ISLAMABAD: The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2015 were released, featuring the names of Asia’s top universities. Disappointingly, none of Pakistan’s universities were able to make the list.
The Top 10 had not one institution from South Asia and was dominated by universities from Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea.
The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2015 uses the same criteria in selecting the universities as The World University Rankings, powered by Thomson Reuters.
The universities from all around Asia were selected across their core missions, teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. Pakistan, a country of more than 182 million people with 35% of its population, does not have any university which is featured on the auspicious list.
This is a damning sign for a country that had a budding population of young people, but clearly a dearth of quality institutions, especially universities, to churn out skilled minds.
Perhaps the dismal state of affairs and the dilapidated structure of Pakistan’s education can better be understood keeping in light of a few facts. Not only is the country rampant with ghost schools and incompetent teachers, education has not been recognized or treated as a priority by governments. Pakistan’s most recent budget, which was presented by the government last Friday, allocated a meager Rs 71.5bn for the country’s Higher Education Commission (HEC). This amount of Rs 75.58bn was allocated as against astronomical amounts allocated for defense, power and Benazir Income Support Programme (Rs 781bn, 248bn and 102bn respectively).
Pakistan’s closest ally in the region, China has the highest number of universities in the top 100 list, with 21 universities making the list. It is closely followed by Japan, with 19 universities making the top 100 list.
Japan’s University of Tokyo is atop The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2015 list.
Even Pakistan’s arch-rival India which has the same troubles and woes as Pakistan, has a total number of 9 universities in The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings 2015 list.