Education and Careers

World Ranking of Universities in Muslim Countries — A positive trend for the advancement of knowledge

Some years back only seven Universities from the Islamic world were listed in the top 500 World Universities. However, according to The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018 (for 2016-2017), ninety six universities from Muslim countries have been listed amongst the top 1102 Universities of the world. This is definitely a positive sign towards the need of higher learning in the Islamic World although universities of only 18 Muslim countries could find places in the list. Hope other Muslim countries will find their names in future reports. Of the 96 listed Universities, 22 belong to Turkey followed by Iran 18; Pakistan, 10; Malaysia and Egypt 9 each; Saudi Arabia, 5; U.A.E. and Indonesia 4 each; Jordan and Morocco 3 each; Tunisia 2 and Algeria, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Lebanon, Nigeria. Oman and Qatar 1 each.

 Babol Noshirvani Univ. of Technology, Iran

A redeeming feature in the rankings is the fact that in forty one universities, female students are higher in numbers than male students. Eleven Universities have more than 65:35 female : male ratio with Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (22,257 students) of Saudi Arabia having the highest ratio of 81:19, followed by United Arab Emirates Univ.(7,492 students) 79:21,Qatar Univ.,(13,342 students) 73:27 and Kuwait Univ., (37,752 students) with the ratio of 72:28. This is a great leap forward for the women emancipation in the Islamic Societies.

Inclusion of 96 Universities from Muslim Countries in the top 1102 World Universities is a clear sign that Muslims all over the world have started to understand that without modern knowledge and higher literacy Ummah cannot face the challenges of fast changing times. No doubt economic strength of Oil Producing Muslim countries is main factor for the present trend of greater emphasis in academic pursuit.

Universities from Islamic Countries listed in the World Ranking 

(Legend: S-Number of Students; G-Gender Difference (Female: Male))

