UAE University (UAEU) has moved up 34 places to come 338th in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, which looked at more than 2,000 institutions to come up with a top 500 list.
UAEU officials said the university is working toward a top 100 spot. The university was also ranked 299th in the Life Sciences & Medicine subject category.The University of Cambridge was ranked as the top university in the world followed by Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Yale University, University of Oxford.Saudi Arabia's King Saud University (KSU) came 200th and tops the list among Middle East institutions with King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) and King Abdul Aziz University (KAU) coming in second and fifth respectively. American University of Beirut came third and UAEU fourth.
The QS rankings look at a range of indicators that include; academic peer review, recruiter review, faculty-student ratio, citations per faculty, and international orientation. This year surveys of over 32,000 academics and 16,000 employers were conducted.
UAE University provost Prof Wyatt R. Hume said the university's success can be attributed to its focus on the quality of undergraduate teaching, maintaining small classes and listening to what students want. "We are listening to employers asking them what they want and QS takes that into account. We are also working hard to improve the quality of research, we're putting in more funds to support the best researchers and we're aggressively seeking funds."
Hume said Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of UAE University, continues to provide guidance and support for the UAE higher education system to assure student, parents, and employers of the quality of the UAE higher education system.
"This improved ranking is further evidence of the high quality of the UAE University, its academic offerings, and overall student experience. We are pleased with our progress and know that we will need to continue our efforts to reach our goal of being a top 100 university," UAEU vice-chancellor Dr Abdullah Al Khanbashi said.
QS officials said the performance of Middle Eastern universities has improved overall with all four institutions in the top 400 moving up from their ranking position in 2010.
Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS said Saudi Arabia is making a concerted effort and investment to improve educational standards and it is paying dividends.
"We are seeing more and more Saudi Arabian universities featuring in our rankings, and in fact, we now feature seven universities within our Top 600 universities in the world."
This year Oman and Qatar feature on the list for the first time and Lebanon has improved its performance on the rankings list."All these universities have shown year on year improvement and we attribute this to the fact that these universities are investing heavily in improving research performance. They're attracting more international faculty and achieving more international recognition with academics around the world."