Kuwait University (KU), the country’s premier higher education institution and one of the oldest in the Gulf region, ranked 30 out of 199 universities in the Arab region, in the annual online ranking at www.TopUniversities.com, published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), the world’s leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education sector.

Though Kuwait’s 2023 ranking is an improvement from previous years, the relatively modest ranking, especially when compared to newer universities in the immediate neighborhood, is perhaps emblematic of the worrying state of education in Kuwait.

Featuring almost 200 universities across 18 countries, this year’s QS Arab Region rankings sees three institutions from Saudi Arabia in the top five. For the fourth consecutive year, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University takes the regional top spot, followed by Qatar University in 2nd, King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals in Saudi Arabia coming 3rd, and King Saud University jumping from sixth to fourth place in the 2023 ranking.

This year’s QS rankings were constructed using 10 different indicators, including academic and employer reputation, research output, resources and internationalization.

Highlights from the 2023 index of universities in the Arab region show:

  • Three of the region’s top-5 universities are Saudi Arabian. Its institutions have an outstanding reputation among employers and academics.
  • Egypt is the region’s most represented country, with 33 listed universities. The American University in Cairo is the highest-ranked African institution, placing 11th.
  • Of locations with 10+ ranked institutions, UAE has the highest proportion of top-tier universities, with 72 percent in the regional top-50, and 22 percent among the top-10.
  • Bahrain’s Applied Science University breaks into the region’s top-20.
  • Five Moroccan institutions rank among the region’s top-10 for their number of staff with PhD.
  • Iraq enjoys high teaching capacity, with two universities among the top-3 for this metric.
  • Of this year’s newly ranked universities, Tunisia’s Université de Sfax is the best, placing in the 51-60 band
  • The Islamic University of Lebanon enjoys the Arab Region’s joint-highest teaching capacity.
  • Oman and Jordan have one top-10 university each – Sultan Qaboos University (8th) and the University of Jordan (10th).

A list of the top-20 universities in the Arab region show:

1 King Abdulaziz University (KAU) Saudi Arabia

2 Qatar University, Qatar

3 King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals, Saudi Arabia

4 King Saud University, Saudi Arabia

5 American University of Beirut (AUB), Lebanon

6 United Arab Emirates University, UAE

7 Khalifa University of Science and Technology, UAE

8 Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

9 American University of Sharjah, UAE

10 University of Jordan, Jordan

11The American University in Cairo, Egypt

12 Cairo University, Egypt

13 Lebanese University, Lebanon

14 Ain Shams University, Egypt

15 University of Sharjah, UAE

16 Jordan University of Science & Technology, Jordan

17 Umm Al-Qura University, Saudi Arabia

18 Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd university, Saudi Arabia

19 Applied Science University – Bahrain, Bahrain

20 Zayed University, UAE.

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