By Arabia Higher Ed Editorial Team
The 2018 QS Arab Region University Rankings have been released, and the American University of Beirut is now the best university in the Arab region.
This year, QS evaluated 214 universities from 16 countries across the Arab region. The rankings offer a rich picture of the performance of universities across the region, and feature 146 universities, although only the top 100 universities were selected for the published rankings.
This year's top 10 is largely unchanged since last year, with only Sultan Qaboos University, based in Oman, breaking into the top 10. AUB has climbed one place since last year's ranking.
Overall, seven universities from Lebanon have been ranked in the top 50, with Beirut Arab University the nation’s lowest-ranked institution (81-90).
At the national level, Saudi Arabia has three universities in the top four. It's also the most-represented nation in the rankings, with 21 universities in the top 100.
Although Saudi Arabia's performance remains strong, it is clear that the low international student ratio has finally caught up with KFUPM and KSU, reflecting difficulties in recruiting regional and international students.
Egypt and Jordan contributed each with 13 universities. Highly ranked Egyptian universities include the American University In Cairo (ranked 6) and Cairo University (ranked 11) . The American University’s scores highlight its particularly strong performance in international faculty and research. The University of Jordan (ranked 9) was the only Jordanian University in the top 10.
In general, Egyptian universities achieve commendable Employer Reputation scores, with Alexandria University and Ain Shams University appearing among the top 10 Arab universities. The top 10 scores for Employer Reputation also include two universities from Lebanon and the UAE, one from Jordan, and one from Saudi Arabia.
The United Arab Emirates came in with 12 universities in the top 100 rankings, and scored strongest in the internationalization indicators, a reflection of the country's reputation as a destination for internationally mobile, highly-skilled professionals.
The Arab Rankings have its own tailored methodology and is based on academic reputation and employer reputation, based on global surveys of 75,000 academics and 40,000 employers, contribute 30% and 20% of an institution's final score respectively. Other indicators include faculty student ratio (20%), Web Impact (10%), Proportion of staff with PhD (5%), citations per paper (5%), papers per faculty (5%), proportion of international faculty (2.5%) and proportion of international students (2.5%).