Skip to Content

### 2023 World Reputation Rankings Revealed

Universities in the Arab region have significantly enhanced their reputation, particularly within the region itself, as indicated by the latest THE World Reputation Rankings.

The data analysis of the rankings, which is based on [ppp1], demonstrates a remarkable surge in the vote share allocated to Arab universities since 2021. Notably, institutions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) observed a nine-fold increase in their vote share, while Saudi Arabia and Lebanon experienced a three-fold rise. This trend implies a growing recognition of universities in these countries within academic circles.

Consequently, Arab universities exhibited notable advancements in their positioning in the 2023 reputation table, which exclusively features the top 200 globally renowned universities.

Saudi Arabia witnessed a significant improvement by moving from the 176-200 band to the 101-125 band, with two other Saudi Arabian universities, three UAE universities, and one Lebanese university securing positions in the top 200 for the first time.

Although the surge in the reputation of Arab universities is primarily a regional phenomenon, rather than a global one, the data reveals that an average of 70.6% of votes for Arab universities originated from scholars within the region. In contrast, North American universities received only 34.3% of votes from the US and Canada, highlighting their international acclaim.

The survey, which garnered responses from 38,796 academics, required scholars to nominate up to 15 universities that they consider the best in research and teaching within their respective fields.

World Reputation Rankings 2023: Top 10

Miguel Antonio Lim, a senior lecturer in education and international development at [ppp2], suggested that the results indicate a more “effective” reputation management strategy by Arab universities within the region. He noted that these institutions excel in effectively disseminating their research findings within their local academic community.

Nadia Badrawi, the president of the Arab Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANQAHE), pointed out that the utilization of Arabic as the primary language of instruction in Arab institutions somewhat limits the global translation of their reputation. However, she highlighted a growing trend in the Arab region where universities are intensifying their efforts in ranking submissions and quality assurance certifications to enhance their visibility and reputation.

Badrawi emphasized that internationalization initiatives, including dual degree programs and branch campuses, are expanding significantly, aiming to globalize the region’s institutions like never before.

The progress made by Arab universities in the reputation rankings mirrors similar advancements in emerging markets such as Africa and South America, albeit to a lesser extent. In contrast, well-established higher education centers like North America displayed only marginal improvements compared to previous years.

Dr. Lim emphasized that the reputation standings depicted in the rankings are relative rather than absolute. Therefore, the rising prestige of Arab institutions does not imply a decline in the reputation of more established systems.

He concluded that the Arab region serves as a prime example where institutions have simultaneously excelled in knowledge production and reputation management.