News & World Report
In the 2015 edition of top 500 international rankings, the U.S. News & World Report Best Global University Rankings listed the following Pakistani university:
|Ranking||World ranking||Asia ranking||University|
The Webometrics Ranking of World Universities, published by the Spanish Cybermetrics Lab, provides a listing of national, regional and international rankings of universities in Pakistan based on their web presence. Shown below, as per the 2016 edition, are the top 20 rankings only:
uniRank, formerly 4 International Colleges and Universities (4icu.org), ranks universities and colleges country-wise based on their web popularity and online footprint. It is not an academic ranking. According to its website, uniRank uses an algorithm including web metrics from Moz Domain Authority, Alexa Global Rank, SimilarWeb Global Rank, Majestic Referring Domains and Majestic Trust Flow. The top 10 results in Pakistan include the following universities:
- Source: Pakistan rankings, uniRank as of 2016.
Analysis and criticism
The HEC acknowledges that rankings are "a debatable subject all over the world". It defines its ranking system as a measure to strengthen the quality of higher education, provide a tool for self-assessment, as well as ensure that universities achieve domestic and international competitiveness in education, innovation and research. However, the HEC's rankings have been subject to criticism among educationists and policy-making experts in Pakistan. Some critics claim the rankings give "more weight to quantity than quality" of research, faculty and other key factors.
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