AN EVALUATION OF HEC RANKING OF UNIVERSITIES
BY DR. ABDUL WAHAB
Ex-Vice Chancellor Karachi University
Ex-Director IBA Karachi
Feb 05 - 11, 2007
1. PROFESSIONAL LIFE
I started my professional life as a lecturer of marketing in IBA. The guiding principle of my life was to improve and innovate by making good things better and better things best. Most of the business management programs like BBA after Intermediate, MBA (MIS), MBA (Banking) and MBA (International Marketing) were introduced by me in Pakistan. I established discipline — academic, financial, administrative — in IBA, Karachi University and Mohammad Ali Jinnah University as Director, Dean, and Vice Chancellor of the respective institutions.
2. UNIVERSITY RANKING BY HEC
The ranking of universities was neither needed nor will it be used by parents and employers as a guide. Parents and employers have their own ranking. If NED University has been placed near bottom in the ranking, it will not happen that employers refuse hiring NED graduates. If Quaid-e-Azam University has been ranked as number one, students from Karachi will not rush to Islamabad.
3. QUALITY ASSURANCE COMMITTEE
The quality criteria were mostly quantitative. Real quality means that the universities develop human resource according to the needs of our society so that graduates may meet the challenges being faced by our country.
4. WEIGHTAGE IN RANKING
The weightage assigned for ranking was arbitrary and subjective. Within each category there were sub-criteria which in themselves were arbitrary. Assigning weightages to faculty, research and students by a small group of persons is a difficult task.
5. SELECTION OF UNIVERSITIES
The selection of 55 universities was also arbitrary. It was unfortunate that the universities established a few years ago were compared in ranking with universities established more than a century ago.
6. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE UNIVERSITIES
Public and private sector universities were placed on the same category. The public sector universities were established after 1985, while public sector universities were established with land grants of hundreds of acres.
7. BENEFIT TO RESEARCH ORIENTED UNIVERSITIES
As research carried 26 percent weightage, the universities having published research benefited in ranking. Let me say without any hesitation that most of the published research is superficial. Firstly, most of the research has little to do with issues and challenges our country is facing. A published paper has four or five names. The first name is usually of a person who controls funds or is the head of an institution. He has not done anything except providing resources.
8. FEEDBACK TO VC COMMITTEE
No feedback has been provided to Vice Chancellors Committee. The vice chancellors of private sector universities are completely in the dark about the criteria of ranking.
9. COMPOSITION OF RANKING COMMITTEE
The worst part of the ranking was that several vice chancellors were included in the ranking of their own universities. This is unheard of in any such activity as ranking was. Some of the universities whose VCs were members of the Ranking Committee have certainly benefited.
10. ACADEMIC AUDIT OF UNIVERSITIES
In view of the environment of unfair practices and numerous other complex factors, academic audit by a government organization will not produce any fruitful result.
11. METHODOLOGY OF RANKING
Ranking of universities is not done in foreign countries by government. A complex system involving employers, alumni, community, students and faculty is followed.
12. INVOLVEMENT OF EMPLOYERS
Employers are the end users of the product of the universities. They must be involved. The last comment I would like to make is that the ranking of universities was an exercise in futility.
EDUCATION STATISTICS 2004-05
Source: Ministry of Education 2004-05
ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES TO HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION 2003-06
Source: Ministry of Education