More investment needed for global competition

Jamila Achakzai
Sunday, Apr 09, 2023

Islamabad: Pakistan's higher education sector has made some progress in the international rankings, with a number of universities placing within the 401-1200 range. However, the rankings also highlight the need for greater investment in research and development to compete with top universities worldwide.

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2023, which analysed over 121 million citations across more than 15.5 million research publications, were recently released, ranking 1,799 universities across 104 countries and regions.

Quaid-i-Azam University has ranked 401-500 in the international rankings, making it one of the top universities in Pakistan. Other universities that ranked in the 501-800 range include Government College University Faisalabad, University of Management and Technology, Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan, Bahria University, COMSATS University Islamabad, Dow University of Health Sciences, University of Engineering and Technology Taxila, Hazara University Mansehra, International Islamic University Islamabad, Lahore University of Management Sciences, University of Malakand, and Riphah International University.

However, the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, University of Lahore, National University of Sciences and Technology, University of Peshawar, and the University of the Punjab were ranked in the 801-1000 range, and Bahauddin Zakariya University, University of Engineering & Technology (UET) Lahore, University of Gujrat, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, and University of Sargodha ranked in the 1001-1200 range.

A major challenge faced by Pakistani universities is a lack of funding, which makes it difficult to attract talented faculty members and researchers. This, in turn, negatively affects the quality of education and research at these institutions, and prevents them from competing with top universities worldwide. To address this issue, the government of Pakistan should increase funding for higher education and research, which would enable universities to attract and retain talented faculty members, and provide them with the resources they need to conduct cutting-edge research. It would also allow universities to upgrade their facilities and infrastructure, and provide students with a better learning environment.

Another key factor in improving the rankings of Pakistani universities is collaboration with international institutions. By partnering with top universities from around the world, Pakistani universities can learn from their experiences and best practices, and develop innovative solutions to the challenges they face. This would also help to raise the profile of Pakistani universities and attract more international students and researchers.

Finally, Pakistani universities should focus on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship. By encouraging students and faculty members to develop new technologies and start their own businesses, universities can contribute to economic growth and development in the country. This would also help to attract more funding and investment to the higher education sector, and further improve the quality of education and research in Pakistani universities.

In conclusion, while Pakistan's universities have made some progress in the rankings, there is still much work to be done. Greater investment in research and development, collaboration with international institutions, and a focus on promoting innovation and entrepreneurship are all essential for improving the quality of education and research in Pakistani universities. By addressing these challenges, Pakistan can become a hub for higher education and research in the region, and produce graduates who are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the global economy.