Three UAE-based universities achieved key milestones with their inclusion in the Top 20 universities with the highest percentage of international students, based on the recent Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.

Topping the UAE list is American University of Sharjah (AUS), which is ranked fifth overall in the prestigious university rankings. Abu Dhabi University (ADU) and University of Sharjah (UoS) also figured prominently, coming in 14th and 17th places respectively in the global rankings.

THE asked higher education institutions to provide figures on their percentage of international students. Using this data, THE compiled a list of the top 200 universities with the highest percentage of international students.

Macau University of Science and Technology came first place over-all, with 91 per cent international students. Germany’s Constructor University is in second place with 83.7 per cent. Two universities from Northern Cyprus – Near East University and Eastern Mediterranean University – are in third and fourth places with 83.3 and 76.2 per cent respectively.

Countries represented in the top 20 include the UAE, UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland and Australia.

AUS has 76 per cent international students at fifth place overall, ahead of London School of Economics and Political Science, Ireland’s RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Switzerland’s Università della Svizzera Italiana, City University of Hong Kong, and École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland, which are in 6th to 10th places,

ADU ranked 14th globally and second both in the UAE and MENA region with 59.6 per cent international students while University of Sharjah has 54.9 per cent foreign students at 17th place.

Home to 99 countries

According to THE, “AUS is a relatively small institution with just over 5,000 students, and 77 per cent of this student body is international. Some 99 countries are represented on campus, and some of the main home countries of these students are the UAE, Egypt, Jordan and India. English is the main teaching language. The university is a member of the Association of American International Colleges and Universities, an organisation that delivers higher education based on the American liberal arts model outside the US. Every year the university’s international studies department organises the annual Model United Nations high school and university conference.

Founded in 1997 by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, AUS is thoroughly grounded in Arab culture and is part of a larger process of the revitalisation of intellectual life in the Middle East. AUS offers 28 majors and 45 minors at the undergraduate level, 15 master's degree programs and four PhD programmes.

Global mobility hub

In a statement by ADU on Tuesday, the Abu Dhabi-based university said the international ranking is a “testament to its unwavering dedication to cultivating a diverse and inclusive student community… that paves the way for the inauguration of ADU's Global Mobility Hub.”

“The University's capacity to attract students from various backgrounds reflects its global commitment and strong dedication to maintaining the highest standards in academia and student experience,” the statement added.

Professor Ghassan Aouad, ADU Chancellor, said: “We are honored to once again receive recognition from THE. This accomplishment serves as a testament to our unwavering dedication to providing exceptional academic programs and unique learning opportunities in line with international standards and best practices. Our relentless pursuit of excellence drives us to continually enhance our programs and offerings, to attract a greater number of students and empower them to thrive and prepare for their future careers.”

Strategic alliances

THE, meanwhile, took note of UoS’s long-term cooperation agreements and strategic alliances with 31 leading academic institutions around the globe.

UOS courses are linked through agreements with universities in Australia, Canada, Japan, the UK, and the USA, and the university accepts many visiting international students, THE added.

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