80 Arab Universities Are Ranked in the 2023 QS World University Rankings - Al-Fanar Media (2023)

Eighty universities in Arab countries are ranked in the 2023 edition of the QS World University Rankings, five more than last year.

The new classification, published this week by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a British higher-education analytics company, compares 1,418 institutions around the globe, the largest number ever.

The universities are located in 100 countries and territories, including 15 Arab countries.

Ben Sowter, a senior vice president with QS Quacquarelli Symonds, said that this year’s rankings shed light on more institutions in the Arab region than ever before, allowing students, faculty, and policymakers to benchmark success, both regionally and globally.

Of the region’s 10 highest-ranked universities, six improved their position since last year and four declined.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University (KAU) was the top-ranked university in the region, in 106th place.

Performance Indicators

In its methodology for the rankings, QS assesses universities across six categories, including academic and employer reputation scores, faculty-student ratio, research citations, and the numbers of international faculty members and international students enrolled.

This year’s edition considered the performance of 16.4 million academic papers published between 2016 and 2020 and the 117.8 million citations those papers received. The reputational scores are based on surveys of over 151,000 faculty members and 99,000 employers.

This year, QS added two new unweighted performance lenses: an Employment Outcomes Index to assess the employability of students, and an International Research Network Index to analyse international research collaboration and knowledge transfer.

12 Arab Universities in the Top 500

A total of 12 universities in Arab countries ranked in the top 500 institutions.

Two Arab universities joined Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University in the top 200. They were King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (160), also in Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates’ Khalifa University of Science and Technology (181).

Four more universities ranked in the top 300: Qatar University (208), King Saud University (237), the American University of Beirut (252), and the United Arab Emirates University (296).

Five more universities followed in the top 500 list. They were the American University of Sharjah (369), Oman’s Sultan Qaboos University (384), the American University in Cairo (416), and two institutions in Saudi Arabia: Umm Al-Qura University (449) and Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (477).

Saudi Arabia’s Strong Showing

The Arab region has one of the world’s highest international faculty ratios and is home to all ten of the world’s top 10 institutions in this metric.

Saudi Arabia was home to the Arab region’s most improved university and most top-500 universities.

Sixteen Saudi universities were listed in the 2023 rankings; only two of them declined since last year, while two others were ranked for the first time.

Ben Sowter, of QS, said: “Given the profound questions over the sustainability of its oil-based economy, the country’s official development plan, Saudi Vision 2030, has wisely prioritised the modernisation of its higher-education system and upskilling its population to enhance its economic diversification.”

The kingdom’s top-placed institution, King Abdulaziz University, ranked 167th and 94th globally in QS’s Academic and Employer Reputation criteria.

The second-highest placed Saudi institution, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, was rated as the nation’s best university for research in engineering and technology.

Saudi Arabia also attracts an exceptional number of international faculty, with nine of its universities ranking in the world’s top 100 in this metric, including five in the top 30. Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University was the highest-ranking Saudi institution for international faculty ratio, placing 11th globally.

Besides the five Saudi universities in the top 500, five others made it to the top 750 list: Alfaisal University and Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University were both in a group ranked 651-700, and Jouf University, King Khalid University, and Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University were all ranked 701-750.

The other Saudi institutions and their rankings were: Islamic University of Madinah, King Faisal University, Northern Borders University, and Qassim University, all ranked in the 800-1,000 group, followed by Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University and Taibah University, both ranked 1,001-1,200.

U.A.E.: Top International Ecosystem

With 11 institutions in the list, the United Arab Emirates had more universities ranked this year than ever before. Three Emirati universities made it to the top 500, including Khalifa University, which gained two positions to 181st place.

In a news release, QS announced that the Emirates showed the world’s most international higher-education ecosystem, as well as research strength in engineering. Khalifa University had the highest faculty-per-student ratio in the Arab region, placing 80th globally in this metric. In terms of research, the same university placed 248th in the world for citations per faculty, specifically in electrical engineering.

“The U.A.E. is clearly a hugely attractive higher-education destination for international faculty and students alike,” Sowter said. “This, in turn, reflects low student-faculty ratios and impressive research performance.”

In addition to three institutions in the top 500, eight Emirati universities were among the top 1,000. They were: the Canadian University Dubai, in the group ranked 541-550; Al Ain University and the University of Sharjah (601-650); Abu Dhabi University, Ajman University, and American University in Dubai (651-700); Zayed University (701-750); and the University of Dubai, new to the rankings this year (801-1,000).

Egypt: Most Ranked Universities in Africa

The 2023 rankings included 14 public and private universities in Egypt, the highest number of any African nation.

