ISLAMABAD   -   The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has announced ranking of Pakistani universities on the basis of quality and research. HEC Chairperson Dr Javaid Laghari made the announcement at a press conference held at the commission secretariat on Friday. According to Dr Laghari, the ranking criteria for the universities revolve around three main parameters: implementation status of quality assurance, teaching quality and research. The ranking 2013 was based on the year 2011-12 data provided by the higher education institutes, said Dr Laghari. According to the HEC, the National University of Sciences and Technology Islamabad, the Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad and University of Faisalabad have been ranked the highest in the large, medium and small 'General Universities' category, respectively.According to the ranking, the Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums) emerged as the highest university in the category of 'Business Education' while Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Science (Pieas) was declared the best university in the category of 'Engineering and Technology' category. The University of Agriculture, Faisalabad and Aga Khan University were announced the highest institutes in the disciplines of 'Agriculture/Veterinary and 'Medicine', respectively. In the category of ‘General Universities (Large)’, the National University of Sciences and Technology Islamabad, the University of the Punjab Lahore, the University of Karachi, the Comsats Institute of Information Technology Islamabad, the Government College University Faisalabad, the University of Peshawar, Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur, the Islamia University of Bahawalpur were announced as top ranked institutes. In the category of ‘General Universities (Medium)’ the Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, the Government College University Lahore, the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences Islamabad, Fatima Jinnah Women University Rawalpindi, the Gomal University DI Khan and the University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Muzaffarabad were declared as the top universities.  In the category of ‘General Universities (Small)’ the University of Faisalabad, the Beaconhouse National University Lahore, the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE) Islamabad, the University of Science and Technology Bannu, the Isra University Hyderabad and the Foundation University Islamabad were announced as top universities. In ‘Agriculture/Veterinary’ category, the top universities announced by the HEC include: the University of Agriculture Faisalabad, the Pir Mehr Ali Shah Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore, the University of Agriculture Peshawar, the Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam and Lasbela University of Agriculture. In ‘Engineering and Technology’ category, Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Science Islamabad, the University of Engineering and Technology Lahore, the Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute of Engineering and Technology Swabi, the Mehran University of Engineering and Technology Jamshoro and the Institute of Space Technology Islamabad were the top universities. In ‘Business Education’ category, the Lahore University of Management Sciences, the Institute of Business Administration Karachi, the Institute of Business Administration Sukkar, Shaheed Zulifikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (Szabist) Karachi and the Institute of Management Sciences Peshawar as the top universities. In ‘Medical category’, the Aga Khan University Karachi, the University of Health Sciences Lahore, the Dow University of Health Sciences Karachi, Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences Jamshoro, Khyber Medical University Peshawar and the King Edward Medical University Lahore were declared as top universities by the HEC.Dr Laghari said keeping in view the national context and problems faced by the universities, the primarily identified QS world ranking criteria was amended as per feedback received from the higher education institutions.  “In spite of the difficulties associated with the ranking, the HEC is the first one in the Islamic world that has done rankings twice; first time in 2006 and second time in 2011. However the criteria over the period amended to respond to feedback by the HEIs and to make the HEC's ranking more compatible with global rankings,” Dr Laghari added. He also remarked that the HEC would seek the services of an independent body to ascertain university rankings for the next year. The HEC Quality Assurance Director General Zia Batool explained that the universities had been ranked specifically by category/area of specialisation to make it logical. The sector-wise sorting had not been done to provide equal reflection to both the public and private sector institutions. The universities could only be comparable within the assigned category. She informed that the universities that had been involved in issuing fake degrees had been given less weightage accordingly. “This year the HEC did not release an overall list of university rankings. The HEIs established after December 2008, the distance learning institutes or the institutes that provided incomplete data were excluded from the ranking lists,” she added. These institutes are the Global Institute Lahore, the Institute of Southern Punjab Multan, the Iqra National University Peshawar, the Lahore Leads University, the University of Swat, the DHA Suffa University Karachi, the Commeces Institute of Business and Emerging Sciences Karachi, Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design Lahore, People University of Medical and Health Sciences for Women Nawabshah, Qarshi University, Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Medical University Larkana, Shifa Tameet-e-Millat University Islamabad, Sindh Institute of Medical Sciences Karachi, Sindh Madresatul Islam University Karachi, Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University Karachi, University of Haripur, University of Poonch Rawalakot, the Women University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir Bagh, the Allama Iqbal Open University, Virtual University, the NED University of Engineering and Technology Karachi, the Preston University Karachim, Pakistan Military Academy Abbottabad, the NFC Institute of Engineering and Technology Multan and Pakistan Naval Academy Karachi, she added.