A masterclass on Pakistan’s Growing Global Impact: a Data Masterclass by the Times Higher Education (THE) was jointly organized by Higher Education Commission (HEC), Pakistan and University of Lahore (UoL) on January 25, 2023 at HEC, Islamabad. Consultant Quality Assurance, Air Cdre Muhammad Ismail, SI (M), (Retd), Dy Director QA, Dr Erum Monis and Manager QA, Ms Sumiya Nauman represented NUMS in the masterclass. The event was attended by the participants from various universities, which was focused on the criteria and methodology of Impact Rankings (IR) and World University Rankings (WuR) by THE.

HEC representative welcomed the participants and invited Chairman HEC, Prof. Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed to shed light on Ranking of Universities from National and International perspectives. Dr Mukhtar through very comprehensive presentation shared various types of rankings and the status/number of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) from Pakistan included in Asia and World rankings over the years.  The criteria and parameters of various ranking bodies were also shared along with their history and future plans. The major challenges that HEC and HEIs are facing while their participation in rankings were also discussed in addition to the dynamic parameters of various ranking systems.

Mr Phil Batty, Chief Global Affairs Officer, Times Higher Education (THE) was invited as a guest speaker. During his presentation, Mr Batty appreciated the interest and increasing participation of Pakistan’s HEIs in THE multiple rankings. He focused his presentation on Impact Rankings (IR) and World University Rankings (WuR) methodology. Main parameters, criteria and how the results for Impact Rankings and World University Rankings (WuR) are analyzed at THE were also discussed. Mr Batty also elaborated the performance analysis of Pakistan’s HEIs, which also included the best performing areas from 2018 till 2023 through parameter wise score. At the end of the session, the participant’s questions/queries were responded by the guest speaker and chairman HEC in a well-defined manner. The session was concluded with the vote of thanks to guest speaker from THE followed by a souvenir presentation to him by Chairman HEC.


Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) publishes annual ranking of universities called the QS World University Rankings, which is highly regarded and widely used by research by various stake holders for different purposes. The rankings take into consideration various criteria such as academic reputation, research impact, student-to-faculty ratio, international diversity, and other factors. The methodology used to determine the rankings involves surveys of academic and employer reputation, research citations per faculty, international faculty, student ratios, and more.

In addition to the world university ranking, QS is providing a framework to show how universities are taking action to tackle the world’s greatest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) challenges through their new QS World University Rankings: Sustainability 2023.

The new ranking will evaluate the social and environmental impact of universities as a center of education and research as well as a major employer with the operational costs and sustainability challenges of any large and complex organization.

A webinar was held on the topic of QS Sustainability Ranking, which was led by Dr. Drew MacFarlane who introduced the methodology for the said ranking which will include indicators that demonstrate:

  1. Research collaboration between Official Development Assistance (ODA) – commonly known as overseas aid – countries and non-ODA countries.
  2. Research assessment across 17 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  3. Diversity among alumni, rating those universities with alumni that have gone onto make a major impact in tackling environmental and social challenges, in climate action, social policy and education.
  4. Educational provision which incorporates social and environmental priorities.
  5. The presence of publicly-available policies which support social and environmental initiatives. For example, in improving diversity or achieving net-zero emissions.
  6. A measure of academic freedom which ranks countries by the openness with which academics are allowed to research and publish.
  7. All institutions are eligible to participate in the rankings, regardless of size, specialism or teaching level. We estimate around 700 will be ranked in this first edition.

Dr. Drew shared that the education sector is one of the few sectors that can support, promote, and contribute to achieving all the 17 UN SDGs. Universities are essential to achieving the SDGs because they can equip the next generation with the skills, knowledge, and understanding to address sustainability challenges and research that advances the sustainable development agenda.

The webinar was attended by a diverse group of participants, including students, faculty, and university administrators. The attendees actively participated in the discussion and asked several questions about the ranking methodology, how universities can improve their sustainability practices, and the benefits of being ranked in the QS Sustainability Ranking. During the webinar the timeline was discussed with participants.

NUMS was represented in the session by Dr. Erum Monis, Deputy Director, Sumiya Nauman and Asif Imran, Managers, Quality Assurance Dte.


A Masterclass on ‘The impact of international talent on university performance’ was conducted online by Times Higher Education (THE) on March 20, 2023. The session highlighted how universities that invest in recruiting international talent benefit from a halo effect that improves overall performance and empowers partnerships and collaborations, research excellence, quality teaching, and reputation; metrics that are reflected in THE’s World University Rankings.  Deputy Director Quality Assurance (QA) – Dr. Erum Monis from NUMS actively participated in the session.

