For the first time in Pakistan, the Scientometrics Lab of Information Technology University (ITU) recently ranked the country’s universities on the basis of quality of their research.
The Quality Research Ranking (ITU-QRR) ranked the universities in two categories—broad institutions and specialized institutions—analyzing the quality of research produced by these institutes during a 6-year time window i.e., 2009-2014.
The Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad, has been ranked top in Pakistan in the broad institutions while in the other category Aga Khan University tops the list.
In order to find out where Pakistani universities stand in terms of quality research produced, the ITU-QRR compared local universities with University of California, Berkeley (UCB), USA and some other foreign universities including one from neighboring India—the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)—to develop a yardstick to measure quality of their research.
“The idea is to evaluate the research done by our universities through objective and quantifiable benchmark”, Vice Chancellor ITU Dr. Umar Saif informed media persons at a press conference here on Wednesday. There has been a lot of debate on the quality of research especially after years of substantial funding to universities through the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
“Unfortunately, if the top research university in the world is rated at 100, the university at the top of the research rankings in Pakistan receives only 6.25 on that scale!” Dr. Saif had recently commented while highlighting importance of the ITU-QRR.
There is a need to look at performance of our universities in a broader perspective in order to compete with the world.
“We know this can’t be done overnight and will certainly take some time. This is a painful transition”, said Dr. Umar Saif while talking about the existing research culture and growing debate over the quality component.