Jang Group recognises top ranking universities -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Jang Group recognises top ranking universities

Pakistan Press Foundation

Islamabad: The Jang Group gave awards to the Higher Education Commission’s top ranked universities of Pakistan here on Thursday.

Ali Moeen Nawazish conducted the programme, whereas Federal Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal was the chief guest on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Jang Group Managing Director Marketing Sarmad Ali said: “It is our privilege that today we are honouring the universities that have made it to the HEC top rankings.” He congratulated the universities, which have done so well in different categories in the HEC ranking. “It’s a healthy competition among all universities of Pakistan and those universities, which have not made it to the top this year, can compete for the top slot next year. Since the inception of this country our priorities were wrong as education was never a priority for any government. Today we are spending 1.7 per cent of GDP, which is one of the lowest in South Asia. Pakistan was the country that was formed on the basis of Islam that teaches us to acquire knowledge.”

“We need to relocate our priorities where education should become our first priority. The role of the media is to disseminate information but we have to work on social role also and by recognising and appreciating the universities and by collaborating with the HEC we are doing giving back to the country. ‘Zara Sochiya’ is our campaign based on the importance of primary education and by organising Education Expos with different themes each year we are providing information to all stakeholders of the educator sector. We will continue our support in this sector. We hope that the budget for education would be increased substantially in the coming years and the present government would make education its priority,” Sarmad Ali said.

He said: “Although the HEC funding was increased we hope for an overall increase up to 4%. Education eliminates extremism and terrorism that has already plagued our society, and by increasing the education budget we can improve the economic condition of the country,” he said.

Institute of Management Science (Peshawar) Director Dr. Mohammad Mohsin Khan, while speaking on the occasion, said that in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa they are No. 1 Business School and HEC is supporting the institute in strengthening them.

Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences Rector Dr Mohammad Aslam, while speaking on the occasion, said many universities were in slumber before the HEC rankings, but now they are working very hard to compete with other universities to get a better ranking. “We are proud to say that we are the only university teaching nuclear sciences,” he added.

He appreciated the Jang Group for providing the correct information to all stakeholders of education sector.

Inter-university Consortium of Social Sciences Chairman Professor Dr. Nizamuddin said that it is necessary to develop a culture of research in social sciences also. “We need to bring social sciences in the forefront along with science and technology research. We need budgetary support in social sciences also,” he said. He hoped that from next year more focus would be given on social science research programmes.

Speaking on the occasion, HEC Chairman Dr Javaid Laghari said that it is heartening to see that the Jang Group has partnered with HEC to recognise the top ranking universities. “It is done globally that information is provided through big media houses. The Jang Group has taken the initiative in the right direction. Through this ranking, students would be able to know where they stand, earlier it was not possible. Funding for research is given to the universities as well as we are doing their capacity building by sending their faculty for PhDs.

Ahsan Iqbal, while speaking on the occasion, said that since Pakistan is a poor country, its research should be issue-oriented and universities should quench the thirst of knowledge of students. “They should not only award degrees but should become a life-long learning institute. The university should create an environment conducive for joyful learning based on research. We have to make sure that each rupee that is going into research work is solving an issue confronting our economy. Only then, we can develop our country and our universities should facilitate students working on economic development of the country. No research is being done in textile sector, carpet industry, sports sector and if there would be no research in these sectors these sectors would cease to exist in coming years and we would lag behind globally,” he said.

The universities, he said, need to create relevance between science and economic drivers of the country. “The social sector also needs to do research in social sector documenting the events and causes confronting our society. We have limited resources so it is imperative that the value of return is maximum and highly relevant,” he said.

It was informed that the HEC rankings have not only become acceptable locally but also globally. The HEC was invited to a plenary presentation on imprints of rankings in Pakistan at the annual meeting of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, Jamaica, in November 2012 and attended by over 150 vice chancellors from Commonwealth countries, where the Pakistan model was applauded as an indigenous Asian model reflecting the regional context without compromising on global compatibility.

The OIC member states have asked the HEC to assist in the development of the first independent rankings for Muslim countries.

Earlier, while briefing the media, Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr. Javaid R. Laghari said that the primary purpose of the ranking exercise was to drive the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) towards improved quality, research and promote a culture among HEIs of Pakistan for participation in the world rankings.

Dr. Laghari said to strengthen the quality of higher education in Pakistan, the HEC has taken various initiatives to bring the HEIs of Pakistan at par with international standards.

Ranking is one of the measures to scale the success of efforts of the HEIs to achieve the international competitiveness in education, research and innovation. It will also provide a transparent mechanism to universities on how they compare against their peers, and will inculcate a spirit of competition to raise the standard of education.

The recent inclusion of 10 Pakistani universities among top world and Asian universities is the result of regular ranking efforts by the HEC.

The activity also promotes a culture of participation in the world university rankings that leads to significant reflection of Pakistan’s higher education development at the international level.

The vice chancellors of top ranked universities were present on the occasion.

Ranking criteria for the universities revolve around three main parameters including implementation status of quality assurance criteria, teaching quality and research. The HEIs established after December 2008 and the distance education like Allama Iqbal Open University and Virtual University were excluded from the ranking lists. The ranking 2013 was based on the year 2011-12 data provided by HEIs.

Keeping in view the national context and problems faced by the universities in Pakistan, the primarily identified QS world ranking criteria was amended as per feedback received from the higher education institutions. In spite of the difficulties associated with ranking, HEC is the first one in the Islamic world that has done rankings twice, first time in 2006 and second time in 2011, however the criteria over the period amended to respond to feedback by HEIs and to make HEC’s ranking more compatible with global rankings.

The universities had been ranked specifically by category/area of specialization to make it logical. The sector-wise sorting had not been done to provide equal reflection to both the public and private sector institutions. Universities could only be comparable within the assigned category.

In Agriculture-Veterinary Category, top five universities announced by the HEC included University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, and Lasbela University of Agriculture, Water and Marine Sciences.

In Engineering and Technology category, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Science, Islamabad, University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering and Technology Swabi, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro and Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad.

In Business Education Category, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi, Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur, Shaheed Zulifikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Karachi, and Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar, are top universities.

In Medical Category, Aga Khan University, Karachi, University of Health Sciences, Lahore, Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, King Edward Medical University, Lahore, were declared top universities by the HEC.

In General Universities (Large), National University of Sciences and Technology, Islamabad, University of the Punjab, Lahore, University of Karachi, Karachi, COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, Islamabad, Government College University, Faisalabad, University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, and the Islamia University of Bahawalpur.

General Universities (Medium) includes Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Government College University, Lahore, National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences, Islamabad, Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Gomal University, Dera Ismail Khan, and University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Muzaffarabad.

General Universities (Small) included the University of Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Beaconhouse National University, Lahore, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad, University of Science and Technology, Bannu, Isra University, Hyderabad, and Foundation University, Islamabad.

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