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Qatar University

Qatar University

Qatar’s national university has jumped nearly 50 spots in an annual ranking of the world’s top schools.

Qatar University is now 349th in the latest edition of the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, which came out earlier this summer.

That’s up from 393rd in last year’s index. However, QU remained at ninth out of the top 100 higher education institutions in the Arab world.

Qatar University

Qatar University campus

The university’s growing number of Master’s and PhD programs, along with its “research successes,” were cited as main reasons for its improving score.

In a statement, QU’s President said the assessment marks a milestone moment for the university.

“The new ranking highlights the reputation that QU has built over the years, and in this occasion I would like to thank the entire QU community for their contribution towards this proud achievement.”

Other schools

A total of 959 schools were assessed for the 2018 version of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Rankings, up from 916 last year.

The highest-ranking varsity in the region was once again the King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals. It was 173rd and had obtained a five-star rating.

Two other Saudi schools also received five-star ratings. They are King Saud University (222nd) and King Abdulaziz University (267th).

Stephen Downes/Flickr

King Saud University

The American University of Beirut was 235rd, and Qatar was fifth in the region at 349th.

The top universities globally were all based in the US: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University and Harvard University.

However, the University of Cambridge and University of Oxford followed closely behind at 5th and 6th, respectively.

Thoughts?

3dom/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Some 4,000 students in Qatar will begin their school year this month at the new Philippine School Doha’s QR123 million campus in Abu Hamour.

The four-story building is PSD’s first permanent home, after operating out of rented facilities for 24 years, according to the Gulf Times.

It sits on a government-donated 14,375 square meter plot next to the religious complex.

Classes were expected to begin yesterday, but have been postponed by a week due to an air conditioning malfunction, the newspaper added. They will officially start on July 9.

According to PSD’s website, the new school has:

  • 132 classrooms,
  • Four science labs,
  • A gym that can hold over 3,000 people, and
  • A swimming pool, among other features.

Science focus

The school likely won’t be called PSD for long.

Principal Dr. Alexander S. Acosta previously said it is expected to be renamed to the Philippine Science School of Doha (PSSD) once it receives accreditation.

It will then become the first Filipino science school in the region.

Thoughts?

Qatar University

Qatar University

Qatar’s national university has jumped 44 spots in an international ranking of top varsities around the world.

Qatar University (QU) is now 349th in the latest edition of the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings, which came out this week.

The numbers reflect the 2018 edition of the index. QU rose from 393rd in the 2017 rankings, and 481st in 2016.

Stephen Downes/Flickr

King Saud University

QU also ranked fourth in the GCC and fifth in the Arab region.

The top-rated universities in the Gulf were King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (173rd) and King Saud University (221st). Both are located in Saudi Arabia.

The breakdown

The QS World University Rankings 2018 takes into consideration some 4,000 universities when compiling its rankings. They are scored on six indicators:

  • Academic reputation (40 percent),
  • Employer reputation (10 percent),
  • Citations per faculty (20 percent),
  • Student to faculty ratio (20 percent),
  • International faculty (5 percent); and
  • International students (5 percent).

Among the factors that boosted QU’s score were a high number of faculty staff with PhDs, the university’s research focus and large international student body.

Qatar University

QU President Dr Hassan Rashid Al Derham

In a statement, QU President Dr. Hassan Al Derham said the results reflect “the high quality education that Qatar University offers to its students and the alignment of its academic programs with the needs of the local labor market.”

“This also reflects that our graduates are capable to excel and compete in the local and international labor market, as well as to pursue their graduate studies at the top international universities,” he added.

Questions over quality

However, just how well the QS rankings reflect university quality is up for debate.

The index has been criticized in previous years because it relies on online reputation surveys that end up accounting for some 50 percent of a school’s score.

Heather/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

According to a study by a UK-based higher education think tank in December, these types of surveys are dubious at best.

“They are flawed methodologically, as effectively they only measure research performance and the results favor a small number of institutions,” the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) said.

However, QU is also listed among the world’s top universities by the Times Higher Education‘s index, which are based on different criteria.

Thoughts?