A Tunisian University has been ranked among one of the top ten best universities in the Arab world.
The University of Sfax was ranked 10th (58.8 points) and Tunis Manar 11th with 58 points, in a survey of 120 universities across the 18 countries of the Arab region for the year 2016 by the website US News.
Speaking to Tunisia Live, the Head of the University of Sfax, Rafik Bouazizi said that “in December 2014 The University of Sfax was ranked the 12th and now we’re among the top ten.” He believed the rise in ranking was due “to the good academic reputation of our researchers and employees’ teaching methodologies.” Bouazizi noted that the, “Ranking was based solely on two criteria: our publications in the journals and the frequency that our articles were cited.”
Bouazizi explained how the university has managed to raise it’s international profile, “We organize many conferences and events. Also, we are now working on a project to have our medical and engineering bachelor degrees accredited, so that they will be recognized on an international level.” Bouazizi said that cooperation agreements with European universities had also boosted their standing. “Yesterday we signed a cooperation agreement with the University of Marburg (Germany). We also have an agreement with the University of Maine (France) so that our students can have a double honors degree in Physics, Chemistry, IT, etc.”
When comparing the performance of Tunisia’s universities with the top three universities in Saudi Arabia, Bouazizi said “It’s true that we don’t have the same budget as the Saudi Universities, but we are now among the top ten, (in the Arab world) and our students have excelled at the University of Sfax, rather than studying abroad. That’s why they have gone on to fill key positions, such as our former student, Houssem Jerbi who is working with Facebook in Dublin.”
Tunisia’s top universities lie behind Saudi universities who took the top three positions and included the King Saud University (100 points), the University of King Abdulaziz (99,5 points) and the University of King Abdullah Science and Technology (91,2 points). Cairo University in Egypt took 4th position with (82 points) and the Lebanese American University (77.4 points) took 5th place.
Other Tunisian Universities of note, were University of Monastir which was ranked 18th, with 53.6 points, while University of Carthage placed 25th, with 49 points and University of Tunis in 33rd place with 45.2 points.
Zaineb is a journalist in the Tunisia Live newsroom. She speaks Arabic, French and English.