Times Higher Education has compiled a table of the best universities in the Arab World based on data from the 2019 World University Rankings.
The league table has been compiled by filtering the World University Rankings results to include only universities located in nations that are members of the Arab League. THE has then ranked the best universities based on their overall ranking score. The full methodology of the World University Ranking 2019 can be viewed here.
The top university in the 2019 table is King Abdulaziz University, in Saudi Arabia. All the universities in the top five are in the Middle East, while universities situated in North Africa – including universities from Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria – feature further down the list.
The most represented country in the ranking is Egypt, with 19 universities altogether. Algeria and Saudi Arabia are next with six institutions each; Jordan, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates have four; Tunisia has three; Lebanon has two and Iraq, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar each have one university on the list.
Many of the universities featured in the ranking are specialist science and technology universities.
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The top five universities in the Arab World
1. King Abdulaziz University
King Abdulaziz University was established in 1967 in Jeddah on the banks of the Red Sea. The university was named after the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud. It was initially established as a private university but was converted to a public university in 1974.
Students who attend the university receive free education and housing. It has a comprehensive learning programme across faculties, including the arts and humanities, science and technology and medicine. The university also offers some courses that are unavailable at any other universities in Saudi Arabia, such as marine science, meteorology and astronomy.
King Abdulaziz University adheres to Islamic regulations by having separate campuses for men and women, each equipped with a library and athletic and recreational facilities.
2. Khalifa University
Khalifa University is located in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with another campus in Sharjah.
The university is just over a decade old, founded in 2007 by a decree issued by UAE president His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
There are eight undergraduate engineering programmes and seven graduate degree programmes.
The university has plans to build a new campus near the current campus in Abu Dhabi. This new campus will house a medical school, state-of-the-art labs, a student hub and sporting facilities.
3. Alfaisal University
Alfaisal University is a private nonprofit research institute, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The university is still fairly young, having been established in 2002. Some 67 per cent of the students are from Saudi Arabia and the remaining 33 per cent come from 40 other nations.
Five colleges make up the university: medicine, engineering, business, science and general studies and pharmacy.
4. Jordan University of Science and Technology
The Jordan University of Science and Technology is a state-supported university in northern Jordan.
The campus is divided into two sections. The first is the Medical Faculties Complex comprising the faculties of dentistry, medicine, nursing, applied medical sciences, pharmacy and science and arts.
The second section is the Engineering Faculties Complex, which contains the faculties of agriculture, computer and information technology, engineering, architecture and design and veterinary medicine. Each complex also has its own library.
The number of international students at the university has continued to increase since the university was established, with students now coming from more than 60 countries.
5. United Arab Emirates University
The United Arab Emirates University is the oldest university in the UAE, having been founded in 1976.
Students come from all seven Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al-Khaimah, Sharjah, Umm Al-Quwain) plus 59 other countries, with international students making up a quarter of the entire student body.
In the academic year 2016/17, male students represented 19 per cent of the student population while female students represented 81 per cent of the student population.
Some 90 per cent of undergraduate programmes at the university include an internship and many students gain their first jobs with the organisation that they completed their internship with.
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Top universities in the Arab World 2019
Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2019 results
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