09 April 2018
The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has published national university rankings since 2013. These have attracted some criticism and there has also been concern about the poor performance of Pakistani universities in most international rankings. Rankings were produced in 2013, 2015 and 2016 based on data that was two or three years old.
Writing in the Express Tribune, Riaz Ul Haq has reported that the HEC will stop its ranking activities for various reasons that appear to include difficulties in collecting and analysing data and problems of transparency.
An HEC official reportedly told the newspaper that “the senior official who was dealing with the ranking process was transferred last year to Quetta regional centre for poorly handling certain affairs of his section including the data.” In addition, it seems that there have been accusations of plagiarism against the Executive Director.
Another problem is that the Commission has been unable to obtain accurate data from universities about the number of students and faculty and there have been several disputes between universities and the Commission. For example, in 2016 the University of South Asia went to court about its position in the rankings.
Arshad Ali, the HEC’s Executive director, said “(w)e have not abandoned the ranking process but are looking to have a picture that is actual reflection of the higher education institutions.”