Times Higher Education recently released their list for ranking the world’s top universities for the coming academic year.
While the top half of the list remains a bit predictable, how did universities in the Middle East and North Africa perform this year?
Coming in at the top of the list as the highest ranking institution for higher education in the Middle East: King Abdulaziz University. That Saudi Arabian university can currently claim to perform the best out of all universities in the MENA region. Aside from ranking as no. 1 in the Arab region, King Abdulaziz University ranked no. 201 globally and came in at no. 23 among the top universities on the Asian continent.
Saudi Arabia also saw four other universities make it on this year’s list, including Alfaisal University, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals and King Saud University, all ranking in the 501-600 category, as well as Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University ranking in the 801-1,000 category.
The second highest ranking university in the MENA region comes from the United Arab Emirates: Khalifa University, which ranked in the 301-350 category. Also from the UAE, the United Arab Emirates University ranked in the 501-600 category, the American University of Sharjah ranked in the 601-800 category and the University of Sharjah ranked in the 801-1,000 category.
The Jordan University of Science and Technology claimed the position of third highest ranking university in the MENA region, ranking in the 401-500 category. Jordan was also represented on the list by the University of Jordan, ranking in the 801-1,000 category, and the Hashemite University, ranking in the 1,001+ category.
For many of the other Arab universities on this year’s list it was their first time to enter the ranks, but for many others they’ve see their status decline from the previous year.
Egypt was the most represented country on the list when compared to its neighbors, with a total of nine universities making the cut. However, almost all of those universities saw their rank drop a category from the previous year. The most significant drop in the bunch comes from Alexandria University, which in 2011 ranked 147 on the list but has unfortunately dropped steadily each year and is now in the 801-1,000 category.
Other universities representing Egypt include the American University in Cairo and Beni-Suef University in the 601-800 category; Ain Shams University, Assiut University and Cairo University in the 801-1000 category; and Mansoura University, South Valley University and Suez Canal University in the 801-1000 category.
Morocco was represented on the list with three universities, including the University of Marrakech Cadi Ayyad and Mohammed V University of Rabat ranking in the 801-1,000 category, as well as Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University ranking in the 1,001+ category. Tunisia ranked in the list’s 1,001+ category with two universities, including the University of Monastir and University of Tunis El Manar.
Qatar University ranked in the 401-500 category, Lebanon’s American University of Beirut ranked in the 501-600 category, Kuwait University ranked in the 601-800 category, Algeria’s University of Tlemcen ranked in the 801-1,000 category while Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University also ranked in the 801-1,000 category.
Universities from Syria, Palestine, Bahrain Yemen, Libya and Iraq were not featured on this year’s list.
The list ranks 1,102 universities from 77 countries, and even making it to the list is a big achievement. Universities in the top 1,000 represent roughly 5% of the over 20,000 institutions for higher education across the world.
The universities represented on the list are graded according to the quality of teaching, research, international outlook and income from industry.
The top three on the list are no big surprise. Coming it at number one is the UK’s University of Oxford, at number two is the UK’s University of Cambridge and tying for third place are two US universities: the California Institute of Technology and Stanford University.
Photo credit: Abu Dhabi University