Egypt also displayed significant increases in the Employer and Academic Reputation indicators and in research prevalence in engineering.

The American University in Cairo, Egypt’s highest-ranked institution, showed a particular research strength in petroleum engineering.

AUC was the third-highest ranked university in Africa, after two institutions in South Africa, and the only Arabic-speaking African nation to make it to the top 500 list.

“Saudia Arabia’s official development plan, Saudi Vision 2030, has wisely prioritised the modernisation of its higher-education system and upskilling its population to enhance its economic diversification.”

Ben Sowter Senior vice president at QS Quacquarelli Symonds

Two other Egyptian institutions were in the continent’s top 10: Cairo University, sixth in Africa and in the 551-560 group overall, and Ain Shams University, ninth in Africa and 801-1,000 overall.

Three Egyptian institutions ranked in the 1001-1200 band: Alexandria University, Assiut University, and Future University in Egypt (the latter ranking for the first time).

Eight institutions ranked in the 1,201-1,400 band: Al-Azhar University, the British University in Egypt, the German University in Cairo, Helwan University, Mansoura University, Suez Canal University, Tanta University, and Zagazig University.

Elsewhere in North Africa, Sudan had two ranked universities: the University of Khartoum (1,201-1,400) and Sudan University of Science and Technology (1401+).

Tunisia had three ranked institutions: Université de Sousse (751-800), and Université de Tunis and Université de Tunis El Manar (1,201-1,400).

Morocco had one, Université Mohammed V de Rabat (1,401+).

World’s Highest International Faculty Ratios

The Arab region has one of the world’s highest international faculty ratios and is home to all ten of the world’s top 10 institutions in this metric. More than 50 percent of Arab universities in the 2023 list ranked in the world’s top 100.

Nine of the top 10 are located in the United Arab Emirates, including Al Ain University, in first place. Kuwait is home to the only other top-10 university in this metric, with the American University of the Middle East (701-750 globally) placing third worldwide for international faculty.

A similar trend can be seen in international student ratios, with five of the world’s top 10 in this category located in the Arab region. Four of these are based in the U.A.E., while the world’s number one is the Islamic University of Madinah, in Saudi Arabia.

More Results in the Gulf States

In other Gulf states, Qatar University, the only ranked institution in that country, improved by 16 positions to rank 208th.

Oman also had only one institution in this year’s ranking, Sultan Qaboos University, in 384th place.

Bahrain had three ranked institutions: the Applied Science University–Bahrain, in the 561-570 group; Ahlia University (651-700); and the University of Bahrain (801-1,000).

Three universities in Kuwait were ranked this year, namely the American University of the Middle East (701-750), Gulf University for Science and Technology (801-1,000), and Kuwait University (1,001-1,200).

Universities in the Levant

“The U.A.E. is clearly a hugely attractive higher-education destination for international faculty and students alike. This, in turn, reflects low student-faculty ratios and impressive research performance.”

Ben Sowter

In the Levant, Lebanon, despite its current stifling economic crisis, was home to four of the Arab region’s 20 highest-ranked universities. After the American University of Beirut, they were: Saint Joseph University of Beirut and the University of Balamand, both in the group ranked 531-540, and Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (571-580).

Other institutions in Lebanon ranked this year were the Lebanese American University and Lebanese University, both ranked 601-650, and the Beirut Arab University and Notre Dame University-Louaize NDU, both ranked 801-1,000.

Eight Jordanian universities made it into this year’s ranking. The University of Jordan was ranked 591-600, followed by three institutions in the 801-1000 band: the German Jordanian University, Jordan University of Science & Technology and Princess Sumaya University for Technology.

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Other Jordanian institutions ranked this year were Mutah University (1,001-1,200), followed by Al-Balqa Applied University, the Hashemite University, and Yarmouk University (1,201-1,400).

Five Iraqi universities were ranked, namely the University of Baghdad (801-1,000), Mustansiriyah University and the University of Kufa (1,001-1,200), and the University of Babylon and the University of Basrah (1,201-1,400).

Three universities in Palestine made the list: Al-Quds University and An-Najah National University, both ranked 1,001-1,200, and Birzeit University (1,201-1,400).

War-torn Syria had only one university on the list: Damascus University, ranked 1,401+.

Seven Arab countries were not represented on QS’s list this year: Algeria, Comoros, Djibouti, Libya, Mauritania, Somalia and Yemen.

Other Rankings Systems

QS Quacquarelli Symonds compiles a separate ranking of universities in the Arab region. Its most recent such list, for 2022, compared 181 universities in the region.

Several other education-related companies and organisations publish their own international rankings of universities, each using its own methodology.

