In the recently released Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2020, there is only one Pakistani university in the top 500 — Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) is in the 401-500 bracket of this ranking.
Of the 1400 universities across 92 countries that form part of this ranking, there are 14 Pakistani universities. There are 56 Indian universities in the rankings with 6 Indian universities in the top 500 and 1 in the top 350. China and Japan form 45 percent of the Asian entries, and even Iran has 40 universities.
As a Dawn report stated Pakistani universities need to take international rankings seriously because “participation in rankings brings a positive competition; it raises participants’ international standing and improves job market for graduates of those universities. And the main contending points in the ranking race are research, teaching, international outlook, industry income and recognition through citations in recognised journals. Unfortunately, these important areas are not our mind, hence there are no world-class elite institutions in Pakistan.”
In a country with the world’s second-highest number of out-of-school children (OOSC) — an estimated 22.8 million children aged 5-16 not attending school – and where the majority of the state’s resources go into the military, it is no surprise that education is not given its due.