Directory of 800 Mena varsities launched
Doha, October 31, 2013
US News & World Report, a leading provider of information analysis, has created a comprehensive directory of more than 800 universities across the Mena region.
US News editors unveiled a test version of the proposed directory before a group of top regional academic officials at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha recently, as an initial step toward a broad survey and ranking report on institutions of higher education.
The Arab Region University Directory, which will launch on usnews.com later in November, brings together publicly available data on a wide array of Mena universities from all Arab countries. A fully web-enabled, searchable product will debut in early 2014, said a statement.
The data set aims to allow a deeper regional comparison of the various types of institutions than information which currently appears in other global rankings, which have typically included few Mena higher educational institutions. Additionally, schools in the region have not historically been classified for comparative purposes in the same way as universities in many other regions.
"We want to bring to the Arab and Mena university community the same depth of study that has become so important to parents, students and policymakers in the United States," said Brian Kelly, editor and chief content officer. "There is a need for both a global and a regional look at these important institutions."
The effort is part of an expanding global outreach by the Washington-based media company, which for many years has been the leading source of rankings in the areas of education, healthcare, and other products, and has found a growing international interest in its content.
The project was initiated with the backing of Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of the Qatar Foundation. "Qatar Foundation is a leading source of global education innovation. Sheikha Moza asked me whether we could bring the work we do in the US to the region as a way of creating global consistency and adding substantial value to higher education in the Mena region," said Kelly. The foundation is assisting in the research effort with a grant.
Robert Morse, who has managed US News educational research for more than two decades and will lead this initiative, said: "US News will work with stakeholders in the Mena region to encourage similar standardisation that would reflect the educational characteristics of colleges and universities."
"A comprehensive data set will enable students, parents, policymakers, employers and academics to compare institutions in ways not currently available," he added. - TradeArabia News Service