Khalifa University ranks in top 30 young universities globally

Five UAE higher education institutions appear in world's top 100

Khalifa University campus
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Khalifa University has ranked among the top 30 young universities worldwide as strong investment in research and industry links in the UAE pays off.

The university in Abu Dhabi came 27th, up from 49th last year, according to the latest Times Higher Education Young University Rankings 2024, published on Tuesday.

Five UAE higher education institutions appeared in the top 100 worldwide, up from four last year.

At Khalifa University from day one, there was the clear mandate for research and there was a focus
Senthil Nathan, managing director and co-founder of Edu Alliance

UAE University was also among the top 50 in 47th place, a drop from 38th in 2023. Abu Dhabi University was 60th, slipping from 58th last year, while the University of Sharjah ranked 69th, down from 43rd.

Zayed University made a big jump into the top 100, in 98th, up from the 151-200 band last year, while the American University of Sharjah moved into the top 125 universities from the 201-250 band last year.

'Excellent research quality'

"Khalifa University has really pushed it further, it's now in the top 30 worldwide," said Phil Baty, Times Higher Education’s chief global affairs officer.

"In the case of the UAE, we are seeing that great, strong investment in research is really paying off. Khalifa University has a very good research quality score and we are seeing some excellent research quality.

"In particular, Khalifa University has very, very high scores for industry links so that's about leveraging research, funding from the private sector, from industry partners, but also turning research into intellectual property.

"We analyse patents and how much university research is going into patents. Khalifa University is outstanding for both the industry collaboration scores, so very closely aligned with the business world, which is very good for driving the UAE’s economy.

"University of Sharjah is also actually doing well in research quality, even though it slipped a little.”

Mr Baty said UAE universities were doing very well in international collaboration.

“I think what we're seeing is some really interesting improvements there,” Mr Baty said.

“What we're also seeing in the Emirates, which is very different from southern Asia, is very good internationalisation. [There is] very high commitment to international partnerships, collaboration, international faculty recruitment, so that's driving up standards and making research more influential.

“Those are areas of real outstanding strength in the Emirates, which are very, very different to the southern Asian universities. We've got a much more international focus, much more industry-linked work.”

He said UAE University and Khalifa University had strong industry links, which helped to boost their rankings.

Senthil Nathan, managing director and co-founder of Edu Alliance, a higher education consultancy in the UAE and US, said the mission of the university made all the difference.

"At Khalifa University, from day one, there was the clear mandate for research and there was a focus," he said.

The Young University Rankings reflect the relative development of university systems, comparing institutions founded within the past 50 years, and applies the same methodology as the World University Rankings with recalibrated measures.

Times Higher Education uses indicators such as teaching, research quality, research environment, international outlook and industry.

A total of 673 universities, from 79 countries and regions, are in the ranking this year, up from 605 in 2023.

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Updated: May 14, 2024, 12:39 PM