Controversial Ideas 2022, 2(1), 8; doi: 10.35995/jci02010008
Saudi Universities Rapid Escalation in Academic Ranking Systems: Implications and Challenges
1 Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, Taibah University, Madinah, Saudi Arabia;
* Corresponding author:
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 Nov 2021 / Revised: 7 Apr 2022 / Accepted: 15 Apr 2022 / Published: 29 Apr 2022
High scientific output has made two Saudi universities perform well in academic ranking systems. The improvement in university ranking is generally observed in other indicators such as the innovation index, the abundance of cutting-edge research, and the number and success of patents and startups. In this paper, the impact of research output of highly cited researchers at two Saudi public universities is investigated from different standpoints and compared with international examples. Many citation databases, ranking systems and international indicators have been used in this paper to thoroughly discuss the research and development landscape in Saudi Arabia. Saudi public universities have the greatest number of highly cited researchers who mostly have another international affiliation. The Saudi academic patent number has increased dramatically since 2014, with minimum improvement in the country’s innovation and startups performance. Many of the Saudi highly cited papers are scattered in the literature with neither a specific targeted field nor follow-up studies. The role of the Saudi universities in industrial collaboration, technology advancement and economic prosperity is less than expected considering the Saudi position on the international stage. Entrepreneurship, innovation and research commercialisation ought to be supported by more private and public initiatives. Transparency, critical thinking, and accountability are needed the most in Saudi academic institutes. Recommendations are given for improving the research culture and following the best practice.
Keywords: Saudi Arabia; Saudi universities; Vision 2030; Saudi higher education; Saudi research and development; university ranking; highly cited researcher
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Alhuthali, S.; Sayed, A.A. Saudi Universities Rapid Escalation in Academic Ranking Systems: Implications and Challenges. Controversial_Ideas 2022, 2, 8.
Alhuthali S, Sayed AA. Saudi Universities Rapid Escalation in Academic Ranking Systems: Implications and Challenges. Journal of Controversial Ideas. 2022; 2(1):8.
Alhuthali, Sakhr; Sayed, Anwar A. 2022. "Saudi Universities Rapid Escalation in Academic Ranking Systems: Implications and Challenges." Controversial_Ideas 2, no. 1: 8.