Pakistani universities fail to make mark in Asia's best university ranking

Published: June 14, 2016
Ten Pakistani universities are among the 350 featured in this year’s rankings PHOTO: LUMS.EDU.PK

Ten Pakistani universities are among the 350 featured in this year’s rankings PHOTO: LUMS.EDU.PK

Ten Pakistani universities have been named among the best universities in Asia, with Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) emerging as the best university in Pakistan, according to global higher education analysts, QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

However, no Pakistani university made it to the top 100 universities in Asia. The largest-ever regional university ranking, which compared Asia’s best universities, saw LUMS move past four fellow Pakistani universities, after a 50-place, 5-band leap up the rankings. It is now ranked 111th in Asia by QS. LUMS’ rise is the consequence of improvements in 7 of 9 metrics used by QS last year.

Pakistan has world’s weakest higher education system, say QS rankings

Meanwhile, the National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) in Islamabad became Pakistan’s second-highest-ranked institution, rising from 119th to joint 112th. It now outperforms Quaid-e-Azam University, which fell from 116th to joint 149th.

Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences, previously the nation’s top university,  is now jointly ranked 149th, falling from 115th last year. Aga Khan University has also fallen from 117th position to 183rd. The University of Karachi, on the other hand, jumped from the 251st-300th band to the 201st-210th band.

NUST among 150 best young universities in the world

The QS University Rankings Asia have expanded this year to include the region’s 350 best universities – an expansion of 50 on the previous year. They have also included methodological enhancements this year, introducing staff with PhD in order to add another dimension to the analysis of teaching quality their rankings provide.

Of the 517 universities evaluated in the region, the top three places are held by their previous owners: National University of Singapore (1st) is joined by the University of Hong Kong (2nd) and Nanyang Technological University (3rd).


South Korea took six of the top-20 places (more than any other nation or territory featured), Hong Kong Territory took four of the top-10 places, while China, Singapore, and South Korea took two each.

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Reader Comments (43)

  • Habibullah
    Jun 14, 2016 - 11:54AM

    What about Islamic Education?Recommend

    Jun 14, 2016 - 12:22PM

    Universities cannot survive without due GOVERNANCE since the Pakistani elite both political and establishment do not understand the meaning and significance of GOVERNANCE Pakistani Universities are doomed from the word go……. Recommend

  • Asad Malik
    Jun 14, 2016 - 12:26PM

    These rankings are retarded. Ranking both AKU, a med school and LUMS, primarily a business school using the same metrics is like measuring if Wasim Akram was a better cricketer than Zidane was a football player.Recommend

  • singh
    Jun 14, 2016 - 12:57PM

    U r absolutely [email protected] E ASHFAQUE:Recommend

  • babar
    Jun 14, 2016 - 1:10PM

    Subject-wise University of Agriculture Faisalabad is among top 100 universities of the world and of Asia in the subjects of “Agriculture and Forestry” Recommend

  • irfan shamim farooqui
    Jun 14, 2016 - 1:15PM

    What about Indian Universities?Recommend

  • Pankaj
    Jun 14, 2016 - 2:08PM

    India has 5 universities in top 50 and 9 in top 100. IIM B rated as a best university in India on rank 33. Recommend

  • Sunil
    Jun 14, 2016 - 2:19PM

    @irfan shamim farooq Why dont you Google and find out? Indian Universities stands among 100’s best.Recommend

  • Sunil
    Jun 14, 2016 - 2:20PM

    Three Pakistani students are studying in Delhi University.Recommend

  • whatever
    Jun 14, 2016 - 2:22PM

    India has total 9 universities in under 100. IISc got highest being 33rd ranked.Recommend

  • Jamal
    Jun 14, 2016 - 4:23PM

    So how did they rank LUMS,
    research output = 0,
    innovation index = 0,
    faculty diversity = 0,
    student diversity = 0,
    industry income = 0,
    faculty with beard = 90%
    teaching university = 100%
    hence LUMS gets top ranking

    It would be better if they rank LUMS above MIT, Harvard, University of Tokyo, Stanford, Cambridge.Recommend

