Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

UAE University is the country's top higher education institution, report shows

The Emirates' performance is strongest in research but must improve its recognition, says an expert

Researchers investigate the use of date pits to produce biodiesel in a laboratory at UAE University in Al Ain. Reem Mohammed / The National
Researchers investigate the use of date pits to produce biodiesel in a laboratory at UAE University in Al Ain. Reem Mohammed / The National

Universities across the UAE are continuing to enhance their academic performance, according to the latest world rankings.

Researchers found the Emirates was improving in numerous fields, including business management and civil and electrical engineering.

The annual poll, called the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020, looked at more than 13,000 courses at 1,368 universities in 83 countries.

This year, UAE University jumped up in the business and management studies segment from the 351-400 band to 301- 350.

Similarly, the American University of Sharjah and Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi saw significant improvements in their rankings.

“This year’s edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject offers us the opportunity to shine a light on an ever-greater segment of the UAE’s higher education sector,” said Jack Moran, a spokesman for QS.

“We are observing creditworthy improvements made by the country’s universities, with Khalifa University making particularly strong progress.

“The UAE’s performance is strongest in our research indicators, though, to make further progress, it must improve its recognition and regard among the global academic community.”

Quacquarelli Symonds, a global education research consultancy, compared the world’s higher education institutions on the basis of four criteria.

Its researchers looked at academic reputation, employer reputation, research citations and the productivity of the institution's research faculty.

UAE University improved its ranking in five subject areas but dropped in three.

Meanwhile, the American University of Sharjah had two of its programmes ranked in the top 200 global institutions.

The university was ranked in the 151-200 bracket for civil and structural engineering while Khalifa University ranked 251-300 in electrical and electronic engineering.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology was found to be the world’s best-performing institution in 12 subject fields, while the University of Oxford was named the world’s best university in eight.

This year’s poll also showed the UK higher education sector was beginning to regain ground it had lost over the past few years.

In 2016, 13.3 per cent of the world’s top 100 university programmes were found in the UK, but this dropped to 12.3 per cent of programmes in 2019. This year's ranking saw an increase for the first time in five years with 12.8 per cent of the top 10 positions occupied by UK universities.

"Despite the uncertainty created by a consistently-shifting higher education landscape, with two changes of government and the well-documented difficulties presented by our exit from the European Union, our institutions appear to have responded to the challenge, continuing to offer some of the best university programmes in the world,” said Ben Sowter, director of research at QS.

Updated: March 5, 2020 08:19 PM

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