American University in Beirut and Cairo top list of MENA's best universities
Written by Malek   

AUB and AUC ranked higher than the University of Milan, the American University in Washington DC, Stellenbosch University, Brandeis, Wake Forest University, and Florida State. (AUB)

The American University in Beirut, which was ranked first in the Middle-East at  228th on the overall list. The American University in Cairo has been ranked as the second best university in the Middle East and North Africa region and 365th worldwide, according to an annual ranking released by QS World University Rankings. The annual QS rankings rate the world’s top universities using six different indicators: academic reputation, employer reputation, student-to-faculty ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

AUC's rank directly followed the George Washington University, Northeastern University and Virginia Tech, three prestigious US universities.  It's the only private institution in Egypt included in the QS rankings. “There are a lot of universities in the world; to be in the 300 band is extraordinary,” said Ted Purinton, dean of the Graduate School of Education and an expert in international education, in an AUC press release. According to Purinton, AUC ranked higher than the University of Milan, the American University in Washington DC, Stellenbosch University, Brandeis, Wake Forest University, and Florida State.

"These are all top universities, all of which are widely known and very prestigious. Thus, I would say we should feel exceedingly proud of where we are now,” Purinton added. While AUC’s ranking has dipped down and back up again over the years, Purinton explained that there should be little concern over slight changes in a university’s rankings. “Universities float around within bands of rankings for very minor issues,” he said. He added that if a university had a slight change in the number of international students or faculty members, most of the university's community will not feel the impact, yet its ranking score will noticeably change.

AUC came second in the MENA region after the American University in Beirut, which was ranked 228th on the overall list. They were however ranked ahead of other prominent MENA universities such as the American universities in Sharjah and Dubai.

Ranking is an ongoing process of improvement and enhancement, noted Iman Megahed, executive director of the Office of Data Analytics and Institutional Research. “AUC’s ranking reflects its institutional strength, which the university constantly aims to improve through continuous assessment and creating evidence-based change,” she said.

Established in 2004, the QS World University Rankings evaluates only about 900 universities globally. In other words, only the top 3 to 5 percent of higher education institutions worldwide are included in these rankings.