Ranking of UAE Universities – US News & World Report vs QS World Rankings

For any of us involved in higher education, the world rankings for institutions have become a very big deal. There are many such services but I thought it would be interesting to compare two groups who have recently produced new reports;  QS World University Rankings and US News & World Report. Times Higher Ed at this date has yet to release a similar Arab ranking group and will not be presented below.

Lets look at the results

US News & World Report shows 120 Arab region schools which have been ranked based on 11 indicators that measure their academic research performance and reputation. To see exactly the methodology go to: How US News calculated the best Arab region university rankings.

The results for UAE institutions among the Arab universities are:


QS World University Rankings, is an annual publication of university rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). They developed their own internal ranking system. To better understand the method go to Methodology. 200 Arab universities are ranked in this regional presentation. Here are the results.

UAE Rankings

As you can see there is a significant difference between the two organizations. They are in agreement on UAEU (#6 vs #9) but after that we see very different results.  For example, why is Masdar and Petroleum Institute in US News & World Report ranking and not in QS, why Zayed University #86 vs #20 or American University of Dubai is #23 in QS and not ranked at all in US News. In addition both services do not rank international branch campuses like NYU Abu Dhabi, Murdoch and many others.

Why are Rankings Important

Rankings are considered a significant KPI for judging success by many university heads, board of trustees members, government leaders and funders. Using the rankings as a KPI gives me a great deal of concern after seeing the above results for two well established organizations who have conducted university rankings for years.

What does this say about rankings? I would be hard pressed to tell a university administrator, high school counselors or parent which ranking company is the most accurate or the best to follow. I would suggest that while rankings are an interesting piece of data, be very cautious in accepting them as significant KPI for quality.

What is your view? Is one ranking company more accurate than another, and if so which one and why?

Network with current & past UAE higher education colleagues



UFSAN-UAEI have been a LinkedIn user for many years and feel it is a great way to network with professional colleagues and friends. I have also, over the years, used the Group section of LinkedIn to network with people in Abu Dhabi and with my university alumni. However, I have never found a LinkedIn group that is dedicated to higher education professional who are currently working or have worked in the UAE.

Dr. Senthil Nathan and I have worked in UAE higher education for many years and in 2014 Co-Founded Edu Alliance which specializes in higher education consultancy. We have established a unique LinkedIn network for faculty, staff and administrators who have worked or are currently working in a higher educational institution in the UAE. The group is called the University Faculty and Staff Alumni Network – UAE (UFSAN-UAE).

Who is eligible to join this free UFSAN-UAE network?

–       If you have worked or are working as a full time faculty or staff for a university / college / tertiary educational institution in the UAE – for one year or more – you are invited to join this network.

What would I gain from this professional network?

–       Interact with colleagues from the same or similar universities in the UAE.

–       Help each other with new and emerging career opportunities within the region and/or in home base.

–       For professionals who have previously worked in UAE higher education it’s a way to network with fellow UAE professionals. You can share your insights as well as learn or inform colleagues of potential employment or collaborative opportunities

–       Share research insights or interests with colleagues: identifying applied research needs for the region, effective teaching and learning styles in the region, effective use of educational technology, making best use of highly limited research opportunities and funds, co-authoring research work with interested colleagues from the network.

–       Exchange business intelligence, cultural and educational insights

Learn about potential employment opportunities.

–       The network promises to be a highly focused, specialized and unique location for targeted recruitment by the universities and colleges of the UAE.

–       Edu Alliance will endeavor to provide information on emerging professional opportunities in UAE higher education to network members, as we gather from our contacts in the universities and colleges.   In fact we have been contacted by some Higher ed HR departments about posting positions.

–       Network members will be invited to post positions that are open in their respective institutions.  Edu Alliance will verify such information before such postings go online.

As educators in the UAE we have all made connections and friendships with fellow colleagues and those connections can be valuable. If you are interested in being a member and have worked or are working as a full time faculty or staff for a university / college / tertiary educational institution in the UAE – for one year or more – you are invited to join this network  go to University Faculty and Staff Alumni Network – UAE