The Arab World has not performed well for scholarship and scientific research in modern times. In recent years a few universities in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf, and Lebanon have begun to produce a significant amount of research but in general the region has lagged well behind Europe and East Asia.
According to a report in Al-Fanar Media by Amr El Tohamy, the Jordanian government has embarked on a new initiative to transform the higher education sector and become competitive in the global arena. Participation in international university rankings is seen as a way of improving the quality of research and teaching. The Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission for Higher Education Institutions has signed agreements with Times Higher Education (THE) and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS).
The two ranking agencies will help with the verification of the data submitted to their world and regional rankings. The agreements are aimed at enhancing a classification project that established a number of criteria for university quality including ranking in the THE and QS World University Rankings and other global rankings.
To date the achievements of Jordanian universities in the rankings have been quite limited. The University of Jordan has reached the 601-650 band in the QS rankings and Jordan University of Science and Technology in the THE rankings. It is hoped that the agreements will lead to further improvements.