How to raise a university's ranking


Makkah newspaper

EACH year some specialized centers publish their annual reports on the academic ranking of world universities. One of them is the Shanghai Ranking Consultancy.

These centers publish a short list of the most famous universities, which do not need their certification. They then publish the list other universities, which eagerly await the reports of these centers to know their standing.

These specialized centers offer their services at to various universities. Many universities in the Third World seek the assistance of these centers and their employees to improve their academic standard and enhance their global ranking.

On the other hand, universities that are confident about their academic performance do not approach these centers in Shanghai, Madrid and other places. On the contrary, these centers go to the premium universities seeking permission to include them on their lists.

I am not against world ranking of universities and their classification into groups, with each group receiving their legitimate rights. Let us exercise our rights with regard to these centers and tell what we think about our universities. I think it is a better yardstick to determine the performance and academic level of our universities than those centers, which are located in far-off places.

I believe that the following factors determine the ranking of any university:

First, the presence of distinguished professors who spend their time in research and come up with new ideas. They enjoy the respect of the community, which appreciates their work and capabilities. These professors make contributions to improve the life of people around them. As a result people acknowledge the achievements of these university professors and recognize their talents, inventions and creativity.

These professors who involve in various community welfare activities are considered the main pillars of the university. They work hard to improve the standard of their university and prepare students to make outstanding achievements and conduct useful research works.

The second important factor is the students who graduate from the university after obtaining in-depth knowledge in various disciplines and specializations. They serve as the university's ambassadors in every field they work and in every area they have access to it. Outstanding graduates are the true testimony that determines the level of any university that seeks to enhance the quality of its graduates. This will enable a university to stand tall among others.

The third factor that helps a university obtain its natural place is its academic programs, which should be designed to deepen the students' knowledge and enhance their creativity. Such universities will not need recommendations of specialized centers that are located in a remote corner of the world striving to improve the level of universities and helping them achieve high ranking.

If a university's professors and students join hands to strengthen their institution on the basis of a well-thought-out academic program it would be able to excel in the world of academia and achieve the highest ranking.

Top rankings are not meant for universities that design their academic programs to meet labor market requirements or the whims and fancies of a certain group of people.

I believe that academics who fail to do what they are supposed to do because of fear of certain individuals or people who cannot differentiate between a university and a mosque will not be able to take educational institutions to greater heights.