In addition, the Association of Arab Universities is working on producing its own classification of Arab universities. It aims to comply with international ranking systems but also take into account conditions unique to universities in the Arab region.

Related Reading

  • Arab Educators Favour an Arab University Ranking System, 7-1, in Poll
  • Arab Universities Advance in QS Rankings by Subject
  • Al-Fanar Media and QS University Rankings Announce a Media Partnership Serving Arab Universities and Students
  • University Rankings: A Look at How Some of the Major Listings Work


ranking Rankings


Egypt Saudi Arabia


What is the number 1 university in the Arab world? ›

King Abdulaziz University Saudi

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

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  • Harvard University.
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  • University of California Berkeley.
  • University of Oxford.
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What is meant by QS World University Rankings? ›

The QS World University Rankings by Subject ranks the world's top universities in individual subject areas, covering 51 subjects. The rankings aim to help prospective students identify the world's leading schools in their chosen field in response to high demand for subject-level comparisons.

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The QS ranking receives approval from the International Ranking Expert Group (IREG), and is viewed as one of the most-widely read university rankings in the world, along with Academic Ranking of World Universities and Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

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1California Institute of Technology (Caltech)USA
2Harvard UniversityUSA
3Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)USA
80 more rows

How do you get QS rankings? ›

To be eligible for inclusion in the QS World University Rankings, a university must teach at multiple study levels (i.e. both undergraduate and postgraduate), and conduct work in at least two of five possible faculty areas (arts and humanities; engineering and technology; social sciences and management; natural ...

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For example, Stanford, which tops the list of the hardest school to get into in the world, receives on average over 55,000 applications every year. Of these thousands of applications, they admit less than 2,200 students. That's a low, low admission rate of 3.9%.

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Majors with the Most Job Opportunities in 2023
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QS Rankings are one of the most prestigious international rankings that assess the popularity and performance of institutions worldwide. All of this useful information will aid you in determining which university best suits your aspirations. Every year, it assigns grades to institutions based on a variety of factors.

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Moreover, according to the Guardian, independent academic reviews have confirmed that QS results are over 99% reliable.

Which ranking is better QS or the times? ›

Both QS and Times have their strengths and weaknesses. For example, Times' methodologies are better than QS', especially when it comes to ranking universities that are less than 50 years old. But QS has more tables that give you insight into specific courses, regions, and developing countries.

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RankCountry/Territory2021 GDP (US$ million)
01.Saudi Arabia833,541
21 more rows

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Studying Arabic could be the best decision you ever make! If you are fluent in Arabic, or have achieved a level of advanced competency in reading, writing, and conversational skills, you will be in high demand for the great amount of jobs and opportunities in the world for which Arabic is an essential requirement.

Which job is most demand in Dubai? ›

  • ENGINEERS. ...

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Dubai has a thriving financial sector with a plethora of job opportunities. One of the most well-paid roles is that of a bank manager. You should have a degree in accounting, finance, marketing or business and at least three to seven years of experience working in the financial sector in order to be considered.

Can I study in Dubai without ielts? ›

Students can enrol in UAE universities and pursue the top courses of their choice even without taking the IELTS exam.

Do university rankings matter? ›

The simple answer is yes. It can be well worth your time to carefully study how a university ranks in different subjects, as well as its overall ranking. Often, the right university for you won't be one with the highest overall ranking.

How many universities are in QS rankings? ›

Discover the world's top universities with the QS World University Rankings® 2023. Explore the full list of over 1,400 universities and filter by location and region.

How can you get a scholarship? ›

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What is the top 10 best University in the world? ›

It's out: U.S. News has released its Top 10 Best Global...
  • Harvard University (U.S.)
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  • University of Oxford (U.K.)
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26 Oct 2022

Which country has best universities? ›

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  1. The United States of America. The American education system is known for its practical learning and offers a wide array of educational choices to international students. ...
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  3. Australia. ...
  4. The Netherlands. ...
  5. Sweden. ...
  6. France. ...
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  8. Canada.
12 Jul 2022

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How to get a QS scholarship
  1. Sign up for a QS event and become eligible for a scholarship today.
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  3. scholarships.

Why is QS ranking reliable? ›

Academic reputation – Accounting for 40 per cent of the overall score, academic reputation looks at the teaching and research quality at the world's universities. We collate over 130,000 expert opinions from the higher education space, creating the largest survey of academic opinion in the world.

