The world renowned system for ranking institutions of higher learning across the world, The Times World University Ranking, has just released its latest report for 2014-2015. Not surprisingly, most of the institutions in the top 100 come from the United States, the UK and a few other advanced industrialized nations such as Switzerland, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Australia, France, Netherlands, Germany, and others. China has two entries in the top 50, yet the only country from the Middle East or North Africa (MENA) region is Turkey, with Middle East Technical University placing 85th.
While Times Higher Education has other metrics such as the “Top 100 Under 50”, “Asia University Rankings” and “BRICS and Emerging Economies” scales, which allow for a more balanced categorical ranking, there has not yet been a system exclusive to MENA countries. Hence, next February 2016 will see the first ranking of MENA universities that will be evaluated according to reputation, research impact, teaching environment and internationalization in addition to a new bespoke range of metrics.
Through discussion at the recent summit in Qatar, it was suggested that new metrics
“must reflect distinctive missions of institutions in the region”
by focusing more on the importance of teaching and evaluating research according to local standards. Additionally, the suggestion of new metrics is proposed, such as the measuring of program accreditation and standards of governance to replace or reduce the significance of metrics that don’t apply as well to MENA institutions such as the internationalization of programs.
The goal is to allow a scale that is more realistic about the younger stage of development that most institutions in the region are at. While they will also be considered in the overall Global ranking, the hope is that more institutions will submit their information for data collection if there is a MENA specific ranking.
Perhaps the new metric will act as an additional incentive for institutions in the region to improve their programs. Raising the standards of research and the quality of teaching is instrumental if post-secondary institutions in the Middle East and North Africa hope to compete in the international stage; however, this new scale provides a way for institutions to rise above the crowd, thereby increasing enrollment, funding and draw of top quality instructors and researchers.
Ednastics offers a wide range of experience in post-secondary institutional improvement.
If you are a program dean or administrator, we encourage you to contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) to further discuss how we may work together to raise the quality of programs in your school.