Covering nearly 17,000 academics, The Times Higher Education Rankings was the world’s largest academic reputation survey. The survey accounted for factors such as number PhDs awarded, staff-to-student ratios, scholarly papers and research income, when rating the educational institutes.
Founded in 1967, the Jeddah-based, King Abdulaziz University has a total enrollment of around 42,000 students. On an overall basis, the institution was ranked 49th in Asia. As regional countries undertake massive research and technical projects, the scientific undergraduate and post-graduate programs of the institution have gained immense popularity among students.
The ranking also placed two other Saudi universities among the top 100 in Asia. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals was positioned at 62nd rank, while King Saud University secured the 77th spot. The United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain was ranked 86th in Asia.
Phil Baty, editor, Times Higher Education Rankings, commenting on the findings, stated, “It is an exciting time for higher education in Saudi Arabia, and this prestigious list shows that the country’s institutions are firmly established among the best in the Asian continent and are very close to the highest world standards.”
Saudi universities have been able to achieve impressive gains in their regional and global standings due to their higher rate of investment in the education sector. The government is keen to push ahead for political reforms in the kingdom’s education field. However, other major regional business hubs, such as the UAE, need to dedicate greater attention towards improving the ranking of their educational institutes.
In the broader region, Turkish universities dominated the rankings as Middle East Technical University in Ankara was placed at 22nd in Asia. Bilkent University and Koc University were positioned at 28th and 31st, respectively. Turkey has been able to cement its position as a prominent player in the continent’s education sector as it produces about half of all research in the Middle Eastern region.