09 October 2017

The latest supplement from Nature Index, a database of leading research journals, shows the remarkable progress made by Saudi research institutions over the last few years. The bulk of high quality research is provided by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (75%) with smaller contributions from just five institutions: King Abdulaziz University, King Saud University, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, and King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

The upsurge in research since 2008 has propelled the kingdom into first place among Arab countries, with the United Arab Emirates coming a distant second. The main area of expertise among Saudi universities and research centres is chemistry, followed by the physical sciences and the life sciences. The most important drivers of research in Saudi Arabia are the universities with relatively minor contributions from the government, corporate and healthcare sectors.

The tables provided in the supplement show that Saudi Arabia has a dominant position among Arab universities although it is still behind countries like Israel, Turkey and Iran within the Wider Middle East. Out of 25 top institutions in the Middle East according to publications in the Nature Index, three are located in Saudi Arabia and one in Qatar.

The top ten research institutions in Saudi Arabia ranked by Weighted Fractional Count are:

  1. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
  2. King Abdulaziz University
  3. King Saud University
  4. King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre
  5. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals
  6. King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology
  7. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation
  8. King Faisal University
  9. Majmaah University
  10. Saudi Aramco.



IREG Initiatives

With the fast development of science and technology, as well as the internationalization of scientific activities, international academic awards have been more and more popular and influential. Numerous international academic awards have been established to provide individuals with incentives and motivation for new academic work and to reward past excellent academic accomplishments.


The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.


National and international academic rankings play ever increasing role as a barometer of quality of higher education institutions. The purpose of "IREG Inventory of National Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.


News from IREG Members

The worldwide ranking UI GreenMetric Workshop in Bologna

This Bologna workshop is aimed to highlight the commitment of Italian universities towards a sustainable 360° approach. UI GM Chairperson, Riri Fitri Sari, will showcase the ranking’s structure and indicators in details. Italian participants are warmly invited to ask questions and raise issues concerning the specificity of the Italian universities to fit into the UI GreenMetric ranking. The Alma Mater Studiorum assumes the role of National Network Hub for UI GM in the framework of this event that will also host experts from RUS (Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile).

Ranking conference in Warsaw

Polish universities feel, they deserve a better place in international rankings. To discuss what can and should be done to improve the quality of research, rectors of best universities in the country gathered 1-2 December in Warsaw at the conference “Polish Universities in International Perspective – Rankings and Strategic Management of University” organized by Perspektywy Education Foundation jointly with the Conference of Rectors (CRASP) and Polish Accreditation Commission (PAC).

Conference on Universities’ Reputation

Spanish Universidad de Navarra organizes the International Conference BUILDING UNIVERSITIES' REPUTATION Understanding the Student Perspective – Key to a Reputation Strategy, Pamplona, Spain 30-31 March 2017. www.unav.edu/bur

Report on Activities of IREG Observatory 2015-1016

Dr. Jan Sadlak, President of IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence at the General Assembly held in Lisbon on 6 May 2016 presented a detailed report on activities of the organization, the President and members of the Executive Committee in the period: May 2015 – May 2016.

You may ready the report HERE.

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