If you’re considering studying at a university in the Arab region, the Times Higher Education Arab University Ranking 2021 will be a useful resource for you.
Overall, 125 universities across 14 countries in the Middle East and North Africa are ranked. A further 30 institutions are listed with “reporter” status, meaning that they provided data but did not meet our eligibility criteria to receive a rank.
The top university is King Abdulaziz University, in Saudi Arabia. All the universities in the top five are in the Middle East, while universities situated in North Africa – including universities in Egypt, Tunisia and Algeria – feature further down the list.
The most represented country in the ranking is Egypt, with 31 universities altogether. Saudi Arabia is next, with 22 institutions.
Many of the universities featured in the ranking are specialist science and technology universities.
The full methodology of the Arab University Ranking 2021 can be viewed here.
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The top five universities in the Arab World
1. King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
King Abdulaziz University was established in 1967 in Jeddah, on the banks of the Red Sea. The university was named after the founder of Saudi Arabia, King Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud. It was initially established as a private university but was converted to a public university in 1974.
Students who attend the university receive free education and housing. It has a comprehensive learning programme across faculties, including the arts and humanities, science and technology, and medicine. The university also offers some courses that are unavailable at any other universities in Saudi Arabia, such as marine science, meteorology and astronomy.
King Abdulaziz University adheres to Islamic regulations by having separate campuses for men and women, each equipped with a library and athletic and recreational facilities.
2. Qatar University, Qatar
Qatar University is a public university located in the city of Doha in Qatar.
The university is home to 10 colleges, including arts and sciences, business and economics, engineering, and law. The university offers 47 bachelor’s, 29 master’s and 20 PhD programmes, as well as nine diplomas and a doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) programme. Courses at the university are taught in both Arabic and English.
Students can benefit from a range of amenities on campus, including a library, male and female student activities buildings, a student learning support centre, and the student counselling centre.
3. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a relatively young university, having been established in 2009.
The university is the first mixed gender campus to be located in Saudi Arabia.
As the name would suggest, teaching and learning are focused on science and technology, with courses available in bioengineering, computer science, statistics, earth science and engineering and many other areas.
The official language of instruction is English.
4. Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia
Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University is located in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. It was founded by Prince Mohammad bin Fahd, the former governor of the Eastern Province.
The university is comprised of six colleges: engineering, architecture and design, business, computer engineering and science, human studies and science and law. The university is in the process of setting up a college of medicine.
5. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Saudi Arabia
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals was established in 1963 as the College of Petroleum and Minerals to provide education focusing on two of Saudi Arabia’s most valuable natural resources.
It was elevated to university status in 1975 and has since expanded its course offerings to cover science, engineering, technology and business.
The admissions process is very competitive, with an acceptance rate of less than 10 per cent.
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Top universities in the Arab World 2021
Explore the top universities in the Arab world according to the Times Higher Education Arab University Rankings 2021