Panjab University (PU) may have figured in the list of top 200 institutes in Asia, but domestically its image has taken a beating with the announcement of rankings of Asian universities announced by British publishing house, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
PU figures at number 12 in the country in the publishing house’s ‘Top University Rankings Asia-2014’, behind seven Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and four universities, including Banaras Hindu Universities (BHU).
In Asia, the varsity has been ranked between 171-180. In the Times Higher Education Rankings-2013 (THER- 2013) announced in October, PU had left behind all other institutes in the country and was ranked at number one in the country.
Officials at PU said nothing had changed in just less than one year’s time, but the disparity in ranking lied in the different parameters adopted by these two reputed international ranking organisations.
“Nothing has changed. Rather things have improved. The difference in positions in two rankings is because of different yardsticks adopted by them,” PU vice-chancellor AK Grover said, adding that one of the important parameters was employability in which PU’s students lagged behind as compared to their counterparts in Mumbai and Delhi universities.
However, officials do admit that PU getting number one position in THER-2013 ranking was also probably because many top institutes did not participate in the rankings then.
Officials in PU said that as many as 67 institutes in the country were surveyed by the QS out of which 22 have been included in the rankings announced. A total of 17 have figured in top 300 institutes in the country. The QS is yet to share performance on various parameters of the institutes falling between 150 and 300.
“We do not want to challenge it. We are taking the rankings as face value. We did not ask them to rank us. They are yet to share details of various parameters adopted by them in rankings. They conducted their own surveys,” Lalit K Bansal, dean research, said, while dismissing the rankings, adding that even Peking University of China, which was at number one in Times Ranking of BRICS economies, was ranked number eight in this ranking.
However, Bansal acknowledged that rankings had an impact on students, parents, funding agencies. “These rankings help our own management. We get an idea of challenges before us and scope of improvement,” he added.