Complex Made Simple

Qatar University to co-host first-ever Times Higher Education MENA Universities Summit

Qatar University (QU) in partnership with Times Higher Education (THE), will host the first edition of Times Higher Education MENA Universities Summit on February 23-24, 2015 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Hamad Al-Thani, Deputy Emir.

His Highness will be represented in the opening ceremony by H.E. Sheikh Dr Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, Vice-Chair of QU Board of Regents and President of Hamad bin Khalifa University.

The event which is organized for the first time in the region, is dedicated to the development of world-class education and research in the region. It aims to help Times Higher Education magazine develop a new university ranking for the MENA region.

Twenty-two presidents of universities from countries around the world are expected to attend the event that will feature a series of discussions on proposals for a new Times Higher Education MENA Universities ranking with a bespoke range of metrics for the region; sessions on university leadership, international research collaboration, industry-university collaboration and teaching excellence; and workshops on consultative rankings.

Commenting on the upcoming event, QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, said: “In partnering in this important forum, Qatar University is reinforcing its position as a leader in academic and research excellence in the Gulf and MENA region to advance the dialogue on the opportunities and challenges in the higher education sector. The region is home to several fast-developing economies, and universities contribute academic and research innovation and best practice in line with stated ambitions of national governments towards a knowledge-based economy. In this regard, the summit is an invaluable opportunity for us all to come together to discuss ways to further energize this movement and to reflect the region’s academic and research aspirations and priorities.”

QU Vice President and Chief Academic Officer Dr Mazen Hasna, said: “International ranking is an important element of a university’s development, progress and international reputation. In the MENA region, universities need to develop a deeper understanding of the ranking methodologies so that they can improve practices that will positively affect their ranking. On the other hand, ranking agencies need to have better understanding of the higher education map of the MENA region. QU is well-placed to host this forum with THE and we look forward to the expert discussions and recommendations that will emerge from it.”

THE World University Rankings editor Phil Baty, said: “The first-ever THE MENA Universities Summit is a wonderful and timely opportunity to bring global thought leaders together, to share good practice and forge new partnerships, and to help ensure that the great vision is fully realized. We are delighted to be able to bring together, in partnership with Qatar University, some of the world’s most exciting thinkers – across teaching, research, business and policymaking – for high-level debate, sharing best practice and networking under our prestigious summit series. This MENA summit will be the perfect opportunity to help us shape new rankings for the region.”

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are the most widely-referenced and highly-regarded of the global university rankings systems, employing 13 separate performance indicators covering the full range of an institution’s key missions such as teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international activity. The event has been drawing high interest from leaders of MENA universities and companies and its popularity is evidenced by the high demand for participation.