THE to launch new Arab University Rankings

Methodology will be based on framework of World University Rankings, but include some bespoke elements

February 12, 2021
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Times Higher Education is developing a region-specific ranking for the Arab world to enable universities in the Middle East and North Africa to benchmark their performance against their peers.

The inaugural THE Arab University Rankings will be published in July 2021 and include metrics related to teaching, research and citations, internationalisation and knowledge transfer.

The methodology will be based on the framework of our flagship THE World University Rankings but there will be some differences.

The Arab ranking will have lower research criteria, with institutions required to publish at least 500 publications over a five-year period (compared with 1,000 publications in the global table). Single-discipline universities and institutions that do not teach will also be eligible for inclusion (in the global ranking, universities are excluded if they do not teach undergraduates or if 80 per cent or more of their research output is exclusively in one of our 11 subject areas). These differences will allow more universities to participate in the Arab ranking.

The new regional table will also introduce metrics that are specific to the missions of universities across the Arab world. This includes reflecting the important work being undertaken on sustainability as demonstrated by our THE Impact Rankings, based on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The Arab ranking will also incorporate the results of an academic reputation survey, asking published scholars for their views on universities across the region. This will be a regional version of the THE Academic Reputation Survey, which is included in the World University Rankings and forms the World Reputation Rankings.

The methodology will evolve over time to ensure that it continually reflects the changing higher education landscape in the Arab region and supports strategic goals across different university missions.

For several years, THE has published a list of the best universities in the Arab world, by filtering the World University Rankings results to include only universities located in nations that are members of the Arab League. However, this will be the first THE ranking on the region with a bespoke methodology.  

The data portal for the next World University Rankings, and related regional and thematic tables, will close on 30 March for most institutions. However, it will stay open until 16 April for universities wishing to participate in the Arab University Rankings only. There are no costs to participate.

The academic survey for the Arab University Rankings will be distributed shortly. To support responses, please encourage participation from your institution and ensure the domain “” is not blocked by your mail client.

The full methodology for the inaugural Arab University Rankings will be announced in May.

Register for the 2021 THE Arab University Rankings here or contact for more information.

Universities in the following countries will be eligible for inclusion: Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, Western Sahara and Yemen.

We will be running a session on the new Arab University Rankings on 8 April at the virtual THE MENA Universities Summit. Register to attend here.

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