Pakistani University Ranking

QS University Rankings of Pakistan for 2021

The Quacquareli Symond (QS) ranking is an annual publication of university rankings that consists of the global overall and subject rankings. It is a widely trusted authority in judging the relative performance of universities over time. In its recently published rankings for 2021, it included seven Pakistani higher education institutions in the top 1000 universities of the world. Ever since they have been released, there has been a lot on confusion and speculation about what the rankings mean, how the are calculated and how useful the are.

How does QS ranking rank Pakistani universities?

Academic indicators

The following factors are used as academic indicators when allocating a ranking to universities:

● Academic reputation

This index carries a 40% weightage in the ranking calculation. It is calculated by taking feedback from several worldwide academic sources and is subjected to a rigorous statistical process to ensure fairness and accuracy.

● H Index

This index measures the productivity and impact of the published work of a scholar by taking into account his citation impact.

● Citations per faculty

This is a clear indicator of research strength. The faculty of any university is its biggest strength and this measure is a good metric of their expertise.

● Staff with PhDs

This measure is a healthy indicator of the level of expertise of the university’s faculty as it would invariably affect the quality of education.

Employer indicators

Becoming more employable is the primary reason that many students attend universities so the following factors tie in closely with this purpose:

● Employer reputation

In many fields, the brand that a degree has plays a huge role in employability prospects. This measure is central to judging a university’s rankings in terms of the reasons for attending university.

● Employers’ Presence on Campus

Employer presence radically improves networking opportunities for students and chances to earn valuable real world experience through internships and jobs.

● Graduate Employment Rate

This is measured by the percentage of a university’s graduates that are employed 12 months after graduation.

● Alumni Outcomes

This component aims to capture the successes and achievements of an institution’s alumni, in terms of the impact they make.

Student indicators

● Faculty/student ratio

This is one of the most objective indicators of the quality of the learning environment. The better the ratio, the better the teacher’s will be able to provide personal attention to their students.

● Student exchange inbound

The number of international students studying at a university have a significant effect on the diversity of the student’s experience. This interaction of cultures plays a huge role from a personal development point of view too.

International indicators

● International faculty index

Foreign faculty bring a different perspective to the teaching experience, in addition to the diversity that was discussed above.

● International student index

Pakistani universities in QS Rankings


The following table shows how different Pakistani universities have ranked in the top 1000 universities ranking compiled by QS rankings. In recent years, the standing of Pakistani universities in the global rankings has shown quite some improvement every year. This means that on average the quality of opportunities made accessible to local students is on the rise.
University name2021 ranking2020 ranking
National University of Science and Technology (NUST)355400
Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Sciences (PIEAS)373375
Quaid-i-Azam University454511-520
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)651-700701-750
COMSATS Islamabad801-1000801-1000
University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Lahore801-1000801-1000
University of Punjab801-1000801-1000

Why is the QS ranking important for students attending Pakistani universities?

 Quaid-e-Azam University

The QS ranking accounts for a wide range of factors that generally cover the overall criteria that universities can be judged against. Academic reputation and employer reputation are especially important because the whole reason that you may attend a university would be to either pursue higher education in a better university or to gain a desirable job. Factors like faculty/student ratio and staff with PhDs also have a significant impact on the quality of the education experience in Pakistani universities. If you are especially comparing a Pakistani university with one in another country, then the ranking of each university will be a good sign of the better choice.

Should you choose your university on the basis of the QS rankings?

Choose university based on the subject you are interested in

The first factor that guides your decision should be your area of interest. Every university has different areas of specialization. If you are interested in a business degree, then it would be unwise to choose a university because of a higher QS ranking when its area of specialization is in science, even though there might be another university that is better at business education.

Factors that the QS ranking does not include

Pakistani universities differ to a great extent in terms of the diversity of courses that they allow the student to take, or the number of minors that are offered in addition to the majors. If you have a passion for a liberal arts education then clearly the QS rankings should not be the main factor guiding your decision.

Does the university’s ranking matter in the long run?

Only up to a certain extent. For the most part, if you look at the larger picture, then it is what you do at university that matters more. The experiences you earn, your achievements, your networking, and the lessons you learn are what will ultimately help you stand out in the long run and attain success. However, it is worth noting that universities in different tiers would likely affect the quality of experiences, networking, and achievements you have access to. But even that is nothing that cannot be overcome by determination.

Final words

Hopefully, now you have a good idea of how the QS Rankings work. It is always best to combine such measures with your own research to make the best decision for your specific situation. The QS rankings should not be a substitute to your own research. Every student has a specific situation and that’s why you are the best person to conduct the research that is most relevant to you.