  • Umair
    Jun 14, 2016 - 5:10PM

    @Asad Malik go to LUMS website and check whether it is only a business school.Recommend

  • Kaleem
    Jun 14, 2016 - 6:31PM

    @jamal, If you get some time, please visit LUMS :) Recommend

  • Sunil
    Jun 14, 2016 - 6:34PM

    @Sunil: (by the way I am a different Sunil). Just want to say to my name sake … Their universities do not know how to teach them to use google. Only thing they know is to create uneducated people who contribute more to the down fall of Pakistan then uplift their people. So do not bother to tell them to use google, the hate in their hearts prevents them from knowing the truth. As India moves forward they still think they are Mogals.Recommend

  • Certitude
    Jun 14, 2016 - 6:35PM

    What about IBA Karachi?Recommend

  • Hammad Mazhar
    Jun 14, 2016 - 6:38PM

    @Asad Malik:
    I would disagree with regards to LUMS, which has expanded to include degrees of disciplines of STEM fields and humanities for quite some time now, as well as law, with their new law school building. Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 14, 2016 - 6:48PM

    Pakistani education system very sound & faculty is hardworking + dedicated + conscious of the fact what’s happening around the globe. To my humble understanding, issue is of education unification country wide (national standard education curriculum), absence of nationalism, teaching rights in education system to its each citizen and many more. It can only be possible, if we have highly educated, nationalist, die hard intellectuals as Parliamentarians. So chose yours Vote wisely for change in next General Elections and scrap hawks from face of Pakistani Politics. Pakistan is a Great nation with bright future, must as well have bright leaders. Long live Pakistan.Recommend

  • Luminite
    Jun 14, 2016 - 6:55PM

    One Word “Proud to be a Luminite”.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 14, 2016 - 7:08PM

    Good LUMS made it to the list.Without any doubt it a the best university in Pakistan. Please note LUMS is not just a business school it has a school of science, engineering and law aswell.

    Funny how come AKU made it to the list it is just a med school.Recommend

  • IndianDude
    Jun 14, 2016 - 8:03PM

    I think this list is biased against the Pakistanis. Pakistan produces and exports the best IT experts all around the world who are graduates of the world famous IIT from Islamabad Institute of..Recommend

  • Abdur Rahman
    Jun 14, 2016 - 8:48PM

    @Asad Malik:
    I partially agree. Yes, there are differences, but a university is a university. There are some dimensions (such as teaching excellence, research output, etc.) that can be compared. Recommend

  • Defense Analyst
    Jun 15, 2016 - 12:22AM


    They taught you wrong at LUMS! “Proud to be a Luminite” is NOT one word!
    No wonder Pakistani universities do not rank in top 100 even in Asia.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Jun 15, 2016 - 1:07AM

    Our Universities may not appear in Asia’s ranking but our madrassas are the best in the World never mind in Asia.Recommend

  • Another Indian
    Jun 15, 2016 - 4:45AM

    I think this report was generated by RAW agents working undercover for QS. There is no way Pakistani Universities can be ranked far below Indian ones.Recommend

  • Ali
    Jun 15, 2016 - 8:00AM

    @Another Indian There is no doubt India has done well in education and better than Pakistan without a doubt but there is no reason to jump up and down considering no Indian university was amongst top 30 which is quite a shame for a country of 1.25 Billion?
    Pakistan really needs to spend massively on education, i think a lot of work is happening on Primary and Secondary level (KPK in particular) but time to focus on higher education as well. We also need to ensure we don’t repeat useless stunts like “Free laptops” for cheap publicity. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jun 15, 2016 - 10:25AM

    Yes, they got in through the Affirmative Action for Dummies program..Recommend

  • fazal
    Jun 15, 2016 - 10:45AM

    Well done leaders of Pakistan. You have more money to spend on your idiotic activities. Your concerm for education is zero. You should be shameful for this and are ultimately responsible for this.Recommend

  • Rafiq
    Jun 15, 2016 - 12:38PM

    I am shocked to read about University ranking. As per fees are concerned, I think Pakistani Universities are charging higher than the others. Pakistani Universities must improve and compete with Asia’s Universities. Recommend

