Top Ten UAE Universities

One of the things I like about rankings is that everyone has an opinion. If you follow sports you know fans argue all the time who is the top football or basketball or cricket team.

So in higher education who do think are the top ten UAE universities? I want your top ten list and you may select any higher education institution in the UAE and that includes branch campuses.  I will report the results no later than July 3rd. You may post directly on the site or email me at with your top ten.

Let’s give you some opinion’s on who are the top schools. A few weeks ago QS University Rankings posted its top-performing institutions in the Arab Region. This is their second year and it highlights the top one hundred Arab universities.

How did the UAE fare in QS rankings?  Thirteen located in the United Arab Emirates made the top 100 and seven made the top thirty. Below are the seven UAE schools who ranked in the top thirty:

Screen Shot 2015-06-20 at 7.20.55 PM

The other six are:

  • #36 Higher Colleges of Technology
  • #46 the University of Dubai
  • #61-70 Ajman University
  • #71-80 Canadian University of Dubai & Paris Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi
  • #81-90 American University of Ras Al Khaimah

The weighting system of QS Arab Region Rankings are grouped into nine areas (Corrected as of June 27th):

  • 30%: Academic Reputation Based on a Global Survey of Academics
  • 20%: Employer Reputation Based on Global Survey of Employers
  • 20%: Faculty/Student Ratio
  • 10%: Web Impact from Webometrics
  •   5%: Proportion of Staff with PhD
  •   5%: Citations per Paper from SCOPUS
  •   5%: Papers per Faculty from SCOPUS
  • 2.5%: Proportion of International Faculty
  • 2.5%: Proportion of International Students

Times Higher Education produces a top 400 world ranking and a top 30 MENA university rankings. Three universities from the UAE are included. They are

  • #11 United Arab Emirates University
  • #17 American University of Sharjah
  • #20 The Petroleum Institute

The weighting system of Times Higher Education are grouped into five areas:

  • 30%:  Teaching: the learning environment
  • 30%:  Research: volume, income and reputation
  • 30%:  Citations: research influence
  • 2.5%: Industry income: innovation
  • 7.5%: International outlook: staff, students and research

The primary idea of the QS University and Times Higher Education rankings are to help students and parents make informed comparisons between their university options. It has also become an important part of the performance criteria used by Board of Trustees and Presidents in determining how their school compares to others.

Unfortunately few Arab universities have achieved a top 400 or 500 world ranking and it will be years before additional schools make the top 500 or if ranked move into the world top 100. However many universities in the Arab region are quality institutions and should be compared with other Arab universities.

QS and Times Higher Education are to be commended in developing regional ranking systems but QS needs to re-think its categories and weighting system. After the top fifteen Arab institutions, many of the other universities ranked in the top 100 seem too high or low. There are schools I wonder why they are on the list. Conversely, I was stunned The Petroleum Institute in the UAE was not ranked by QS while the Times Higher Education MENA list had them as #20.

So what do you think? Who is your top ten universities in the UAE.


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