HEC announces 2013 university rankings

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Jul 5, 2013,
andJul 6, 2013.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) released the “Quality & Research based Ranking 2013” for Pakistani universities, at a press conference in Islamabad on Friday.

The rankings are divided into four discipline-based and three enrollment-based categories. The HEC did not release an overall list of university rankings.

Lahore School of Management Sciences (LUMS) was ranked the top university in the Business Education. The Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Science (PIEAS), Islamabad, was declared best in the Engineering & Technology category.

In the Agriculture/Veterinary category, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, got the top spot while Aga Khan University, Karachi, was ranked the number one medical university in the country.

The general universities category was divided into three sub-categories based on the enrollment size of the universities. Universities with more than 7,000 students were considered for the large sub-category, between 3,000 and 7,000 students for the medium sub-category and less than 3,000 for the small sub-category

The National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) stood first in the general universities (large) category. Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, and University of Faisalabad, Faisalabad, were ranked top universities in medium and small general universities respectively.

HEC chairman Javaid Laghari said the rankings were based on criteria that were based on feedback from the universities and international rankings models.

He said an overall ranking list of universities was not released because it was too difficult to equalize data in different categories.

“The basis behind the rankings is like a mirror-test, the rankings let the universities know their strengths and weaknesses,” Laghari said.

He said the ranking exercise was to identify the best ranked universities nationally through some quantitative measure, so these universities can also compete at the international level.

Seven Pakistani universities were recently ranked in the top 250 Asian universities for 2013 by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a UK-based university rankings agency.

For the 2013 HEC rankings, each university has been named only once in the rankings, Laghari said. He said the universities themselves chose which category they wanted to be considered for, for example, NUST opted for general category rather than the Engineering & Technology category.

The HEC rankings are based on 2011-12 of the Pakistani universities. Universities were ranked based on the following three areas: implementation status of quality assurance, teaching quality and research produced at the universities were the three areas in which universities were scored.

Implementation status of quality assurance included points for appointment criteria for faculty members, anti-plagiarism committees and peer perception.

The teaching quality points were further subdivided eight areas including student-teacher ratio and teacher evaluation.

For the research components, universities were given points in 11 different areas including publications in HEC recognized journals and total PhD output of universities for 2011.

Even though HEC research grants, HEC travel grants and HEC approved PhD supervisors were included in the ranking criteria for research, Laghari said the rankings were conducted in a neutral manner and non-HEC funding at universities was also considered.

University vice chancellors gathered at the rankings press conference suggested the HEC should consider the services of an independent, third-party organisation for rankings in the future. Laghari said he agreed with the suggestion and the HEC is going to advertise for the services of an independent group to perform university rankings in the future.


  1. University of Agriculture – Faisalabad
  2. Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University – Rawalpindi
  3. University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences – Lahore
  4. The University of Agriculture – Peshawar
  5. Sindh Agriculture University – Tandojam

Business Education

  1. LUMS, Lahore
  2. IBA, Karachi
  3. Sukkur Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur
  4. SZABIST, Karachi
  5. Institute of Management Science – Peshawar

Engineering and Technology

  1. Pakistan Institute of Engineering & Applied Sciences (PIEAS), Islamabad
  2. UET, Lahore
  3. GIKI, Topi
  4. Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Jamshoro
  5. Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad


  1. Aga Khan University, Karachi
  2. University of Health Sciences, Lahore
  3. DOW University of Health Scienes, Karachi
  4. Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro
  5. Khyber Medical University, Peshawar

General Universities (Large)

  1. NUST, Islamabad
  2. University of Punjab, Lahore
  3. University of Karachi, Karachi
  4. COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad
  5. Government College University, Faisalabad

General Universities (Medium)

  1. QAU, Islamabad
  2. Government College University, Lahore
  3. FAST-NUCES, Islamabad
  4. Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi
  5. Gomal University, D I Khan

General Universities (Small)

  1. The University of Faisalabad, Faisalabad
  2. Beaconhouse National University, Lahore
  3. Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad
  4. University of Science & Technology, Bannu

Isra University, Hyderabad

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