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We've excluded smaller countries to bring you this list of the top seven safest places to study abroad.
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  6. Sweden. ...
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  • Japan. #6 in A good job market. ...
  • Switzerland. #7 in A good job market. ...
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Stanford University

Perhaps the toughest of all is Stanford University. Known for producing some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley as well as over 30 billionaires, 17 astronauts and 60 Nobel Laureates, it's easy to see why competition is high.

Which University is hardest to study? ›

Top 10 Hardest Colleges to Get Into
SchoolLocationAcceptance Rate (Class of 2026)
1. HarvardCambridge, MA3.19%
2. ColumbiaNew York, NY3.73%
3. CaltechPasadena, CA3.92%*
4. StanfordStanford, CA3.95%*
6 more rows

What are the 3 hardest colleges to get into? ›

The hardest colleges to get into for 2023, ranked
  • Columbia University. ...
  • University of Chicago. ...
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Which degree is best in world? ›

RankDegree subjectAverage early career pay
1Petroleum Engineering$94,500
2Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)$88,000
3Applied Economics and Management$58,900
4Operations Research$77,900
6 more rows

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Here are some fields that are expected to have growth potential and continue to develop.
  1. Engineering. Engineering is a large scientific branch focused on the practical design and building of structures or machines. ...
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  4. Computer Science. ...
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25 of the most valuable majors for college students
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Business school grads from top b-schools are more likely to get the internships and jobs that they want. In these cases, attending a highly ranked school can make up for a lower GPA or class rank. Graduate school rankings don't matter as much in other fields, especially ones that are extremely specialized.

What is the purpose of QS? ›

Known in the industry as a Construction Cost Consultant or Commercial Manager, their role is to keep a close eye on project finances and contractual relationships. They make sure that the financial position of construction projects is accurately reported and controlled effectively.

Is research and ranking fake? ›

Research and Ranking reviews have been quite positive according to their customers for the services they got, and its registered complaints on the site portal has been also very low. Most of the business websites have rated it with good ratings with moderate customer complaints.

What is the number 1 university in Saudi Arabia? ›

King Abdulaziz University (KAU) is first in the 2021 Arab rankings and places joint 143rd in the world rankings.

What is the number 1 university in the UAE? ›

Rankings of universities in United Arab Emirates 2022
  • #1. Khalifa University. Student satisfaction: 4.5 / 5.0 (349 reviews) ...
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  • #3. University of Sharjah. ...
  • #4. Al Ain University. ...
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  • #6. American University of Sharjah. ...
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It makes Saudi Arabia the most visited country in the Arab world in 2022, with the United Arab Emirates (14.8 million tourists) and Morocco (11 million tourists) rounding out the top three.

What is the best Arab country to live in? ›

Best Middle East Country to Work and Live in
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  • Qatar. ...
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  • Saudi Arabia.

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There are 21 Saudi universities ranked in the top 100 in the QS Arab Region University Rankings 2021, and seven universities in the QS World University Rankings 2021, which sees Saudi Arabia emerging as a strong hub for higher education – especially in STEM subjects.

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  • BA (Hons) In Business Management Awarded By Liverpool John Moores University. Featured. ...
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Studying in Saudi Arabia is a Distinguished Education:​

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia provides excellent sponsorship for scholarship students for international students free of charge and without tuition fees and with many other advantages.

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The UAE is an incredible destination for students, with Dubai being its center. Dubai is home to a plethora of higher education institutions, which cater to students from across the globe. It offers a unique opportunity to study in an international environment and gain insight into global cultures.

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Is university free in UAE? ›

UAE citizens get to study postgraduate courses for free at public universities, but international students have to pay tuition fees. Universities in the UAE set their own fees so costs vary depending on your course, level of study and location.

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Qatar, Middle East – Qatar is currently the wealthiest country in the Arab World (based on GDP per capita).

What Arab countries are rich? ›

Qatar has been named the fourth richest country globally. Also, it is the first-ever Arab nation to be among the top four wealthiest nations. The latest report from Global Finance ranks other Arab countries, like the UAE, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman, positioned after Qatar.

Which Arab country is best for job for Indian? ›

the United Arab Emirates

The Gulf Boom of the 1970s and 1980s has contributed to the fact that The United Arab Emirates is a top destination for Indians wanting to live and work abroad. Besides the fact that UAE is a top choice for Indians, UAE is one of the best countries to work and live in for anyone.

What is the strongest country in Arab? ›

Current strength of Arab League member states
NCountryMilitary Manpower Availability
19 more rows

Is UAE a rich country? ›

The economy of the United Arab Emirates (or UAE) is the 5th largest in the Middle East (after Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt), with a gross domestic product (GDP) of US$501 billion (AED 1.84 trillion) in 2022. $501.3 billion (nominal, 2022 est.)

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