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Arab Universities Advance in QS Rankings by Subject

Fifty-two universities in the Arab region are featured in the latest edition of the QS World University Rankings by Subject, published earlier this month.

The rankings by subject are part of the QS World University Rankings portfolio published each year by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, a British higher-education analytics company.

The 2022 subject listings analyse the performance of 15,200 individual academic programmes in 51 subjects at more than 1,500 universities around the world. The subjects ranked include 324 programmes in the Arab region.

Saudi Arabia’s King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals had two of the region’s top programmes, ranking sixth globally in petroleum engineering and 16th in mineral and mining engineering.

Besides evaluating programmes in specific subjects, the list also ranks universities in five broad subject categories: arts and humanities, engineering and technology, life sciences and medicine, natural sciences, and social sciences and management.

Following are examples of how some universities fared in the lasting listings.

Cairo University

In a Facebook statement, Mohamed Othman Elkhosht, president of Cairo University, said his institution had made “significant progress” this year, with five of its programmes being ranked among the top 100 in the world.

“Entering some specialties among the top 100 worldwide [is] a dream come true now.”

Mohamed Othman Elkhosht
President of Cairo University

“Entering some specialties among the top 100 worldwide [is] a dream come true now,” he wrote.

The disciplines at Cairo University that earned the highest rankings were civil and structural engineering, petroleum engineering, hospitality and leisure management, pharmacy and pharmacology, and dentistry.

Elkhosht noted that the university had ranked in the top 300 globally in all five of the broad subject categories. It ranked 134th in engineering and technology, and 178th in life sciences and medicine.

The university came in 271st in the arts and humanities, he said, showing the “great efforts” the institution has made in this area. He credited in particular its production of scholarly journals with major international publishing houses.

Cairo University also ranked 292nd globally in the natural sciences, and 226th in social sciences and management.

The Lebanese University 

The Lebanese University, the country’s only public university, had several individual programmes ranked in the top 500 globally.

Its highest-ranked programme was petroleum engineering, which was listed among universities ranked 51st to 100th globally. That’s a gain since last year, when the programme was listed among universities ranked 101st to 150th.

Other top-ranked programmes included art and design (in a block ranked 201-230 globally), pharmacy and pharmacology (251-300), computer science and information systems (301-350), and medicine (451-500).

The university’s chemical, mechanical, and electrical and electronic engineering programmes also were ranked among the top 500 globally, and by broad subject category, its engineering and technology programmes ranked 390th in the world.

Qatar University 

Qatar University also ranked among the best universities in the world in the study of 19 academic programmes.

Seventeen of those programmes improved their positions since last year, and two stayed the same.

“This year, Qatar University has been ranked in 19 subjects, a great improvement from the previous year.

Hassan Al-Derham  
President of Qatar University

By discipline, Qatar University’s best performance was in theology, divinity & religious studies, and sports-related subjects.

Hassan Al-Derham, president of Qatar University, said: “This year, Qatar University has been ranked in 19 subjects, a great improvement from the previous year.” This achievement “makes Qatar the 57th most represented country in the world,” he added.

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In a statement, Qatar University also noted that the institution had advanced 21 places on the general QS World University Rankings this year, from 245th in 2021 to 224th in 2022.


QS Quacquarelli Symonds publishes its rankings by subject each year “to help prospective students identify the leading universities in a particular subject,” the company says. It weighs five factors in evaluating each programme, including research citations and reputational surveys. More information about its methodology is available online.

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