Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) has come up with a comprehensive strategy in order to enhance the visibility of higher education institutions of Punjab on global ranking radars – Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and Times Higher Education (THE), This strategy was briefed by PHEC Director General Zia Batool, during a meeting on capacity building of universities for improved international rankings. The meeting which took place at PHEC Secretariat Lahore was co-chaired by Provincial Minister for Higher Education Raja Yassir Hamayun Sarfraz and PHEC Acting Chairperson/ Provincial HED Secretary Momin Ali Agha. The meeting was attended by PHEC Director General Zia Batool, representatives from eight universities including vice-chancellors, directors ORIC/QEC, and senior officers of HED and PHEC.
While giving a detailed briefing on the proposal to bring the local universities at par with international quality benchmarks, Zia Batool said this strategy would be executed phase-wise: in the initial phase, PHEC, on the basis of previous ranking reflections, discipline diversity and geographical proximity had identified nine universities- eight public and one private- including University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore, University of the Punjab Lahore, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Govt. College University Lahore, University of Sargodha, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore, Lahore College for Women University Lahore, Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan, and University of Lahore.
PHEC, along with HED, would facilitate the select universities to collaborate with leading global ranking agencies including QS and THE to work on ranking indicators that are relevant to the higher education sector in Asia. A follow-up mechanism would then be opted to evaluate the progress on these indicators and would suggest qualitative improvements to select universities.
It was further elaborated that Phase-II of the strategy would focus on further improvements on the indicators of two ranking platforms. Those would include capacity building in terms of hiring qualified faculty and human resource, increase in research funding and the introduction of inbound/ outbound student exchange programs etc.
PHEC would continuously monitor the performance of the universities and help them hone their standings on the ranking radars. “The scope of the potential universities will later be expanded to other public and private sector universities in Punjab” she added.
The selected universities will be equipped with training on ranking attributes and relevant technical assistance in line with the needs of local universities so that they could make it to the individual ranking positions assigned by these ranking agencies.
Later, vice-chancellors and representatives from the universities shared their views on improving the ranking in universities. At the conclusion of the meeting, PHEC and HED, as well as the selected universities, were mandated as a Working Group under the rubric of “Improved Ranking Reflection of HEIs in Punjab” to work on amelioration of quality standards of higher education institutions of Punjab.
PHEC was also mandated to engage with the selected universities for their increased participation in International Rankings for the year 2021. The Working Group will pursue the objective ‘Improved Rankings of HEIs in Punjab’ with the complete support of PHEC, HED and under the direct patronage of Provincial Minister for Higher Education Raja Yassir Humayun Sarfraz.