Dubai (UAE) November 02, 2016: Whenever there is a ranking list announced on the best universities of the Arab world, it is the universities from Saudi Arabia always win the plum positions. And the reason is simple- it is the investment that the country pumps in for education reflects in the result.
High levels of funding attract better faculty into the universities of Saudi Arabia. A major chunk of this money goes nothing other than research & development. Better infrastructure also helps to chisel out quality students. It could have a great impact on the advancement of teaching methods and ultimately on increasing graduates’ employability and mobility around the world.
If we average out the education investment, it is whopping. Saudi Government will provide around $733,069 (£519,290) as institutional income per member of staff. This is almost the highest among the eight countries of the region. While universities from Egypt gets an average of just $101,317 (£71,770) in this regard.
Now let us examine some data about the recent ranking of universities brought forward by the top ranking institutions in the world. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdul Aziz University has found the number one slot in the recently-released ranking table of Top 15 Universities from the Middle-East by Times Higher Education. Other two premier universities from Saudi Arabia, King Fahd University, and King Saud University have also secured the third and fourth places.
Earlier, in QS University Rankings of Arab region 2016, Saudi gets 19 of the top 100 universities in the region. Lately, the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings has also picked Saudi Arabia as the country having the 36th best higher education system in the world.
UAE, one of the Middle East’s fastest growing education hubs, and Lebanon are the two other countries always which always find better positions after Saudi vis-à-vis ranking. Lebanon likes to invest more into higher education. This year, UAE has already allocated 20.5 percent or Dh10.2 billion of the budget outlay for higher education. This is a strong indication that UAE wants to march in the same way where Saudi goes.
The Lebanon’s the American University of Beirut and the United Arab Emirates University, UAE’s oldest university, have also found second and fifth positions respectively in the top 15 university list of Times Higher Education.
The introduction of a MENA-specific ranking would provide the region with a great opportunity to help guide and drive effective plans at a strategic level, which will be a significant aid in developing a relatively young higher education sector.At a higher level, it would also help governments to establish well-guided strategies for research funding – a key factor for countries such as the UAE that are now producing serious pockets of research excellence and are eager to do more.
Now have a look at the list of Top 15 universities in the Arab world by Times Higher Education:
- King Abdulaziz University
- American University of Beirut
- King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
- King Saud University
- United Arab Emirates University
- Qatar University
- Sultan Qaboos University
- American University of Sharjah
- Jordan University of Science and Technology
- Suez Canal University
- Alexandria University
- Cairo University
- The University of Jordan
- University of Marrakech Cadi Ayyad
- Mohammed V University of Rabat