Khalifa University makes top 200 of global higher education rankings in UAE first

Institution rose to 183rd in latest QS World University Rankings, as American and British colleges continue to dominate

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates - July 17, 2018: Stock images of Khalifa University. Monday, July 17th, 2018 at Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Khalifa University has become the first university in the UAE to rank among the top 200 of a global higher education league table.

The Abu Dhabi institution cemented its position as the best in the country after rising to 183rd in the 2022 QS World University Rankings, up from 211th in the previous list.

Last year, for the first time, the region had a seat of learning in the top 150 in the world as King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia reached 143rd spot.

Global higher education analysts Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) published the latest annual ratings on Wednesday, which was topped by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The United Arab Emirates has made highly impressive strides forward in the QS World University Rankings

This year QS World University Rankings assessed the world’s top 1,300 universities.

The universities are ranked on academic and employer reputation, citations for faculty, faculty-student ratio, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

“Over the last five years, the United Arab Emirates has made highly impressive strides forward in the QS World University Rankings," said Ben Sowter, director of research at QS.

"As recently as 2017, not a single Emirati university ranked among the world’s top 400.

"Now, three universities feature among the top 400 and, for the first time, one of the nation’s institutions has broken into the top 200.

Top 20 universities in the world – in pictures

"This progress is due to the UAE’s highly internationalist outlook, with every single one of its ranked universities achieving a perfect score for our international faculty ratio metric.

"The next frontier for the UAE is expanding its research impact performance."

Khalifa University is the fastest rising young university, less than 50 years old, having moved up from the 451-460 range in the 2019 edition of the rankings.

Khalifa University's improved reputation in the global academic community helped to boost its position.

Graduates from the university are held in high regard, and it has improved its teaching capacity, number of citations for faculty and international faculty ratio.

New entrants from UAE in global list

Of the 10 UAE higher-education institutions listed in the rankings, two improved their positions while another two declined in rank and four retained their bands.

UAE University dropped from 284th to 288th, while American University of Sharjah slipped 35 places over the year to 383rd.

American University in Dubai, Abu Dhabi University and Ajman University held their spots.

Zayed University improved, going from the 701-750 band last year to the 651-700 band.

Canadian University of Dubai and Al Ain University featured in the QS World University Rankings for the first time.

The UAE's top 10 universities

1: Khalifa University (183rd overall)

2: UAE University (288)

3: American University of Sharjah (383)

4: American University in Dubai (601-650)

5: Canadian University of Dubai (601-650)

6: University of Sharjah (601-650)

7: Zayed University (651-700)

8: Abu Dhabi University (701-750)

9: Ajman University (701-750)

10: Al Ain University (701-750)

US and UK dominate global rankings

For the 10th consecutive year, Massachusetts Institute of Technology was named the best in the world.

The UK's top performer, the University of Oxford, fell to fifth last year but claimed second place for the first time since 2006.

Stanford University and the University of Cambridge share third spot.

Asia’s leading university is the National University of Singapore in 11th.

Two tertiary education institutions in Mainland China were listed in the world's top 20 universities for the first time.

The best university outside the UK and US is Switzerland's ETH Zurich, claiming eighth spot.