Following were the presenters from THE for the Masterclass;

  1. Michael Lubacz (Business Development Director)
  2. David Watkins (Managing Director, Data Science)
  3. Jamie Morris Head of Customer Success

The team of experts shared through their individual presentations on powerful, data-driven insights and strategic consultancy support to agenda-setting events and hiring solutions, their products and services to enable everyone in higher education to make smarter, more informed decisions. They shared insights that showed between the years 2018 and 2023 Hiring Subscribers(universities) have improved in the Psychology, Business and Economics, Physical Sciences, Engineering, Social Sciences, Education, Law, Clinical and Health, Computer Science, Arts and Humanities, Life Sciences subjects in comparison with The World, but has dropped in none.  The presenters also shared case studies in this regard.

Session ended with token of thanks and the queries of the participants were answered by the experts.


The impacts of climate change on natural resources can lead to displacement, worsening living conditions as well as it is an obstruction in the return of already displaced people. The parliaments played a key role in responding to the climate change and displacement and building long-term resilience. 

On September 21, 2022, an online webinar/dialogue was organized by the UNHCR and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), supported by International Association of Professionals in Humanitarian Assistance and Protection (PHAP).

The objectives of the dialogue were to discuss:

  • to increase parliamentarians’ understanding of the linkages between climate change, displacement and human security
  • the role of parliaments and linkages for addressing and sharing the best practices for the climate issues and its impact

The distinguished presenters of the webinar included the following members;

  • Mr. Martin Chungong, IPU Secretary General (TBC)
  • Ms. Gillian Triggs, Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, UNHCR (TBC)
  • Ms. Şafak Pavey, Senior Adviser, UNHCR
  • Mr. Andrew Harper, Special Adviser on Climate Action, UNHCR

A large number of participants around the globe attended the session. Ms Sumiya Nauman, Manager Quality Assurance, NUMS also attended the webinar/dialogue.

The event included the briefing by the UNHCR Special Advisor on Climate Action, followed by a dialogue with parliamentarians to create an open space for information and good practice sharing. The presenters shared Strategic Framework of UNHCR for Climate Action with the participants and explain its role in mobilizing multi stakeholder partnerships to better address the protection needs of and to help build resilience for the most vulnerable within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG-17, Partnership for the Goals and SDG-13, Climate Action)

The dialogue enabled the discussions between parliamentarians on challenges and solutions for disaster preparedness and prevention, access to services, and on building resilience for displaced and host populations affected by the climate emergency. The representative from parliament of Pakistan also highlighted the current situation and impacts of urban flooding during 2022 in Pakistan.  The opportunities to learn about tools to influence and monitor national actions tackling climate change were also discussed.

The concluding remarks were given by Special Advisor UNHCR, Mr. Andrew Harper, wherein he thanked all the presenters for sharing their view point with each other and with the participants of the webinar.


To support the understanding of the upcoming methodology changes for the institutions, Times Higher Education (THE) organized a Masterclass on World University Rankings (WUR) methodology and its implications for WUR 2024 on Wednesday 7 September, 2022. The webinar was hosted by Chief Data Officer Duncan Ross of THE. Ms Sumiya Nauman, Manager Quality Assurance from National University of Medical Sciences (NUMS) attended the one-hour online session.

During the presentation, Mr Ross shared that since the methodology was last updated, the rankings have grown from 400 to 1799 universities. The new methodologies and its impact on the university’s overall and subject-level performance along with the impacts of Covid-19 (2023 Ranking) were discussed in detail. THE’s in-depth analysis includes a comprehensive assessment of each institution’s performance across the five pillars and the distinct metrics that underpin the THE World University Rankings, with in-depth focus on the wider range of bibliometric measures, he added. THE analysis is going to include benchmarking against domestic or international peers of institution’s choosing, he added.

In his concluding remarks, the presenter shared that this update will provide the universities a more robust, more insightful and better data for comparison and benchmarking. The webinar concluded with the vote of thanks to all the participants of the session by the Mr Ritin Malhotra, General Manager & Regional Director (Asia).


An introductory Masterclass on how to leverage and best communicate rankings results both to internal and external stakeholders is organized by Times Higher Education’s (THE) on Tuesday 20th September 2022. The session was attended by university stakeholders including rankings staff members, marketing & communications professionals responsible for reporting and communicating on rankings performances. From NUMS, Deputy Director Quality Assurance (QA) - Dr Erum Monis, Manager QA - Ms Sumiya Nauman and Assistant Manager - Mr Aqib Shafiq actively participated in the subject session.

Following were the presenters from THE for the Masterclass;

  1. Duncan Ross (Chief Data Officer)
  2. Mark Sudbury (Head of Reputation)
  3. Claire Baumforth (Marketing Director)
  4. Michael Lubacz (Business Development Director)

The team of experts shared through individual presentations the tips and guidance on best ways to use the rankings for promoting the university through rankings.  Every type of ranking has its own unique features, perspective, rules of participation, the information it provides and the influence of rankings, shared by Mr Ross.

