Pakistani universities have improved their position in the Asia University Rankings 2018 released by Times Higher Education (THE), with the country’s top ranked institute claiming a place among the top 100 universities on the continent.

Quaid-e-Azam University, the country’s top ranked university in THE’s World University Rankings 2018, was judged the 79th best university in Asia in the rankings released on February 6.

The varsity was placed in the 120-130 band in previous year’s rankings, but has climbed almost 50 places on the back of the strength of its citations and an improved score for teaching.

COMSATS Institute of Information Technology was the next best university from Pakistan in the ranking. COMSATS was placed 125th on the list for 2018, up from its position in the 141-150 band last year. COMSATS exhibited considerable improvement in various measures, especially an increase of more than 10 points in citation scores from 45.2 to 56.8.

Apart from the two universities, the number of Pakistani universities in 350-strong list has gone up to 10 from last year’s seven. However, four Pakistani universities saw their rankings falling and were placed in bands lower than last years’.

Times Higher Education Editorial Director Phil Baty told reporters that it was “a fantastic achievement that Pakistan now has 10 universities in the Asia rankings and that its two leading universities have risen up the table”. “But the country’s poor research environment, not helped by lack of funding, is preventing the nation from fulfilling its higher education potential,” he added. Baty said research must be made the first preference if Pakistan desired its educational institutions to perform better among Asian institutions.

The Times Higher Education Rankings manifested the continued rise of Chinese universities in their performance. China now has an impressive 63 places in the rankings, with Tsinghua University now the top-ranked university in the country over Peking University.

India, has 42 institutions in the top 350, but like Pakistan, a number of Indian universities fell down the rankings.

The National University of Singapore continues to be the top university in Asia for a third straight year, but it’s the rising status of Chinese universities means its position could become increasingly at stake in the months ahead.

The full list of Asia’s top universities for 2018 can be seen here.

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