World Ranking 201-250

1.      King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia; S-31,554; G-54:46


World Ranking 301-350

1.      Babol Noshirvani Univ. of Technology, Iran; S-4,749; G-32:68

2.      Khalifa Univ., U.A.E.; S-3,134;            G-46:54

3.      Koc Univ. Turkey; S-5,172; G-52:48   


World Ranking 351-400

1.      Univ. of Malaya, Malaysia; S-21,990; G-66:34

2.      Sabanci Univ., Turkey; S-3,247; G-41:59         


World Ranking 401-500

1.      Bilkent Univ., Turkey; S-10,007; G-45:55

2.      Bogaziçi Univ., Turkey; S-11,967; G-49:51

3.      Jordan Univ. of Science and Tech., Jordan; S-23,103; G-57:43

4.      Qatar Univ., Qatar; S-13,342; G-73:27

5.      Quaid-i-Azam Univ., Pakistan; S-13,559; G-57:43


World Ranking 501-600

1.      Alfaisal Univ., Saudi Arabia; S-1,891; G-56:44

2.      King Fahd Univ. of Petroleum and Minerals, S. Arabia;S-6,471; G-0:100

3.      King Saud Univ., Saudi Arabia; S-34,489; N/A

4.      Univ. Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR), Malaysia; S-18,642; G-52:48

5.      United Arab Emirates Univ., U.A.E.; S-7,492;G-79:21


World Ranking 601-800

1.      Amirkabir Univ. of Technology, Iran; S-12,815; G-34:66

2.      Atilim Univ., Turkey; S-7,100; G- 43:57

3.      Beni-Suef Univ., Egypt;            S-69,962; G-43:57

4.      COMSATS Institute of I. T., Pakistan; S-30,126; G-24:76

5.      Gebze Technical Univ., Turkey;S-5,781; G-34:66

6.      Hacettepe Univ., Turkey; S-39,181; G-57:43

7.      Iran Univ. of Science and Tech., Iran; S-13, 206; G-30:70

8.      Isfahan Univ. of Tech., Iran; S-9,323; G-42:58

9.      Istanbul Technical Univ., Turkey; S-36,061; G-34:66

10.    Univ. Kebangsaan Malaysia, Malaysia; S-19,353; G-70:30

11.    K.N. Toosi Univ. of Tech., Iran; S-7,079; G-33:67

12.    Kuwait Univ., Kuwait; S-37,752; G-72:28

13.    Middle East Technical Univ., Turkey; S-26,739; G-44:56

14.    National Univ. of Sciences and Tech., Pakistan; S-10,373; G-33:67

15.    Univ. Putra Malaysia, Malaysia; S-25,929; G-44:56

16.    Univ.Sains Malaysia, Malaysia; S-25,975; G- 63:37

17.    Sharif Univ. of Tech., Iran; S-11,228; G-26:74

18.    Univ, of Tabriz, Iran; S-22,421; G-51:49

19.    Univ, of Tehran, Iran; S-59,457; G-43:57

20.    Tehran Univ., of Medical Sciences, Iran; S-12,668; G-60:40

21.    Univ, Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia; S-18,214; G-52:48

22.    Univ, Teknologi Petronas, Malaysia; S-5,875; G-34:66

World Ranking 801-1000

1.      Univ. of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Pakistan; S-19,736; G-41:59

2.      Ain Shams University, Egypt; S-131,200; G-61:39

3.      Akdeniz University, Turkey;S-33,904; G-45:55

4.      Alexandria University, Egypt; S-166,350; G-53:47

5.      Assiut University, Egypt; S-60,170; G-41:59

6.      Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB), Indonesia; S-16,786; G-40:60

7.      Cairo University, Egypt; S-252,095; G-48:52

8.      Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Saudi Arabia; S-22,257, G-81:19

9.      Erciyes University, Turkey; S-35,263; G -47:53

10.    Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Iran; S-23,211;G -57:43

11.    Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia; S-42,398; G-53:47

12.    University of Guilan, Iran; S-16,946; G -55:45

13.    University of Ibadan, Nigeria; S-26,783; G -47:53

14.    University of Indonesia, Indonesia; S-42,854; G-59:41

15.    University of Isfahan, Iran; S-12,473; G-59:41

16.    Istanbul University, Turkey; S-96,144; G-48:52

17.    Izmir Institute of Technology, Turkey; S-4, 211 G-46:54

18.    University of Jordan, Jordan; S-31,278; G-65:35

19.    Mansoura University, Egypt; S-109,714; G-54:46

20.    Marmara University, Turkey; S-78,666; G-49:51

21.    University of Marrakech Cadi Ayyad, Morocco; S-76,560; G-42:58

22.    Mohammed V University of Rabat, Morocco; S-71,147; G-53:47

23.    Shahid Beheshti University, Iran; S-17,113; G-52:48

24.    University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates; S-13,300; G-65:35

25.    Shiraz University, Iran; S-12, 87; G-49:51

26.    South Valley University, Egypt;S-52, 09; G-50:50

27.    Suez Canal University, Egypt; S-33, 84; G-58:42

28.    Sultan Qaboos University, Oman; S-7, 162; G-50:50

29.    Universiti Tenaga National (UNITEN), Malaysia, S-8, 231; G-41:59

30.    University of Tlemcen, Algeria; S-42, 40; G-67:33

31.    TOBB Univ. of Economics and Technology, Turkey; S-5,053; G-45:55

32.    Yildiz Technical University, Turkey; S-35,67; G-38:62


World Ranking 1001-1102

1.      Alzahra University, Iran; S-10, 63; G-100:0

2.      Anadolu University, Turkey; S-1,824,38,G-41:59

3.      Ankara University, Turkey; S-65,703;G-53:47

4.      Bahauddin Zachariah University, Pakistan; S-24,069; G-47:53

5.      University of Birjand, Iran; S-11,284; G -53:47

6.      Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia; S-22,718; G-57:43

7.      University of Dhaka, Bangladesh; S-63,010; G-39:61

8.      Dokuz Eylül University, Turkey; S-58,134; G-55:45

9.      Gazi University, Turkey; S-78,021; 49:51

10.    Government College University Lahore, Pakistan; S-8,526; G-43:57

11.    Hashemite University, Jordan; S-24,958;G-62:38

12.    University of Lahore, Pakistan; S-27,872; G-29:71

13.    University of Monastir, Tunisia; S-23,637; G-67:33

14.    Ondokuz Mayis University, Turkey; S-42,911; G-6:44

15.    University of Peshawar, Pakistan; S-7,900; G-42:58

16.    PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan; S-9,957; G-39:61

17.    Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Morocco; S-82,558; G-45:55

18.    University of Tunis El Manar, Tunisia; S-30,301; G-76:24

19.    Universiti Utara Malaysia, Malaysia; S-14,315; G-73:27

20.    University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Pakistan; S-5,003; G-45:55

21.    Yazd University, Iran; S-13,600; G-56:44

22.    Yeditepe University, Turkey; S-23,260; G-52:48

23.    University of Zanjan, Iran; S-10,305; G-55:45

The writer is a former deputy director, Plants Chemistry Div., National Botanical Research Institute, Lucknow. He may be contacted at mihfarooqi(at)