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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - JEDDAH — In the Nature Index 2020 Annual Tables, Saudi Arabia is well ahead of the Arab countries in research share, and the only country alongside United Arab Emirates (UAE) to make up the top 50 global country list as the 29th and 48th respectively.
For the third year in row, Saudi Arabia maintains its position among the global achievers and as the highest contributor to research share in the Arab countries and second highest in the MEA2 region countries on this year’s index.
This year’s Nature Index Annual Tables includes 19 Arab countries, the longest list from three years. On the same list, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt have been holding the top three positions respectively since 2017, with almost 65% of the overall research share delivered by the Kingdom and a remarkable 18% increase in adjusted Share by UAE. Egypt maintains its first position in North Africa2 and second in Africa over the same period.
In addition to the standard tables, this year’s Nature Index Annual Tables also includes lists of Rising Stars, based on institutions’ growth in high-quality publication output from 2015 to 2019. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is the only institution from the MENA2 region in top 100 global rising stars in Earth and Environmental sciences and the only institution from the Arab countries in top 100 global rising stars in Physical sciences.
KAUST had also the highest research share in the Arab countries for the past three years with more than 50% of their institutions shares’ combined. This demonstrates a significant amount of high-quality research being published by this institution and makes it an undisputable leader in both Saudi and regional research shares.
David Swinbanks, founder of the Nature Index, said: “The performance of KAUST after only its tenth year since foundation is truly remarkable. In Nature Index 2020 Annual tables, it is 33rd in top 100 rising stars in Physical sciences and 51st in Earth and environmental sciences and has achieved almost a 50% increase in both areas over 4 years.
“It is the most prolific university in the Middle East and Africa in Chemistry and Earth and environmental sciences and the only institution from the entire region in the top 100 academic institutions in both subjects. It shows that with very substantial funding, advisors from the world’s best institutions, and international recruitment of top quality faculty, it is possible to create a great institution in a very short space of time.”
The achievements list of Saudi Arabia and KAUST includes –
Saudi Arabia (with the highest Arab country share in each subject)
• 29th top 50 global countries in research share
• 9th in top 10 rising countries in Earth and environmental sciences / sole Arab country
• 10th in top 10 rising countries in physical sciences / sole Arab country
• 25th top countries in chemistry
• 28th top countries in Earth and environmental sciences
• 29th top countries in physical sciences
• 37th top countries in life sciences
KAUST (as the only institution from the Arab countries)
• 33rd top 100 rising institutions – Physical sciences
• 51st top 100 rising institutions – Earth and environmental sciences
• 87th top institutions / 69th academic institutions – Physical sciences
• 89th top academic institutions – Earth and environmental sciences
• 96th top institutions / 87th academic institutions – Chemistry
• 119th top academic institutions
• 132nd top institutions
By academic institutions in Saudi Arabia, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), King Saud University (KSU) and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) maintained their second, third and fourth positions respectively over the past three years with a remarkable growth in adjusted Share for KFUPM in 2019 (138%).
Newcomers to the top ten list are Alfaisal University, King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) and King Faisal University (KFU) which join Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU), National Center for Nanotechnology of KACST and King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences (KSAU-HS).
The top 15 academic institutions in the Arab countries include from Saudi Arabia — King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), King Abdulaziz University (KAU), King Saud University (KSU) and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), from Lebanon — American University of Beirut (AUB) and the newcomer, Lebanese American University (LAU), from UAE — Khalifa University of Science and Technology and United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), from Egypt — Ain Shams University, Mansoura University and Cairo University (CU), from Oman — University of Nizwa, and from Morocco — Cadi Ayyad University (UCA).
At a global level, the institutions that feature most prominently in this year’s Nature Index Annual Tables, are large with considerable funding and reputation, as might be expected. The Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Harvard University and the Max Planck Society continue to occupy the top tiers.
Swinbanks, added: “While the annual tables are a good indicator of high quality research output in the natural sciences, we encourage readers to use the findings alongside other scientific outputs such as data, software and intellectual property when considering research quality and institutional performance.” — SG
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