Karachi: Karachi University (KU) has again missed the top university ranking of the HEC, to the disappointment of millions of Karachiites. Though the KU is one of the premier universities of Pakistan, but corruption, mismanagement and nepotism and political interference have robbed it from getting the top slot of the coveted varsity ranking.
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has announced the 5th Ranking of Pakistani Higher Education Institutions for 2013-2014 with an aim to boost academic and research culture among Pakistani universities, and encourage them to compete at international level.
The ranking was carried out under various categories including Engineering and Technology, Business Education, Agriculture and Veterinary, Medical, and Arts & Design. The major criteria for evaluation of universities were Quality Assurance, Teaching Quality, Research, Finance & Facilities, and Social Integration/ Community Development.
Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad topped the overall ranking list. The QAU is followed by University of the Punjab Lahore, National University of Sciences and Technology, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Aga Khan University, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS), University of Karachi, University of Health Sciences Lahore, and University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore.
Under the Agriculture and Veterinary Sciences category, University of Agriculture Faisalabad has topped the list followed by University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore, Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam, and Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences.
Iqra University Karachi, has topped the Business category. The University is followed by Lahore School of Economics, Institute of Business Administration Karachi, Institute of Management Science Peshawar, Sukkur Institute of Business Administration, SZABIST, The Superior College Lahore, Institute of Business Management Karachi, University of Central Punjab Lahore, Greenwich University, Karachi and others.
Under the Arts category, National College of Arts (NCA) Lahore remained at the top, followed by Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture Karachi.
Aga Khan University is the top scorer among universities falling under the Medial category. University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi, Khyber Medical University Peshawar were on the second, third and fourth position respectively in the list of as many as 13 universities.
The ranking also covered the Engineering category comprising 21 universities with National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) followed by Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) Islamabad, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering Science and Technology Topi, and Institute of Space Technology Islamabad.
As many as 73 higher education institutions have made their place in the General category with QAU, Islamabad; PU, Lahore; COMSATS, Islamabad; KU; PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi; Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Lahore; Government College University, Faisalabad; and University of Peshawar on the top.
However, Dr. Mukhtar Ahmad briefed the media about objectives and methodology of the ranking. He said that the ranking is based on the data collected during 2013-14, adding that HEC verified and counter-checked the data from all the universities before compiling the final ranking.
He said that 129 universities were reviewed for ranking, while 66 parameters were adopted for scoring. He said that Distance Learning Institutions and the HEIs established after June 2010 were not included in the ranking. He said HEC will start working on the ranking for 2015 in March.
To a question regarding illegal campuses of universities, the Chairman said that HEC is against the commercialization of higher education and it has been warning time to time about the illegal campuses through media so that the future of students could be secured.
Answering another question related to the hardships of PhD scholars, particularly with regard to the powers of supervisors, he said that HEC has allowed the scholars to request for change of their supervisor in case of any complaint. When asked about the HEC initiatives in various disciplines of Social Sciences, he said that HEC also pays special attention to promotion of Social Sciences in the country. He invited the journalists to attend the HEC conference on Social Sciences going to be held on Wednesday.