Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan recently ranked the country’s public and private sector universities and higher education institutions (HEIs).
Currently there are a total of 177 universities and HEIs including 103 in public sector and 74 in the private sector. However the HEC reviewed only 129 of these campuses for its ranking. It did not include distance learning institutions including Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) and Virtual University and all those universities/ HEIs which were established after June 2010.
According to the HEC the ranking—for which different parameters were adopted—was aimed to ‘create culture of competition among the HEIs and encourage these institutes to compete at international level, improve quality/standards of education.’
Out of these 129 universities/HEIs 56 were ranked in different categories such as agriculture & veterinary, business education, arts, medical and engineering and technology while the rest, 73, were ranked in general category. The HEC awarded score to each university reviewed out of total 100.
An analysis of the ranking reveals that 50 institutes out of 73 ranked in the general category could not secure even half of the score i.e., 50 which makes it staggering 68 percent of the institutes ranked. As many as 31 of these are from the private sector while remaining 19 from the public sector which shows besides public, the private sector particularly needs to gear up the efforts to improve!
Similarly, in the agriculture and veterinary the HEC has ranked five universities and HEIs and two of these (40%) have secured less than 50 score. In the business category there are 15 institutes and four of these (27%) with less than the half score. As many as 13 institutes were ranked in the medical category and five of these (38%) got less than 50 score. After the general category, maximum institutes 21 were ranked in the engineering category and 10 of these (47%) got less than the half score. In arts category only two institutes were ranked. While one of these got 100, the other secured 82.53 score.
According to the HEC Chairperson Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed the universities/HEIs were reviewed for ranking on different parameters keeping in view ground realities. “We did not ask universities/HEIs as to how many Nobel Laureates they had produced”, he adds.