Higher Education in MENA through Global Lenses: Lessons Learned from International Rankings

Higher Education in MENA through Global Lenses: Lessons Learned from International Rankings

Shadi Hijazi, Ben Sowter, Hillol Nag
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6198-1.ch003
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The Higher Education sector has witnessed heightened interest in global rankings and rating systems, particularly since the 1990s, due to increased internationalisation. The purpose of this chapter is to introduce the main rankings systems of world universities, and to respectively analyse the performance of Arab universities in the MENA region. The region's performance in global rankings clearly highlights the need for increasing commitment to research by MENA universities and academic authorities. It also illustrates regional disparities among different countries and institutions, as a result of increasing investment and awareness of international competitiveness. Further development for the region's universities would benefit from understanding the overall scenario presented by global rankings and from using such rankings and other policy tools to drive institutional and national development.
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Rankings And Policy Making

There are three co-existing mechanisms for evaluating the performance of higher education institutions: rankings and league lists developed mainly by media, quality assurance measures created by quality assurance agencies (QA), and accountability measures imposed by governments (Shin, Toutkoushian and Teichler, 2011).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Publication: Academic paper produced by the academics in the university.

University Rating: The practice of evaluating a university based on its performance in predefined indicators.

Citation: Number of times an academic publication is used as a reference in another publication.

Quality Assurance: An audit of a university to ensure it meets the standards set by an agency or authority.

Knowledge-Based Economy: An economy that generates significant share of its output through knowledge and innovation.

MENA: Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region:In the context of this paper, MENA region refers to the Arab countries in the region (Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen).

University Rankings: The practice of ordering universities in a list based on their performance in predefined indicators.

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