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Arab University Rankings 2023: a region of resilience and growth

Even as many universities struggle to keep the lights on, others reap the rewards of strong investment and tumult elsewhere, writes Pola Lem

November 15, 2023
aerial view of an unidentified person walking on a deserted road covered by sand dunes in the middle of the Dubai desert.  Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Source: Getty Images

Browse the full results of the Arab University Rankings 2023

“We’re becoming more creative, stretching the dollar as?much as we?can,” Lebanese American University leader Michel Mawad told?me. “If?something is?not necessary, we just cut?it.”

The statement encapsulates the resilience not just of a?Lebanese institution grappling with record-high inflation, but also that of?its peers in?the wider Arab region, which has been especially hard hit by?the global economic crisis. But while many universities have been struggling to?keep the lights?on – quite literally, in?some cases – others have reaped the rewards of?strong government investment and the flight of?scholars from neighbouring nations.

This year’s 91原创 Arab University Rankings take the pulse of?the research and teaching strengths of more than 200 universities across 15?countries. Together, our league table – which this year reflects an updated methodology – and our editorial content capture the complex dynamics in a region with starkly different realities.


Arab?University Rankings 2023: results announced


In our analysis, we examine the factors motivating researchers to uproot from some parts of the region and settle in others. This “push and pull” dynamic weaves through a selection of interviews and opinion articles featured alongside THE’s third annual Arab rankings.

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In these pages, we hear from Ahmad Dallal, president of the American University in Cairo, about his institution’s mission to?equip graduates for 21st-century career demands and its work to provide more financial support to students amid the devaluation of the Egyptian pound.

In the United Arab Emirates, Timothy Baldwin, the head of the world’s first postgraduate university devoted to artificial intelligence, tells us about establishing a “clean-slate institution” in a prosperous young country keen to build its reputation as an investor in cutting-edge technology.

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We also feature a contribution from Mari?t Westermann, the vice-chancellor of New York University Abu Dhabi, who offers a sobering reflection on the difficulty and importance for the region’s universities in delivering on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

“We have just experienced the hottest summer on record, with the highest temperatures, fastest rates of ice melt, most dramatic wildfires and highest incidence of extreme weather,” she writes. “Water shortages, crop failures and species extinction are news of the day, and with them come forced migrations that test our humanity.”

But her message, like that of Mawad in Lebanon, comes with a rallying cry – a call for action and grit in the face of great adversity: “The MENA region is severely affected, with its traditional warm climate, water shortages and desert landscapes, but this is no reason to throw up our hands in despair.”

pola.lem@timeshighereducation.com


Countries/regions represented in the Arab University Rankings 2023

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Country/region ? ?

Number of institutions in ranking

Top institution

Rank

Egypt

37

Mansoura University

18

Algeria

35

University of Sciences and Technology
Houari Boumediene

91-100

Iraq

32

University of Baghdad

40

Saudi Arabia

32

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST)

1

Jordan

18

The University of Jordan

=16

Morocco

13

Mohammed V University of Rabat

43

Tunisia

10

University of Tunis El Manar

25

United Arab Emirates

10

Khalifa University

2

Lebanon

5

Beirut Arab University

12

Oman

4

Sultan Qaboos University

22

Palestine

4

An-Najah National University

81-90

?

?

Islamic University of Gaza

81-90

Kuwait

3

American University of the Middle East

21

Libya

2

University of Benghazi

161+

?

?

University of Tripoli

161+

Bahrain

1

Arabian Gulf University

71-80

Qatar

1

Qatar University

3

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