Claim: 20 Pakistani universities have been ranked amongst the world’s top 500 universities

Fact: The ranking in question is related to how sustainable a university is and is not indicative of a university’s standard of education

Several media outlets are claiming that 20 Pakistani universities have been included in a list of the top 500 universities in the world. Soch Fact Check found this to be misleading. The UI Green Metric ranking does not evaluate universities based on the quality of education they provide. Instead, it only takes into account an institution’s efforts regarding sustainability.

Fact vs Fiction

Pakistani digital media outlets have posted on social media stating that 20 local universities have been ranked among the world’s top 500 universities. Soch Fact Check found these to be misleading. The ranking in question is the UI Green Metric World University Ranking carried out by Universitas Indonesia. This assesses universities based on their sustainability efforts.

According to the UI Green Metric’s website, education and research account for 18% of a university’s total score. Other criteria include the university’s infrastructure, waste management protocol, and water consumption. The metric aims to assess how much effort an institution puts into environmental, economic, and social sustainability.

The metric’s methodology does not evaluate a university’s overall quality of education . The education and research criteria are specific to the institution’s efforts to educate their students about sustainability and carry out research projects specific to this topic. The criteria includes factors such as the number of courses offered on sustainability and how much money is allocated to relevant research. 

The metric’s questionnaire has 16 questions in the education and research criteria. Only two of these do not mention sustainability. The first one asks how many cultural activities are arranged by the university in a given time period. The second one asks how many extracurricular programs the university arranges that are related to teaching and learning.

Furthermore, there are only 18 universities ranked amongst the first 500 institutions in the ranking. The 19th university is ranked at 526 while the 20th is at 536. Soch Fact Check found that the ranking is based on results that are largely self-reported. Participating universities are sent the questionnaire to fill out. They are asked to send evidence that supports the figures they report in these questionnaires, but it is unclear how thoroughly UI Green Metric confirms the numbers they report or what the protocol is for doing so.


Soch Fact Check was able to identify 15 posts across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram that carried this claim. There were at least over 7,500 interactions with these posts in the form of likes, comments, and shares.

Conclusion: Posts on social media claim that 20 Pakistani universities were ranked amongst the world’s top 500 universities. Soch Fact Check found this to be misleading. The ranking in question does not assess the standard of education provided by universities, it only evaluates the sustainability efforts an institution makes.


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x