The Daily Star:Lebanon's American University of Beirut jumped 40 places in a ranking of global higher education establishments to enter the top 250, according to the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Ranking report published Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Saint-Joseph University rose from 601 to 491 and Lebanese American University remained unchanged at 651.
AUB took the top place for Lebanon, rising 40 places from 268 to 228 from academic year 2015/16, when the last survey was undertaken, to the 2016/17.
"This significantly improved ranking is a clear testimony of the university's continuous drive for sustaining excellence in teaching, research and service, and for becoming a premier university not only in the region but worldwide," said Interim Provost of AUB Mohamed Harajli in a statement released by the university Tuesday.
"I am heartened to learn of ... their affirmation of us [AUB] as the finest institution of higher learning in Lebanon and among the top three in the Arab world," added AUB President Fadlo Khuri in the statement.
AUB now ranks third in the Arab world behind Saudi Arabia's King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals at 189th place and just behind King Saud University in 227nd place.
AUB explained the improvement was largely down to an 18 place increase in the Academic Reputation indicator, the cornerstone of the QS ranking which accounts for some 40 percent of the overall mark.
"The AUB community, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni, should feel proud of this remarkable achievement," Harajli added.
QS, a global education think-tank, surveyed some 74,651 academics and 37,781 employers globally for the report that measured 916 universities from 81 countries. The QS ranking is widely considered as one of the most trusted independent global rankings.
AUB continually ranks as the leading Lebanese university and a high caliber research and education institute around the world. However, the 110 place improvement that took USJ from 20th in the region to 17th indicates that other institutions may be catching up.