05 January 2010
Arab universities have not performed very well in the global rankings. A few Saudi universities have reached the top of the Shanghai Rankings and Lebanese and Egyptian universities have made some impact in rankings such as CWUR and Scimago. The overall performance, however, is not impressive.
Business schools have performed no better. There are, for example, no Arab universities in the Financial Times global MBA rankings and only the American University in Cairo is in the top 200 of the QS global MBA rankings.
An article by David Plackett in Al-Fanar Media reports that there is considerable dissatisfaction in the region with the current state of business education. Speakers at the recent Middle East Summit of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSBs in Dubai noted that while business education had been growing in the region its impact was still not significant.
According to QS data, the recruitment of MBA graduates in the Middle East and Africa has grown very slowly in marked contrast to the Asia-Pacific region and Eastern Europe. The summit reviewed various reasons including heavy teaching loads with insufficient time for research.
Suggestions for improving the impact of regional business schools include meetings between academics and business and political leaders, more interdisciplinary research and the nurturing of start-up companies by faculty and graduates. The article notes the aspiration of Ayesha Abdulla of the Higher Colleges of technology, United Arab Emirates, to create 60 such companies a year.