Libya has been in a state of turmoil since 2011 and that has had a dire effect on the country’s universities and research capacity. Libyan universities are absent from the well-known rankings although they do have a presence in the Webometrics rankings where the top performer is the University of Benghazi, just inside the top 4000.
A recent article in Al Fanar Media by Tarek Abd El Galil reported that the National Center for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of the Tripoli based Ministry of Higher Education has published a guide to university rankings using criteria such as research, teaching, international rankings, websites and social impact.
Although the process of setting up a university or any kind of academic institution in Libya is long and complicated the monitoring of those in in existence has so far been very limited.
The new guide will assess private and public universities according to teaching and learning (35%), knowledge output (30%), social and environmental service (15%), website quality (13%), and international dimension (7%).
Salma Abdul-Karim Bukhatwa, a Dean at Libyan International Medical University Benghazi and a member of the committee that developed the rankings, noted that Libyan universities do not have adequate quality standards and perform poorly in international rankings.
The proposed rankings have been accepted by some university administrators but others were sceptical of their value. Some critics argued that rankings are pointless in a country where the great majority of students had no choice but to attend universities near their home.