Saudi universities make breakthrough in global ranking


Saudi Arabia has witnessed a significant surge in its representation on the global academic stage. The number of Saudi universities securing spots in the prestigious Shanghai Ranking has risen from seven in the previous year to an impressive 12 in 2023.

Notably, five of these institutions have debuted in the top 1,000 universities worldwide, as revealed by the 2023 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), commonly referred to as the Shanghai Ranking.

The esteemed ARWU, brought forth by ShanghaiRanking Consultancy, uncovered this year’s ranking, showcasing the remarkable progress of Saudi universities. Among the newcomers to the international academic scene is Riyadh-based Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University, the world’s largest women’s university, securing a position in the 601-700 range. Following suit are King Faisal University of Dammam, Al-Qassim University, and Umm Al-Qura University, each landing in the 801-900 tier. Moreover, Al-Jouf University made a notable entry, achieving a position within the 901-1000 ranking.

This accomplishment underscores the unwavering commitment and proactive approach of the Saudi education system and universities. The progress echoes the tireless efforts invested over the years, aligning with the strategic aspirations of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

Eminent positions were also secured by established institutions, reinforcing the academic prowess of Saudi Arabia. King Saud University maintains a strong global standing within the 101-150 range, while King Abdulaziz University secures a place between 151-200. Remarkably, Taif University demonstrates significant advancement, surging from the 401-500 range in the previous year to the impressive 201-300 range in 2023.

The Shanghai Ranking, among the top three globally recognized ranking systems, shares the spotlight with the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education rankings from Britain. Since its inception in 2003, ARWU has been a beacon of transparency and objectivity, evaluating the world’s premier universities. Its reputation as a trusted ranking system is firmly established. This year, an exhaustive assessment of over 2500 institutions culminated in the publication of the top 1000 universities globally. For the 21st consecutive year, Harvard University claims the top spot, followed by Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Operating on a comprehensive set of criteria and standards, ARWU assesses institutions based on educational quality, faculty effectiveness, research output, and institutional size. The rankings affirm the ongoing educational triumphs, reflecting the remarkable strides made by Saudi universities. These achievements significantly contribute to the realization of Saudi Vision 2030’s strategic goals.

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