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Monday, 17 October 2022

Fresh higher education rankings bring mixed results for Egyptian universities

Egyptian universities see some setbacks, some advancements in top international rankings: Different international rankings yielded mixed results for Egyptian universities, with one seeing fewer ranked universities from Egypt, and another showing a marginal improvement to our overall standing. Individual institutions also had uneven performances, as some remained unchanged year on year, while others rose or fell in the rankings.

The three global rankings systems that really count: The QS World University Rankings, the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU or the Shanghai Ranking). The 2023 edition of the ARWU ranking has yet to be released, so it is not included in today’s rundown.

We have nine fewer Egyptian universities ranked in THE’s 2023 ranking: THE’s 2023 ranking includes 26 Egyptian universities, down from 35 in last year’s edition. Helwan University, the British University in Egypt (BUE), Canadian International College (CIC), Deraya University, Egypt-Japan University of Science and Technology, Future University, October University for Modern Sciences and Arts (MSA), October 6 University, and University of Sadat City all became reporter universities the latest rankings, meaning they fed in data but were not ranked.

However, our smaller ranking representation isn’t a reflection of our overall score: Egypt’s overall score in the ranking recorded the “second sharpest increase,” rising to 31.0 in this year’s edition, from 28.6 last year, THE’s acting rankings editor Rosa Ellis notes.

The improving scores is partially tied to research output, which American University in Cairo professor Marwa Mamdouh-Salem suggests could be because universities had “more time to conduct research during the pandemic,” Ellis says. Citations and research collectively comprise 60% of the THE ranking, we reported previously.

Aswan University topped the list of Egyptian universities for the fourth consecutive year since it joined the ranking in its 2020 edition. The university’s ranking improved from 410-500 to the 401-500 range. Next up are Damietta University, Kafr El Sheikh University, and Mansoura University, all of which remained unchanged at the 501-600 range (despite their scores improving).

AUC scored higher than most other Egyptian institutions in three of the five performance areas: AUC outperformed its local peers (both public and private) in the teaching, research and international outlook areas for the fourth year in a row. THE’s ranking system adopts 13 performance indicators grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); research (volume, income and reputation); citations (research influence); International outlook (staff, students and research); and industry income (knowledge transfer), THE rankings methodology notes. However, AUC lags behind in its citations score and sits in the middle range of the group in its industry income score. Damietta University received the top score for citations among Egyptian universities and Mansoura University had the highest-scoring industry income performance.

Regionally, Egypt dropped one position in THE regional sub-ranking: Nigeria outranked Egypt to claim the second spot of THE’s regional sub-ranking after South Africa, with an overall score of 31.5 (up from 27.9 last year). The number of Nigerian universities that ranked in 2023 doubled to twelve universities, while the number of Egyptian universities fell 26% y-o-y, Ellis notes.

Aswan University is one of only two African universities to feature in the top 100 of the THE Impact Rankings 2022. The THE Impact Rankings — which assess university commitment to sustainability at an institutional, local, national, regional and global level — ranked Aswan University number 67 out of 1,406 ranked universities around the world in 2022, up from 95 out of 1,100 ranked universities in 2021. Aswan University was one of only two African universities to make it onto the top 100 global institutions for their work on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The fourth edition of the Impact Rankings was published in April.

International rankings ignite the competitive spirit among universities: The presence of Egyptian universities among these international rankings pushes them to do better and compete for higher rankings, Higher Education Ministry spokesperson Adel Abdel Ghaffar told Enterprise.

We continue to have the highest number of universities represented in the QS rankings out of all African countries: Egypt maintained its lead position on a continent level in the QS World University Rankings 2023, with 14 ranked universities, out of 32 from the continent. Egypt had 13 universities in the ranking in 2022.

Gov’t has been playing its part: “The Higher Education Ministry has provided technical and financial support to advance universities’ scientific research and its publishing in international journals, which is very important for international rankings,” Abdel Ghaffar added. .

Future University in Egypt makes an appearance… Future University was the only new addition to the 2022 list of ranked Egyptian universities in the QS World University rankings.

…While AUC staged a comeback: AUC reversed course and ranked 416 out of 1500 universities from around the world in 2023, up from 445 in 2022, but down from 411 in 2021. AUC’s ranking had slipped in last year’s edition. On a regional level, AUC rose to the third spot of ranked African universities with a score of 27.5 in 2023 up from the fourth spot with a score of 26.1 in 2022.

Two Egyptian university business schools got a shoutout on the QS Global MBA Rankings for the second year in a row: AUC ranked globally in the 101-110 range in 2023, rising from the 111-120 range in 2022. Meanwhile, in the Africa and Middle East category, AUC came in the fourth spot in 2023, slipping one spot from its #3 ranking last year. The Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (AASTMT) maintained its listing as a top business school in Africa and the Middle East category, placed in the range of 251+.

Egyptian MBA programs maintained their positions: The QS Business Masters Rankings 2023 evaluated five specialized master’s degrees usually offered at business schools globally. Among these, AASTMT’s master’s in management was included in the group of 151+ out of 178, and the AUC School of Business master’s in finance program featured in the 131-140 category, out of 191.

EDITOR’S NOTE- This story was updated on 18 October, 2022 to clarify that the nine universities that were not included in the 2023 Times Higher Education ranking acted as unranked “reporter universities” but did not fall out of the ranking. The story also corrected the name of the British University in Egypt.


Your top education stories for the week:

  • CIRA’s admissions figures rose 5.6% y-o-y in its K-12 schools, while 16k students enrolled in its university in academic year 2022-2023, the company said in an update.
  • Education Minister Reda Hegazy will be in the hot seat at the House of Representatives this week, answering MPs’ questions on a shortage of public schools and teachers, the national curriculum, and a rise in private school tuition fees.

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