Five Arab universities have successfully entered the 2013 Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities. The feat was achieved by four Saudi academic institutions led by King Saud University which entered the top 151 to 200 and King Abdul Aziz University ranking in the top 201 to 300 in 2013. King Fahd University of Petroleum maintained its spot in the top 301 to 400 as King Abdullah University of Science and Technology clinched a place in the top 401 to 500. On the Arab Scale, University of Cairo re-entered the prestigious list by securing a spot in the top 401 to 500 range.
These universities, among other learning institutions in the world, are ranked according to their academic and research performance in each subject field. Other factors considered include staff winning Nobel Prizes, Highly Cited Researchers and papers indexed in Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE). A new indicator, the percentage of papers published in the top 20 per cent journals of each field, was factored in the ranking.
The ranking reflects the performance of these universities in comparison to other academic institutions in the world. The academic success the Arab universities achieved plays a vital role in the region's effort towards building a knowledge-based economy. The higher education sector has made great strides in paving the way for innovation and technology transfer to take place. An educated population is essential towards sustainable growth and continuous development.