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AUS ranked in Times Higher Education snapshot
American University of Sharjah (AUS) ranked 17th among the top 30 universities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, according to Times Higher Education (THE) snapshot released yesterday.
Commenting on the news, AUS Chancellor Dr. Björn Kjerfve expressed satisfaction over the result and hoped to see the rankings taking into consideration a comprehensive set of criteria that will contribute to the improvement of higher education in the MENA region. "While the results are encouraging for a pilot ranking that is mainly focused on research, we would like to see other important criteria being evaluated, such as faculty to student ratio, the reputation of institutions among employers, as well as the focus on broad general education. Unfortunately, the snapshot does not take these important criteria into consideration when evaluating the institutions listed in the ranking," he said.
AUS Interim Provost Kevin Mitchell said, "In a relatively short time period, AUS has established a strong academic reputation in the region. We are pleased that the university performed well according to the criteria used by Times Higher Education and hope that the metrics used to assess institutions will become more refined to account for the differences across the region, such as access to research funding and the demands associated with providing a sound education in complex environments."
Phil Baty, editor of the THE World University Rankings, said in a THE news release that the top 30 gave "fascinating insight into the research strengths of the MENA region" but was "just a snapshot to stimulate wider discussions about the most appropriate metrics for ranking the region's universities."
He said that this "top 30" was based on just a single indicator-research effect-and gave a snapshot of the quality of research taking place in the region and which universities were making the highest global effect in research. He added that while research is a key activity for a university, it is not the only mission. "Teaching is crucial, and of course, as is the third mission of working with industry," he said.
Baty also emphasized that the question being discussed at the THE inaugural MENA Universities Summit in Qatar, where the report was released, was what was the appropriate range and balance of metrics to suit the specific missions of MENA institutions and whether new indicators could specifically be developed for the region.
Eleven MENA countries featured in the table, with Egypt, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria among them.