By Arabia Higher Ed Staff
QS released the 2018 World University Rankings at an unfamiliar time of the year but the hype is no different. The rankings feature 959 universities from 84 countries, 31 of which have universities in the top 200.
The rankings list the first 400 universities individually. The next 400 are grouped together in bands of 10, while beyond 800, universities are listed alphabetically since, according to QS, the available data would not produce reliable rankings.
Twelve Arab countries were represented in the latest rankings by 33 institutions with King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) making the elite top-200 list for the second year in a row, at the 173rd position.
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) made the list this year in a specialist category as it does not qualify for the main rankings which is restricted to multi-faculty universities.
KAUST was the best Arab university in terms of citations per faculty member. Globally, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) claimed the top rank in terms of citations count.
At the national level, Saudi Arabia led the pack with a total of eight ranked universities with all top four universities climbing in the rankings. It was followed by United Arab Emirates (6), Egypt (5), Lebanon (3), Bahrain (2), Iraq (2), and Jordan (2). Only one university made the rankings from Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, and Qatar.
The QS World University Rankings are based on six metrics that aim to “capture university performance.” Half of the score is based on two subjective metrics: academic reputation survey (40%) and employer reputation survey (10%). Other metrics include faculty/student ratio (20%), citations per faculty (20%), international faculty ratio (5%), and international student ratio (5%).
QS normalized also this year the citations. In other words, a citation received for a paper in Philosophy is measured differently to one received for a paper on Anatomy and Physiology.
The QS World University Rankings 2018 lists 872 institutions from 84 countries. The rankings drew on data from the world’s leading universities. This includes 30,000 responses to the QS Employer Survey, 70,000 responses to the QS academic survey, and 99 million citations from 10.3 million papers after excluding self-citations. The rankings used a window between 2011 and 2016 for citations per faculty.