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King Fahd University Tops New Ranking of Arab Universities

King Fahd University Tops New Ranking of Arab Universities main image

Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals leads a new ranking of universities in the Arab region, launched in a pilot edition by the QS Intelligence Unit last week. The QS University Rankings: Arab Region has been developed following consultation with academics and university leaders in the region, more than 100 of whom participated in a conference held in Abu Dhabi in May this year. The reputational surveys used as part of the assessment received input from more than 3,500 academics and more than 2,350 employers in the region.

This initial pilot version features the top 50 universities in the Arab region, based on nine indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, international faculty members, international student enrolments, percentage of staff with a PhD, web impact, papers per faculty member and citations per paper. A tenth indicator, Arabic-language papers per faculty member, is likely to be incorporated in future; QS is currently working with local experts to identify an accurate source for this indicator.

Strong performance for Saudi Arabian universities

As well as King Fahd University claiming the top spot, two more Saudi Arabian universities are also featured in the top five: King Saud University comes third, and King Abdul Aziz University fifth. Six more Saudi Arabian universities are among the top 50.

The United Arab Emirates claims the most entries (10), led by United Arab Emirates University in sixth place. Egypt’s eight entries are headed by the American University in Cairo, which comes fourth, while Lebanon’s six representatives are topped by the American University of Beirut, in second place.

A total of 12 countries are featured in this first edition of the QS University Rankings: Arab Region. Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates are joined by Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Sudan and Tunisia. The full ranking can be viewed at the QS Intelligence Unit website, alongside more detailed explanation of the methodology.

More in-depth comparisons of universities worldwide

This new ranking of universities in the Arab region is the latest addition to QS’s suite of university rankings, spearheaded by the flagship QS World University Rankings®, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. It follows regional rankings dedicated to highlighting the leading universities in Asia, Latin America and the BRICS countries. Each of these regional rankings uses an adapted methodology, developed to reflect specific challenges and priorities for institutions in the countries considered.

Following the publication of this pilot edition, the QS Intelligence Unit is welcoming feedback and suggestions, with plans to extend the number of universities ranked in future. Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS, said, “We are very proud of the level of engagement we have established with universities in the Arab region and we trust that this first edition of the rankings will spark a higher degree of involvement and cooperativeness among universities regionally and internationally.”

He added, “We look forward to receiving feedback from universities, students and employers, and to continue to compile rankings that will provide valuable insights to our key stakeholders.”

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Written by Laura Bridgestock
The former editor of TopUniversities.com, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'

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