Ms. Rita Bruun Akhtar's Profile

Ms. Rita Bruun Akhtar is the Executive Director of USEFP, managing the world’s largest Fulbright Program (in terms of U.S. contribution), the flagship scholarship program of the U.S. Department of State. In 2016, USEFP sent approximately 628 Pakistanis to the U.S. on ten different programs, including 159 in fully-funded Fulbright Master’s and Phd programs.

Ms. Akhtar is a Fulbright alumna, having researched comparative law in Lahore on a Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in the mid-1980s. She is an ABD in political science from the University of Washington and an alumna of the Berkeley Urdu Language Program in Pakistan.


University Rankings: Meaningless Metrics

There are more than 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States. In guiding students to apply to colleges and universities there, USEFP’s EducationUSA advisers implore them and their parents to not base their decisions on any university ranking scheme. The right college or university for a student depends on a combination of many factors that even the best designed ranking scheme cannot capture. The most controversial of all these university ranking systems, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), is regularly cited by both policy-makers and press in Pakistan. My presentation endeavors to show why they ought to be much more skeptical about commercial university ranking schemes, and especially of QS Rankings.

Ms. Rita Bruun Akhtar
USEFP Executive Director

Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Fellow (1984-1985)
University of Washington




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