  • singh
    Jun 15, 2016 - 1:22PM

    You r absolutely [email protected]: Recommend

  • Hamza
    Jun 15, 2016 - 6:29PM

    @Sunil: ( The different one)
    No, we don’t think of ourselves as the Mogals. We know what’s happening around the world as well as how to use google. Please, keep your knowledge about Pakistani universities to yourself.Recommend

  • Hamza
    Jun 15, 2016 - 6:37PM

    @Defense Analyst:
    Yes, it is not a word but if you make it a reason to demean an institution, it only reflects on your own state of affairs.
    No wonder you are a Defense Analyst.Recommend

  • Freedom for Sindh
    Jun 16, 2016 - 10:13AM

    Pakistan is a failed country so it’s hardly surprising its universities are getting failing grades as well. Smaller provinces should get independence from the failed state of Pakistan so that they can invest on health, education and well-being of their people. Recommend

  • singh
    Jun 16, 2016 - 12:15PM

    Is it because Punjabi ideology reigning everywhere in Jinnah’s [email protected] for Sindh: Recommend

  • Sunil
    Jun 16, 2016 - 1:00PM

    @Hamza: Truth always hurts. I know a lot about Pakistan after all my family were forced out and many killed, pre and during Partition. Recommend

  • Salik Morris
    Jun 16, 2016 - 1:47PM

    In our Country, the Education is a business, the people want to get education for money because they spend lot of expense at their education. The parliamentarian didn’t want to work on education. Because we are not working on Humility&Welfare. We have loss our Talent which children and family want to get education their loving ones, they never afford expense of Private School &Collage, University Fees. There are tow groups, poor & rich, example, (Govt.School & Private English Medium) (Pakistani Post & TCS) Recommend

  • Faisal Hamid
    Jun 16, 2016 - 5:09PM

    They must have followed a criteria of ranking universities in different curriculum.
    But they didn’t know that our education system has many basic flows. The leadership of the country have entirely different dimension about education, and why wouldn’t they should, as they do not know the importance of educating the masses.
    Whereas, educationist in private sector, they are trying hard in both ways i.e. ranking among themselves and business.Recommend

  • Adnan
    Jun 16, 2016 - 6:09PM

    This is biased.
    AXACT has some of the best universities in the world !!Recommend

  • Tp
    Jun 16, 2016 - 6:13PM

    Having a good looking building does not make a great university.Recommend

  • Samrat
    Jun 16, 2016 - 8:10PM

    @Sunil How come Pakistani students were allowed in DU? Where did you get that info. from?Recommend

  • mrashidhai
    Jun 17, 2016 - 8:36AM

    What one can expect from Pakistani Universities where in almost in every department of almost every university the majority teachers are involved in plagiarism. The teachers/ supervisors produces their thesis on the work carried out what their students have done. Latest case of COMSAT’s teacher (?).Recommend

  • Iftikhar
    Jun 17, 2016 - 12:46PM

    Researches in Pakistan are generally not fruitful with no objectivity. Aimed at only doing the research and passing the exams without any tangible outcome that can be applied to or taken up by various sectors of industry. The main reason that I found out during my first Independent Research Study evaluation was, the Focus of evaluators; as in every single step they needed “Citation” of published articles or sticking to the some specific methodology that was followed by some Gora or Gori 50 years back. It seemed to me like we have to Replicate a whole research process from internationally Published articles, irrespective that those are applicable to our culture, environment and context or not.

    All the six presentations seemed alien to me as those were replication of already done researches in some other country. I could not find any objectivity applicable to any industry in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Jun 17, 2016 - 3:52PM

    NUST was ranked 101 by times Higher Education among the Top 150 universities of the world ( Not Asia) in the year 2015. Now the same NUST is ranked 112th by QS among the top 150 universities of ASIA ( Not the world). What an irony.! Recommend

  • jagmohan
    Jun 18, 2016 - 6:07AM

    @Iqbal…your comment seems to be cutting at the root problem.Quality education
    does need peace in political,social,religious,and economic fields.And above all what
    what is or has been prime agenda of the nation,to drive and divert all resources.This
    small information is enough to ponder and change,if one likes.Recommend

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