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Arab Universities Celebrate Progress in the SCImago Rankings

Several Arab universities and education ministries welcomed the progress Arab institutions made in the 2022 SCImago rankings of institutions, citing their performance as a sign of competence for the higher education they provide.

The SCImago Institutions Rankings are produced by the SCImago Research Group, which is based in Spain and consists of members from the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas) and several Spanish universities.

The ranking classifies more than 8,000 academic institutions and research entities—including 4,300 universities and nearly as many government, corporate and nonprofit research organisations. The Arab institutions ranked include 276 universities, plus 100 research entities in the government, health, corporate and nonprofit sectors. They are located in 18 Arab countries.

Forty-two Egyptian universities were included in the 2022 SCImago rankings, compared to 35 universities last year, Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research announced in a statement published on Saturday.

The statement noted that Cairo University was the highest-placed among the Egyptian universities ranked. It was in 456th place among all research institutions ranked worldwide.

Ain Shams University came in second nationally, and 578th globally. Other top-ranked Egyptian universities included Alexandria University (593rd globally), Mansoura University (606th), and Zagazig University (615th).

Rankings and Methodologies

Adel Abdel Ghaffar, a spokesperson for Egypt’s Higher Education Ministry, said the SCImago rankings classify institutions based on a composite index that combines multiple indicators grouped under three categories: research performance (worth 50 percent of the composite score), innovation outputs (30 percent), and societal impact, as measured by the visibility of their research online (20 percent).

To be included in the SCImago rankings, an institution must have published at least 100 articles in Scopus-indexed journals during the evaluation year. (Read more about SCImago’s methodology on its website.)

Egyptian universities’ progress in the SCImago classification “reflects the efforts made by the state to advance Egypt’s higher education system, as well as the efforts made by Egyptian universities to improve their global ranking,

Adel Abdel Ghaffar   Spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education.

Mohamed Othman Elkhosht, president of Cairo University, said that the university has succeeded over the past four years in developing a strategy to raise its position in global rankings, at the levels of programmes, research, and the general ranking of the university as a whole.

Egyptian universities’ progress in the SCImago classification “reflects the efforts made by the state to advance Egypt’s higher education system, as well as the efforts made by Egyptian universities to improve their global ranking.”

Adel Abdel Ghaffar   Spokesperson for Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education.

“The university was able to occupy prominent positions in all international rankings,” he said.

University rankings are published by numerous organisations around the world, including magazines, education consultancies, and governments. Three of the best-known ones are the QS World University Rankings, produced by QS Quacquarelli Symonds; the Times Higher Education World University Rankings; and the Academic Ranking of World Universities, also known as the Shanghai Ranking.

Each publisher has its own methodology, Elkhosht said, so Cairo University lands at different spots in each ranking.

“However, Cairo University came at the forefront of Egyptian universities, and among the best international universities in most rankings,” he said. “It exceeded a large number of prestigious American and European universities too.”

Progress at Syrian and Saudi Institutions

Damascus University also made progress in this ranking. It ranked 705th worldwide, up from the 815th place last year.

In a statement, the university said SCImago adopts the “most difficult criteria” for ranking universities and research institutions.

Damascus University was one of two Syrian institutions ranked. The other was Tishreen University, in 742nd place globally.

Saudi Arabia’s Jazan University was also pleased with its performance in the Spanish research group’s rankings. It was placed 689th globally among all types of institutions ranked, and 526th when considering universities only.

Among 33 Saudi universities ranked, Jazan University came in 12th.

Marei bin Hussein Al-Qahtani, the institution’s president, said the rankings highlighted Jazan University’s research in dentistry, otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose and throat), pathology and zoology.

“The university has created a supportive and stimulating environment to build the capabilities of researchers in various faculties, as well as in its specialised research centres,” he said. These steps are part of a strategy that goes in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, he added.

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The highest-ranked Saudi university was King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (267th globally among all types of institutions). Other top-ranked Saudi universities were King Saud University (292nd place globally); King Abdulaziz University (365th); King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (546th), and Alfaisal University (609th).

Other Arab countries represented in the SCImago rankings for 2022 and the number of universities ranked in each were: Algeria, 35; Bahrain, 3; Iraq, 40; Jordan, 19; Kuwait, 5; Lebanon, 9; Libya, 2;  Morocco, 27; Oman, 5; Palestine, 6; Qatar, 4; Sudan, 3; Tunisia, 19; United Arab Emirates, 16; and Yemen, 6.

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