All the presenters emphasized that the rankings methodologies, results, how the results are interpreted, institution’s performance and how ranking data supports its internal reporting are few very important and impactful features to be understood by the relevant staff of the university. It was also recommended by THE experts that the universities shall plan the activities strategically by understanding their key stakeholders that includes internal stakeholders (faculty, researchers), external stakeholders (students, parents, other institutes) and alumni. The informative messages developed by the university in relevance to the rankings shall address the requirements and expectations of each stakeholder.

The experts shared that the website of the university is face of the university where branding needs an intelligent effort by use of the best ways to pitch to media entities. The best practice and case studies on effective university communications, Interacting and engaging with audience on social media were also shared.

At the end of the session, the queries of the participants were answered in a well-defined manner by all the presenters with a vote of thanks for their interest in THE rankings.


The International network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) was the first ever International Network of Quality Assurance Agency in QA bodies. INQAAHE has introduced the INQAAHE Talks, which is a series of webinars focusing on global and regional issues presented by local and International experts providing the insight into Quality Assurance matters. In continuation of this series a webinar was arranged on “Quality Assurance and Recognition Practices, Challenges and Opportunities” on July 07, 2022. The webinar highlighted quality issues related to cross-border education, also referred to as transnational education (TNE), distance learning or offshore campuses.

The presenters included the following;

  • Dr. Nitesh Sughnani, Director of University Quality Assurance at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), UAE
  • Dr. Abi Coveney, Senior Risk Manager/TNE lead at the Office for Students, UK
  • Dr. Kushnood Haq, Vice President for Institutional Field Relations at the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), USA
  • Dr. Khairul Salleh Mohamed Sahari, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (Quality Assurance) Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA)
  • Dr. Fabrizio Trifiro, Head of Quality Benchmark Services Ecctis Limited

The speakers gave a comprehensive presentation on cross border education system, regulations and approaches that their organizations are taking to ensure the quality assurance systems in cross border education. Dr. Nitesh Sughnani spoke on higher education in Dubai and Quality Beyond Border group projects. Dr. Abi being the TNE lead at Office for Students, UK shared best practices in promoting the TNE in England. He said that the aim of all QA agencies should be to ensure access to higher education by anyone who wishes to acquire it.  Dr. Kushnood Haq elaborated that Quality Assurance systems in transnational education have been developed for a number of years to improve the professional and educational standards. He discussed, in detail the challenges and opportunities institutions face in transnational education in general.

The webinar was attended by over hundred participants from the universities across the globe. Dr. Erum Monis Deputy Director QA NUMS, Ms.  Sumiya Nauman Manager, Muhammad Waqas Manager (Data Analyst), and Aqib Shafiq Assistant Manager attended this webinar and represented NUMS through their participation.


The Impact of technology on organizational transformation in higher education, was discussed in a webinar conducted by the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) Karachi, QEC, on Jun 08, 2022. Representatives from various universities of Pakistan attended this webinar. Dr. Erum Monis Deputy Director Quality Assurance and Aqib Shafiq Assisant Manager-Junior QA participated in the session.

For higher education institutions, the pandemic was a catalyst for adopting and implementing new technologies. To speak on the said topic Dr. Reem AL Buainain Acting Chief Executive Officer Bahrain Polytechnic was invited as guest speaker of the webinar. Speaker discussed the history of quality assurance, quality assurance system, Pre-COVID and Post-COVID Scenario and its impact on quality assurance system of higher educational institutions. Moreover, she shed some light on how Quality assurance systems and good governance can reshape the educational structure of the universities.


Times Higher Education (THE) conducted Impact Rankings 2022 Masterclass on May 16, 2022 for universities of Pakistan. Ms Sumiya Nauman, Assistant Manager from NUMS Quality Assurance Directorate attended the online session. The presenters included the following;

  • The Duncan Ross, Chief Data Officer THE
  • Simone Dilena, President APAC
  • Elizabeth Shepherd, MD Consultancy

Mr Ross through a very comprehensive presentation shared the detailed purview of performance by Pakistani Higher Education Institutes in Impact Rankings 2022. The presentation included the participation requirements, overall ranking bibliometric, how do THE measure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, verification of evidences, scoring criteria, SDGs indicators changes for 2022, most participated SDGs by institutes, year-wise scores, participation status of institutions globally, etc. The top trends of institutes of Pakistan participated in Impact Rankings 2022 was also shared by the presenters. It was shared that from the year 2019 to 2022 there is substantial increase in participation by the institutes from Pakistan as 10 universities initially participated in 2019, 23 in 2020, 36 in 2021 and 63 participations in 2022. Pakistan has risen to 3rd place after Russia and Japan leading to increased submissions to THE for the Impact Rankings 2022.

The information on top most SDGs participated from Pakistan, how THE measures them and comparison of Pakistan with Asia and Worldwide was also shared. The areas of improvement as mentioned by the presenters included, but not limited to, the emphasis in increasing the number of research Publications by Pakistani institutes, courses to be designed in relevance to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that can ultimately be helpful to increase the universities in making an impact on the community and project themselves for International Rankings.