Among the universities in Bangladesh, only Dhaka University and the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) have secured places among the top 1,000 universities on the 2021 QS World University Rankings.
Both institutions have secured places between 800-1,000 on the list.
This year's QS World University Rankings reveals the top 1,000 universities from around the world, covering 80 different locations.
There are 47 new entrants in this year's top 1,000 while over 5,500 universities were evaluated and considered for inclusion.
Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) has continued its record-breaking streak of being number one for the ninth consecutive year.
The big story this year is the impressive gains made by Asian universities; 26 institutions from the continent now feature in the global top 100, more than ever before. Of them, 21 universities from India and seven universities from Pakistan are on the list.
"This year's rankings have been launched at a challenging time for the whole world, with Covid-19 impacting universities and students alike," said the QS World Rankings authorities on their website.
Professor AK Azad Chowdhury, former chairman of University Grants Commission, told The Business Standard, "Actually every university should put emphasis on research and building skilled graduates. However, unfortunately most of our universities are not doing this."
"I believe if the university authorities determine to allocate more funds for research they will be able to secure places among top 100 universities within a short time," he said.
Educationist Professor Syed Manzoorul Islam said, "It is good that Dhaka University and Buet are on the list of top 1,000 universities. However, it would have been possible to attain a higher position had the teachers not been involved in politics and vice chancellors not been appointed on the basis of partisanship."
Vice-Chancellor of Dhaka University Professor Akhtaruzzaman said, "It is a matter of joy that Dhaka University is on the list. We are trying to do better. I hope that Dhaka University will restore its image."
"Buet has a small campus with a small number of teachers and students. We are happy that Buet is on the list," Professor Dr AKM Masud, president of Buet Teachers Association, told The Business Standard.
"Buet teachers are always trying to impart a quality education to its students. Many teachers are also publishing international standard articles. I think these were the considerations of QS World University Rankings authorities for selecting Buet for its top 1,000 universities," he added.
Meanwhile, only Dhaka University has secured a place among the top 2,000 universities globally on the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR) 2020-21 – the largest academic ranking of global universities. Dhaka University was the only university from Bangladesh to secure a place on the Asia University Rankings 2020, released by the Times Higher Education on Wednesday.
Methodology of selecting top universities
Universities continue to be evaluated according to the following six metrics, each with a certain percentage allocated to it:
Academic reputation (40 percent)
The highest weighting of any metric is allotted to an institution's academic reputation score. Based on an academic survey, it collates the expert opinions of over 100,000 individuals in the higher education space regarding teaching and research quality at the world's universities. In doing so, it has grown to become the world's largest survey of academic opinion, and, in terms of size and scope, is an unparalleled means of measuring sentiment in the academic community.
Employer reputation (10 percent)
Students will continue to pursue university education as a means by which they can receive valuable preparation for the employment market. It follows that assessing how successful institutions are at providing that preparation is essential for a ranking whose primary audience is the global student community. The employer reputation metric is based on almost 50,000 responses to the QS Employer Survey, and asks employers to identify those institutions from which they source the most competent, innovative, effective graduates. The QS Employer Survey is also the world's largest of its kind.
Faculty/Student Ratio (20 percent)
Teaching quality is typically cited by students as the metric of highest importance to them when comparing institutions using a ranking. It is notoriously difficult to measure, but QS have determined that measuring teacher/student ratios is the most effective proxy metric for teaching quality. It assesses the extent to which institutions are able to provide students with meaningful access to lecturers and tutors, and recognises that a high number of faculty members per student will reduce the teaching burden on each individual academic.
Citations per faculty (20 percent)
Teaching is a key pillar of an institution's mission. Another is research output. QS measures institutional research quality using citations per faculty metric. To calculate it, QS takes the total number of citations received by all papers produced by an institution, across a five-year period, by the number of faculty members at that institution.
To account for the fact that different fields have very different publishing cultures, QS normalises citations. This means that a citation received for a paper in philosophy is measured differently to one received for a paper on anatomy and physiology, ensuring that, in evaluating an institution's true research impact, both citations are given equal weight.
QS uses a five-year publication window for papers, so for this edition it looked at papers published from 2014 to 2018. Then it looked at a six-year citation window; reflecting the fact that it takes time for research to be effectively disseminated. In this edition QS looked for citations from 2014-2019.
All citations data is sourced using Elsevier's Scopus database, the world's largest repository of academic journal data. This year, QS assessed 138 million citations from 18.5 million papers once self-citations were excluded.
International faculty ratio/International student ratio (five percent, each)
A highly international university acquires and confers a number of advantages. It demonstrates an ability to attract faculty and students from across the world, which in turn suggests that it possesses a strong international brand. It implies a highly global outlook: essentially for institutions operating in an internationalised higher education sector. It also provides both students and staff, alike, with a multinational environment – facilitating exchange of best practices and beliefs. In doing so, it provides students with international sympathies and global awareness – soft skills increasingly valuable to employers. Each of these metrics are worth five percent of the overall total.