How Did the Emirates Perform in the World University Rankings?

01 November 2018

Lab Chat

Universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have outdone themselves again in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019. Out of the 1,250 universities included in the index, 4 are based in the UAE – Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates University, American University of Sharjah and University of Sharjah.

The universities are ranked on teaching, research, citation index, income from industry and international outlook. Khalifa University (KU), which was ranked the highest in the UAE, gained top marks for securing income from industry.

Introducing new technology

Having recently merged with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the Petroleum Institute Abu Dhabi, KU is working with many other institutions to carry out ground-breaking research.

One such project is the Joint Innovation Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence for Clean Energy, with Alibaba Cloud. AI is already being investigated for the maintenance of offshore wind farms, but with this research could be used to create and process renewable energy.

Rapid improvement

Falling into the group of institutes ranked 301-350, KU is the highest ranked university in the Emirates. Following closely behind is the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), ranked 351-400. UAEU has made a huge improvement from last year, having jumped up from 501-600.

Both the American University of Sharjah and the University of Sharjah moved down in the World University Rankings, despite having made significant improvements in 3 of the 5 metrics. They’re both now in the 801-1000 grouping, suggesting a slower improvement than other institutions.

Increased Arab representation

It’s not just the Emirates that have seen an improvement in the latest rankings. Other Arab nations have also significantly improved. Egypt now has 19 universities in the index, up from 9, while Algeria has added another 5 universities since 2018, with 6 featuring in this year’s list.

The University of Baghdad is Iraq’s first and only representation since the index’s launch in 2004. Vicky Lewis, higher education consultant, puts the improvement down to government investments and ‘drawing on international expertise in helping build their own higher education systems’.

Moving forward

Overall, universities in the Emirates have seen an impressive improvement in this year’s rankings. Continuing to grow in such a way can offer a variety of benefits for the institutions. Ms Bothwell, Times Higher Education Rankings Editor, said that a higher position can ‘boost international research collaboration’ and that ‘several governments have schemes where they provide more funding to universities with higher ranks’.

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