QS Arab Region University Rankings Methodology

QS Arab Region University Rankings Methodology

Find out which university in the Arab region takes the top spot this year with the QS Arab Region University Rankings.

King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals is the top university in the Arab region this year, one of 33 institutions from Saudi Arabia to feature in the 2024 edition.

There's a fantastic breadth of geographical diversity within this year's top 10, with Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all represented by at least one university.

This year’s rankings were constructed using 10 different indicators, including academic and employer reputation. Find out how we build QS university rankings by reviewing our methodology

Craig OCallaghan

Updated October 18, 2023 Updated October 18

First published in 2014, the annual QS Arab Region University Rankings highlights 160 leading universities in this part of the world. The methodology for this ranking has been developed with the aim of reflecting specific challenges and priorities for institutions in the region, drawing on the following 10 indicators. The percentages indicate the weighting given to each component when calculating the overall results. Find out more from the QS Intelligence Unit.


Academic reputation (30%)

This is based on a major global survey of academics, who are asked to name the universities they believe to be producing the best work in their own field of expertise. Like the employer survey (below), this is a major component across all of the QS university rankings.

Employer reputation (20%)

This is based on a second major global survey, this time of graduate employers. Participants are asked to name the institutions they perceive to be producing the best graduates.

Faculty/student ratio (15%)

In the absence of an international standard by which to assess teaching quality, this indicator assesses the number of full-time academics employed relative to students enrolled. The aim is to give an indication of institutions’ capability in terms of providing academic support.

International research network (10%)

Using data provided by Scopus, this indicator assesses the degree of international openness in terms of research collaboration for each evaluated institution. To calculate this indicator the Margalef Index, widely used in the environmental sciences, has been adapted to produce a score that gives an indication of the diversity of an institution’s research collaborations with other institutions in different locations of the world.

Web impact (5%)

Based on the Webometrics ranking, this indicator reflects universities’ online presence, providing an indication of their commitment to international engagement and communication.

Proportion of staff with a PhD (5%)

This is based on the proportion of faculty members holding a PhD or equivalent, reflecting the overall level of expertise and experience within the institution.

Citations per paper (5%)

Calculated using data from Scopus, this indicator assesses the number of citations per paper published, reflecting the impact of each institution’s research.

Papers per faculty (5%)

Also based on the Scopus database, this measure relates to the number of papers published per faculty member, reflecting research productivity rates.

Proportion of international faculty (2.5%) and proportion of international students (2.5%)

These final two indicators reflect each institution’s success in attracting academics and students from other countries, giving an indication of the international diversity of its learning environment.

The overall results of the QS Arab Region University Rankings are published in an interactive online table, which allows users to compare universities’ performance on individual indicators, or view those with the highest combined scores. To access the full functionality of the table, you first need to log in or register as a site member – this is free and allows you to access exclusive content and resources.

This article was originally published in June 2016 . It was last updated in October 2023

Written by

As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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