Dubai, United Arab Emirates (31 October 2019) – It was a moment of immense pride and celebrations in Dubai, as universities heads from across the region congregated to recognise and manifest their performance in the annual QS Arab Region University Rankings, which was released by UK based Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) agency.
This bespoke, unique university ranking captures the uniqueness, opportunities as well as addresses future challenges for the Arab region, through a custom build methodology after years of consultation with regional university leaders.
QS organised a celebratory evening reception at the Intercontinental Hotel Dubai Festival City in with national host UAE University on Thursday evening. Present at this function was Dr Ahmad Bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE’s Cabinet Minister and Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills; Prof Dr Mohamed Yousif Baniyas, Director, Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) at the Ministry of Education, Several Arab Region ambassadors and cultural attaches.
Speaking as a chief guest at the event, Dr Al Falasi said “I happy to be at this important event, which we should all celebrate – with not just the release of the ranking – but celebrate the consistent improvement in the quality of education in the United Arab Emirates”.
Dr Al Falasi also quoted the amazing developments of the country in research, namely UAE’s first astronaut mission to the International Space Station (ISS), UAE built satellite – KhalifaSat, nuclear power and renewal energy being released. He further said that “It is easy for us to forget how recent formal education was established in the UAE and how much the country has progressed in the short time frame”
In this ranking edition seen King Abdulaziz University (KAU) become the new regional leader for the first time. It has usurped King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM), which has fallen to third position. American University of Beirut (AUB) retains second position, having become the only university to lead this ranking not from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2018. This is followed by Qatar University at fourth position, and the United Arab Emirates University at fifth position – besides being the only QS 5 Stars rated institution in the top 5.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Ashwin Fernandes, Regional Director for MENA and South Asia at QS Quacquarelli Symonds said “I am not here to acknowledge the work of QS in this ranking edition, but to wholeheartedly embrace, celebrate and manifest the amazing work universities in this region are undertaking in the fields on research and teaching excellence.”
Mr Fernandes also added “This edition features 130 universities, across 16 countries from the Arab region. Statistics show that there are approximately 1200 universities across the region, so this ranking features the elite top 10% of such universities and institutions of higher learning”.
The reception was attended by over 70 representatives from 41 universities. The Minister handed over certificates to all the attending institutions and acknowledged the fact that many travelled from far places like Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon etc to attend this event.