Issue 12 March 2020

QAU Leads the charge for Pakistan in Emerging Economies University Rankings 2020


LETTER The Times Higher Education (THE) has released its Emerging Economies University Rankings 2020, with 14 Pakistani universities making an appearance on the highly credible and respected ranking table. Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, was named the top university in Pakistan. It was placed 85th spot in the international ranking list, the only Pakistani university to make it to the top 100 among emerging economies. Over the years, THE has become a world leader in university rankings. Besides QS and Shanghai ranking tables, THE is the only other internationally esteemed rankings model. Each university claiming a spot in the ranking undergoes much scrutiny to be placed in the league with other institutions. Various indicators including research, international outlook, teaching prowess, etc. are taken into account when preparing the approved table of university rankings. Since 2014, THE, has without fail released an emerging economies university ranking, highlighting universities from parts of the world that are aiming toward economic growth. Pakistan has been a constant presence on the list since 2015 when NUST made its way to the 95th spot.

Rising Number in Emerging Economies University Ranking

This year is especially celebratory because for the first time over ten Pakistani institutions have made a place for themselves in the list. The second-best Pakistani university after Quaid-i-Azam University was COMSATS, Islamabad, at 159th position. This isn’t the first time COMSATS is appearing in THE ranking, however, it is slightly unfortunate to note that the university slipped 22 spots from its last year’s position, when it was on the 137th position. Interestingly, the overall performance of COMSATS has notably improved. From the number of citations to international outlook, the varsity’s scores have moved upwards with the varsity securing 29.2 points overall. Nonetheless, it is clear that other universities have shown improved performance as well, leading to COMSATS’ slip in the table. Following COMSATS, was Islamic International University Islamabad, which was placed in the 201-250 band. Overall, IIU secured 25.0-27.2 points, and received 46.8 for its international outlook, beating both Quaid-i-Azam and COMSATS. National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) Islamabad, Lahore University of Management Sciences and University of Agriculture, Faisalabad were all placed in the 251-300 band. 

14 Pakistani universities get featured in latest rankings released by Times Higher Education

All three universities scored between 22.7 to 24.9 points overall. Albeit, there isn’t a wide gap amongst the number of citations for each of the three universities, however, it is clear from the numbers that LUMS was the top university in Pakistan in terms of international outlook, scoring 49.4, the bets among Pakistani varsities. The University of Punjab was placed in the 301-350 band with an overall score of 20.9-22.6. As Pakistan’s oldest and biggest university, it is rather disheartening to note that the varsity only obtained a score of 10.4 in the research category. However, the University of Punjab rivals LUMS for teaching, both scoring 19.5 for the category. 

Next on the list were the University of Engineering & Technology Lahore and University of Peshawar, both making it to the 351-400 band. Even though the two institutes share an overall score of 19.1-20.8, their international outlook differs by over ten points. UET received a score of 44.9 for international outlook, while University of Peshawar got 34.4. Three more Pakistani universities were placed in the 401-500 band: Bahauddin Zakariya University, PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi and University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore. All three varsities received an overall score of 15.8-19.0. There wasn’t a stark difference amongst scores received in most categories including industry income, the score for which was close to 10 for all three. Nonetheless, there was a marked difference between the scores received by UVAS in the citations category. The Lahore-based university received a meager 8.5, while the other two secured numbers above 19. Of the total 533 entries on THE’s emerging economics ranking list, Government College University, Lahore and University of Sargodha also found a place in the 501+ band. Both universities received an overall score of 13.3-15.7. However, the most startling revelation has to be the 5.7 points bestowed upon GCU in the citations category.

Related: US Leads The Economist 2019 top MBA programs ranking

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