Best universities in Pakistan 2018

Discover the best universities in Pakistan determined by data collected by Times Higher Education

September 21 2017
Map of Pakistan

Pakistan is a fascinating country with beautiful natural scenery, a rich culture and a complex history.

The country stretches from the shores of the Arabian sea in the south to the towering heights of the Himalayas in the north, and encompasses the Indus River valley, a cradle of human civilization and home to some of the world’s most ancient cultures. Over the millennia the land has been ruled by many different kingdoms, Hindus, Muslims, Mongols, Sikhs, Achaemenids, Mughals and the British have all controlled parts of modern-day Pakistan.

The country today is an ethnic and linguistic patchwork (more than 60 languages are spoken in Pakistan) where the people mirror the incredible diversity of its landscapes and geography.

Pakistan has around 170 public and private higher education institutions, some of which date back to when the country was first established. Following the establishment of Pakistan as an independent country, the government built several universities to provide vital skills to the newly-formed republic, especially in the sciences and engineering. That legacy continues to this day with many universities retaining a focus on science, medicine and technology.

Many Pakistani universities actively encourage foreign students to enrol, and large numbers choose to study abroad in Pakistan. Students come from as far afield as Saudi Arabia, Africa and China as well as some from America and Europe. Higher education is delivered in English at all public universities in Pakistan which, combined with the relatively low cost of living, makes studying abroad here an attractive option. These are the best universities in Pakistan based on the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018

Top 3 universities in Pakistan 2018 

1. Quaid-i-azam University

Based in Islamabad, Quaid-i-azam University was founded in 1977 to further the study of postgraduate education. A public research university, Quaid-i-azam University was called Islamabad University when it first opened. Since those days the institution has broadened its curriculum and is now proud to call itself an interdisciplinary university offering postgraduate and undergraduate degrees.

The university offers a broad mix of subjects from 38 academic departments spread across its four faculties. The faculty of natural sciences is home to the maths, physics and computer science departments among others. The faculty of social sciences houses law, history and economics, the faculty of biological sciences has medicine, biochemistry and microbiology. Finally the faculty of medical science is home to dentistry, nursing and the university eye hospital.

Quaid-i-azam University is one of the country’s most popular universities and has garnered a reputation for research, cutting-edge facilities and strong international ties. The institution has ties with organisations like the United Nations, University of Tokyo and the ICTP.

=2. COMSATS Institute of Information Technology

The COMSATS Institute of Information Technology, or CIIT for short, was established in 1994 by the commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South, an intergovernmental organisation whose goal is to promote sustainable growth in developing countries through science and technology. CIIT is spread over six campuses with the main campus in the capital city, Islamabad.

Although still a young institution, CIIT has gained a strong reputation in the region for its research and teaching especially in the fields of IT and computer science, and CIIT is highly placed in regional rankings as a result. The Islamabad campus is home to over 5,000 students while around 30,000 more attend classes at CIIT’s satellite campuses in Abbottabad, Attock, Vehari, Lahore, Wah and Sahiwal.

The university offers a wide range of degrees at postgraduate and undergraduate level. Subjects are split into nine departments which between them offer almost 100 degree programmes. Teaching at CIIT takes place in English and the comparatively low cost of tuition makes this an attractive option for international students wishing to specialise in information technology or computer science.


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=2. National University of Sciences and Technology

The National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) is a public research university based in Islamabad. The university was founded in 1991 to further the provision of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects in Pakistan’s higher education system.

The university was founded in collaboration with the military and military and civil educational establishments merged to become NUST. Since its creation, the institution has grown student enrolment and broadened its curriculum to include non-STEM subjects.

NUST consistently performs well in the regional rankings for the quality of its electric engineering department, the university also ranks highly among those from other emerging economies. Students can choose from a wide array of undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral programs from over 20 departments.

The university has in the region of 15,000 students encompassing many different nationalities. NUST also has close links with a great many international organisations such as Stanford and Caltech in America, the university of Manchester in the UK and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, among many others. The university also collaborates with CERN, Intel and Microsoft in research and training.

Aside from the academic aspect there are plenty of sporting facilities and the Islamabad campus is a short journey from beautiful landscapes and hiking available in the green foothills of the Himalayas.


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Top universities in Pakistan 2018 

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2018 results

Pakistan Rank 2018 World University Rank 2018 University City 
1 401–500 Quaid-i-azam University Islamabad
=2 601–800 COMSATS Institute of Information Technology Islamabad
=2 601–800 National University of Sciences and Technology Islamabad
4 801–1000 University of Agriculture, Faisalabad Faisalabad
=5 1001+ Bahauddin Zakariya University Punjab
=5 1001+ Government College University Lahore Lahore
=5 1001+ University of Lahore Lahore
=5 1001+ University of Peshawar Peshawar
=5 1001+ PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi Rawalpindi
=5 1001+ University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore Lahore

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