Morocco shines by its absence in the top 100 of the best universities

A reference for world academic circles, the famous Shanghai ranking of the best universities in the world has been published, as usual, for some twenty years now, in mid-August (08/15). Unfortunately for us Moroccans none of our universities are in the world Top 100.

And if it can reassure the ego of some, as a consolation, no Arab or African university appears in this table. For the 2022 edition, the tradition is maintained, it is once again, Harvard University in Boston in the United States (100 pts) which has been designated as the best in the world. “Nice to know“, Harvard has been at the top of the ranking since its creation in 2003. Twenty years of success for Boston University. The podium is completed by two other American universities, Stanford University (76.80) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (76.10).

But let it be said, American institutions insolently dominate the top 100 of this ranking with no less than 39 universities. They are followed by the United Kingdom and China with 8 universities each. Australia with one less academy comes in fourth position, then there is Canada (5), Switzerland, Germany and France (4), Sweden, the Netherlands and Israel, the only Mena country ( 3), while with two universities each Japan, Singapore, Denmark and Belgium hang on ahead of Norway, Hong Kong, Finland and South Korea which by only one unit complete the 2022/23 edition where 19 EU institutions are listed.

The domination of the ranking by American universities (39 in the top 100) is explained by the considerable resources they have in comparison to other countries. A year at Harvard as an undergraduate will cost you nearly 51,000 dollars, to which must be added the many donations collected for the university each year. For example, Standford has counted more than 79,000 donors who have brought it more than a billion dollars a year since 2012. The Shanghai ranking, which aims to be a benchmark in this area, is nonetheless criticized for the little of factors taken into account to establish it.

This “Academic Ranking of World Universities” carried out by researchers at Shanghai Jiao-tong University for two decades now (more than 2,500 institutions were examined to establish a ranking of the first 1,000) is criticized for taking into account six criteria, including the number of Nobel and Fields medals – considered the Nobel of mathematics – among graduate students and professors, the number of highly cited researchers in their discipline or the number of publications in Science and Nature journals. Data in the eyes of some where, are only analyzed quantitative variables, and not qualitative. Thus, educational innovations, the well-being of students or even the rate of integration into the market and career prospects are absolutely not taken into account by the Chinese institution.

In another register, the ranking of the Center for World University Rankings (CWUR), which lists the 2000 best universities in the world and on behalf of the 2022-2023 school year (mid-June), four Moroccan universities were included. These are the Mohammed V universities in Rabat (951), the Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakech (1,024), the Hassan II University in Casablanca (1,068) and finally the Mohammed Premier University in Oujda. (1090).

Globally, American universities also dominate the rankings, followed by China (302), Japan (118), the United Kingdom (94), Germany (69), India (67) and South Korea (57). In Africa, Egypt leads with 20 universities, followed by South Africa (12), Tunisia (5) and Morocco (4). The CWTS international ranking is based on the quality of education, employment of alumni, quality of faculty and research performance. The center bases its assessment on seven indicators grouped into four key points: Training, Employability, Faculty and Research.



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