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Establishing a World-Class University in Saudi Arabia. Intended and unintended effects

: Schmoch, Ulrich; Fardoun, Habib M.; Mashat, Abdulfattah S.


Scientometrics 109 (2016), No.2, pp.1191-1207
ISSN: 0138-9130
ISSN: 1588-2861
Journal Article
Fraunhofer ISI ()
World Class University; Saudi Arabia; ranking position; international staff; economic strategy

The manifold activities in Southeast Asian countries for establishing World-Class Universities are observed since several years. In contrast, the substantial efforts in Arabian countries are barely noticed. As illustrative example, the King Abdulaziz University has enormously increased the quantity and quality of its research reflected in a growing number of articles and rising citation scores. This development implies a steadily improving position in rankings such as the Shanghai Ranking, but the investment is not unilaterally focussed on research, but education profited as well. The amelioration in science is substantially based on new academic staff from foreign countries experienced in high level research, but the number of nationals, male and female, significantly rose as well. The investment in research and education has to be considered as starting point of a long-term strategy of economic development for coping with the foreseeable end of the oilboom.