NNA – The 2017/2018 edition of the QS Arab Region University Rankings has placed the American University of Beirut (AUB) in the first position among 1,000 universities in the Arab world. This is the first time that AUB holds this position. AUB has ranked second to King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in the three previous editions of this regional ranking, which started in 2014/2015.
“This remarkable accomplishment is a matter of pride for all – students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of AUB – and it could not have been achieved without the collective effort, hard work, and determination of each and every member of the AUB community in the pursuit of excellence,” said AUB Provost Dr. Mohamed Harajli. “If the ranking is to be based on the impact that a university has on the people and the communities that it serves, AUB would be positioned in the first rank not only in the Arab World but also, by far, in the entire Middle East and North Africa region and beyond.”
The methodology for the QS University Rankings for the Arab Region retains key indicators of the global university rankings while considering a set of performance metrics carefully tailored for the area, adapting to reflect regional priorities and challenges. Nine indicators were used in this QS regional ranking method, with the following weights of the total score: academic reputation (30%), employer reputation (20%), faculty-student ratio (20%), web impact (10%), papers per faculty (5%), citations per paper (5%), percent of faculty with PhD (5%), percent of international faculty (2.5%), and percent of international students (2.5%).
In addition to ranking top overall, AUB has ranked among the top ten on five of the nine indicators: employer reputation (1st), web impact (5th), academic reputation (7th), papers per faculty (8th), and citations per paper (8th). These five indicators make up 70% of the overall score. In the remaining four indicators, AUB ranked among the top 40.
AUB has improved its rankings from the previous year on seven of the nine indicators, and maintained its status on the other two indicators. The climb in ranking was most significant in the areas of international faculty (up by 25 spots from last year’s ranking), international students (16 spots), faculty-student ratio (14 spots), and faculty with PhD (11 spots). “Improvements in these four areas and maintaining our leadership in the other five areas have helped AUB leap to the number one rank in the Arab world this year,” director of AUB University Libraries, Dr. Lokman Meho, told us.
“We could not be more proud of this significant achievement, which is thanks to AUB faculty and their outstanding research and teaching performance; AUB alumni who serve as great ambassadors to the University and its remarkable ability to nurture and produce world class leaders in all aspects of life; and the AUB administration with its wisdom and strategic vision and ambitions, as well as its success in building the environment that allows AUB communities to flourish,” added Meho.
Six other Lebanese universities were ranked among the top 50 in the region: Saint Joseph University (12th), Lebanese American University (16th), Lebanese University (25th), University of Balamand (30th), Notre Dame University (39th), and Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (40th). Beirut Arab University was ranked in the 81-90 category.
Regionally, AUB was followed by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Saud University, King Abdulaziz University, and United Arab Emirates University, in that order. The American University in Cairo and the American University of Sharjah were ranked 6th and 8th, respectively. Saudi Arabia had nine universities ranked among the top 50 while Egypt, Lebanon, and the United Arab Emirates were each represented by seven universities among the top 50.
“While rankings are certainly not everything, we were quite pleased to learn that AUB was appropriately ranked as the finest university in the Arab world by the detailed and well-balanced QS ratings,” AUB President Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri told us as he pointed out areas in which AUB ranked highest such as reputation amongst employers, citations per faculty, and institutional reputation. “The results further cement the belief among many that AUB is indeed the finest university in the Arab world, yet there is much work to do if we are to be where we need to be, clearly recognized as one of the 100 finest universities in the world.”