Khalifa University ranked third in the Arab world by international survey

Abu Dhabi institution was found to have the highest faculty-student ratio in the region

The Quacquarelli Symonds index features 1,418 institutions across 100 locations. Photo: PA
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Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa University has been named as the third-best educational institution in the Arab world in the latest global university rankings.

Coming in behind Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University and its King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Khalifa University was ranked 181st in research from UK education analysts, QS Quacquarelli Symonds.

Khalifa University was found to have the highest faculty-student ratio in the Arab world and is the UAE’s best institution for research.

King Abdulaziz University improved for an eighth consecutive year to reach its highest ever rank of 106th.

Qatar University moved up 16 positions to 208th, climbing 349 places globally in terms of academic reputation.

Lebanon is home to six of the Arab world's 20 highest-ranked universities — joint highest alongside the UAE. Its top university is the American University of Beirut, in 252nd place.

Egypt is the only Arabic-speaking country on the African continent to place in the world top 500, with the American University in Cairo ranking 416th.

Arab world universities in the top 500 in 2023

106 — King Abdulaziz University

160 — King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

181 — Khalifa University

208 — Qatar University

237 — King Saud University

252 — American University of Beirut

296 — United Arab Emirates University

369 — American University of Sharjah

= Sultan Qaboos University

384 — Umm Al Qura University

477 — Imam Abdulrahman bin Faisal University

Ben Sowter, Senior Vice President at QS Quacquarelli Symonds, presented the rankings in New York on Wednesday. He said the UAE was "clearly a hugely attractive higher-education destination for international faculty and students alike".

This reflected a high ratio of staff to students and strong research performance, he said.

"The UAE’s performance in this year’s rankings comes as little surprise. It follows a multi-year trend for the nation and is to be expected from an economy that has been expanding exponentially for several decades.

"Subsequently, the UAE has experienced one of the biggest higher education booms in the world as ambitious development projects have pumped vast resources into creating new and expanding universities.”

Outside the Arab world, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) marks 11 years as the world’s best university while the University of Oxford (4th) drops two places and the University of Cambridge (2nd) gains one.

British and American universities held nine of the top 10 places, alongside Swiss institution ETH Zurich. China and Singapore were also represented in the top 20.

The highest-ranked university in Latin America was Argentina's Universidad de Buenos Aires, which came 67th. Africa's top scorer was the 237th-placed University of Cape Town in South Africa.

Top 20 world university rankings 2023

1 — Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US

2 — University of Cambridge, UK

3 — Stanford University, US

4 — University of Oxford, UK

5 — Harvard University, US

6 — Caltech, US

7 — Imperial College London, UK

8 — University College London, UK

9 — ETH Zurich, Switzerland

10 — University of Chicago, US

11 — National University of Singapore

12 — Peking University, China

13 — University of Pennsylvania, US

14 — Tsinghua University, China

15 — University of Edinburgh, UK

16 — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne, Switzerland

16 — Princeton University, US

18 — Yale University, US

19 — Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

20 — Cornell University, US

US and Canada

In the US, 103 out of 201 universities fell in the list while 29 rose. Twenty-five universities were new entrants.

In Canada, 20 out of 31 universities dropped and McGill University (31st) became the new national leader.


Forty-eight of 90 universities fell in the list in the UK while 10 improved.

Top 10 UK university rankings 2023

2 – University of Cambridge

4 – University of Oxford

6 – Imperial College London

8 – UCL

15 – The University of Edinburgh

28 – The University of Manchester

37 – King’s College London

56 - The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

61 - University of Bristol

64 – University of Warwick

ETH Zurich has remained continental Europe’s best university for 15 consecutive years.

France’s merged universities ascended in the table, with Paris Sciences et Lettres University (26th) breaking into the top 30.


More universities improved than fell in India, with all top nine institutions continuing to rise.

China has the third most-represented higher education system (71 universities) and is home to two of the world’s top 15 universities for the first time ever — Peking University (12th) and Tsinghua University (14th).

Asia’s top university is the National University of Singapore, which ranked 11th globally.

Universities in Malaysia, South Korea and Indonesia improved while those in Japan and Thailand declined.


Africa’s leader is the University of Cape Town (237th). Only five of the continent’s universities are among the top 500

Latin America

Universidad de Buenos Aires (67th) is confirmed as Latin America’s best. Hampered by low research impact scores, more of the continent’s universities fell in the rankings.


Australia retains five top 50 universities and as many universities improved as declined.

About QS Quacquarelli Symonds world university rankings

The QS index features 1,418 institutions across 100 locations. The results account for 16.4 million academic papers and 117.8 million citations received by those papers. They also reflect the expert opinions of 151,000 academic faculty and 99,000 employers.

The index uses six indicators to compile the rankings, including academic and employer reputation, citations per faculty, faculty-to-student ratio, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

This year, the company added two performance measurements, including employment outcomes and international research network, which analyses international research collaboration and knowledge transfer.

Updated: June 09, 2022, 7:14 PM