Monday March 27, 2023

68pc varsities, HEIs fail to achieve even half of HEC score

February 26, 2016

 LAHORE: Fifty universities/ higher education institutions (HEIs) of Pakistan out of 73 ranked by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) in the general category could not score even half of the score set by the Commission.

This staggering 68 percent of universities/ HEIs scoring less than 50 score out of total 100 is sufficient to understand the performance of these institutions in the field of higher education. 

As per its ranking announced February 23, the HEC had set 100 score and reviewed 129 universities/ HEIs adopting 66 parameters to rank these institutions. Out of these 129 universities/HEIs, 56 were ranked in different categories such as agriculture, business, arts, medical, engineering and technology while the rest, 73, were ranked in general category.     

The HEC 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 such as the Information Technology University (ITU), Lahore in the ranking. The ranking was based on the data for the year 2013-14 and research output—PhD produced during 2014.

As per the ranking criteria carrying 100 score in total, 15 were for quality assurance, 30 for teaching quality, 41 for research, 10 for finance and facilities and four for social integration/ community development.

The top five universities/ HEIs in the general category are Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad (100 score out of 100), Punjab University (85.014), COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad (79.480), University of Karachi (71.424) and PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi (63.539).

Some of the prominent parameters, the HEC had adopted to evaluate performance of universities/HEIs, included adoption/implementation of HEC eligibility criteria for appointments of faculty members, ratio of full time PhD faculty to full time total faculty, ratio of active PhD students to total active enrolled students, amount of external research grants won/obtained by universities/HEI, publications in impact factor journals per full time faculty, revenue generated by these institutions through own resources and number of enrolled foreign students per total number of students etc. The universities/HEIs of the provincial metropolis, Lahore, which could not secure even half of the score in the general category include Lahore College for Women University (LCWU), Kinnaird College, University of Lahore, University of Management & Technology (UMT), Minhaj University, Beaconhouse National University (BNU), University of South Asia, Hajvery University, National College of Business Administration & Economics, Imperial College of Business Studies, University of Education and Ali Institute of Education.

Talking to The News, HEC Chairperson Prof Dr Mukhtar Ahmed said 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 said while replying to a question vis-à-vis parameters adopted for ranking.    

Prof Mukhtar, when asked what the universities/HEIs should do to improve their ranking said the institutes should improve governance. The higher education institutes should move towards quality and come out of the number game, he added.