KFUPM ranks 216th in world university rankings

Updated 22 September 2013
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KFUPM ranks 216th in world university rankings

King Fahd University for Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) in Dammam has been awarded the 216th position in the QS World University Rankings for 2013-14.
Other Saudi universities, which were also listed within the rankings, include King Saud University and King Abdulaziz University, categorized in the 253rd and 360th rankings respectively.
American and British universities occupied the top 10 ranks, with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) recognized as the leading university and Harvard University falling second place.
British-based Cambridge University came third, while University College London (UCL), Imperial College London and Oxford University followed. The next 10 positions were conferred to Stanford, Yale, the University of Chicago, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Princeton, the last two sharing 10th place.
Arab institutions of higher education were largely absent from the first-tier classifications.
The list, which ranked 800 universities around the world, puts institutions that fall after the 400th position into groups. Imam Muhammad Islamic University of Riyadh is in the 491-500 category, Umm Al-Qura of Makkah in the 551-600 group and King Khaled University of the Asir province in the 601–650 category.
Other universities in the GCC, which were classified in the list include Emirates University in the 421-430 group, Sharja’s American University in the 431-430 group, Sultan Qaboos University in the 501-550 and Abu Dhabi University in the 601-650, Qatar University in 551- 600 and Kuwait and Bahrain universities in the 701+ group.
India’s prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi is three positions behind KFUPM of Dammam. The Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings for 2013-14 rated King Abdulaziz University as the top university in the Gulf in a study published last month.
In addition, King Saud University was ranked 186th among the top 200 universities in 2011, according to the Webometrics Rankings of World Universities. It was also classified as the top university in the Arab world and the 19th in Asia.

Most of the Kingdom’s 25 universities specialize in science and technology. The government has recently spent billions of riyals for the advancement of education and research in the country.


Called to the barre: Saudi ballet gets its groove on

Ballet’s popularity is growing among different age groups. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 20 min 51 sec ago
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Called to the barre: Saudi ballet gets its groove on

  • Widad Al-Kibsi, a Saudi ballet instructor at the studio, said that people in Jeddah were now familiar with ballet
  • A 13-year-old student at the studio, Oroub Al-Shareef, said that she began ballet when she was 4 years old

JEDDAH: Ballet, one of the world’s most demanding art forms, is enjoying soaring popularity in Saudi Arabia as a new generation discovers its physical, mental and social benefits, and a Jeddah-based studio is at the forefront of the dance’s development in the Kingdom.
Sera McKnass, founder of iBallerina, said that the studio is shaping future ballerinas to be effective members of society.
“The goal is not only to pass on the art of ballet but also to raise up participants into healthy, classy and confident, caring individuals,” the 30-year-old Turkish-Lebanese master teacher said.
Ballet’s popularity is growing among different age groups.
“Mothers sign up their daughters to be trained as ballerinas, but now young adults have dreams of learning how to pirouette, chasse and jete,” McKnass told Arab News. “They come to iBallerina to start the journey and transform their souls and bodies, becoming stronger and more graceful women.”
Widad Al-Kibsi, a Saudi ballet instructor at the studio, said that people in Jeddah were now familiar with ballet. “It's now in most of the main gyms, and private or international schools in the city.”
The 20-year-old advises aspiring ballerinas to start at a young age. “It’s important to start early because improved strength and flexibility are easily acquired at a younger age.”
Ballet offers myriad physical benefits, she said. “It improves muscle tone and definition, elongates arms, and aligns the posture properly.”
Al-Kibsi said that while many Saudis saw ballet as an activity for children, “not a lot of them are aware that adults can also perform. They assume that you should be thin or flexible from the get-go. They don’t understand that with dedication and discipline, ballet strengthens and increases flexibility.”
Dana Garii, a 23-year-old Saudi writer, has been practicing ballet at the studio since February.
“I’ve been wanting to do it since I was young, but I couldn’t find the opportunity. When I found they have classes here, I just went for it. People asked me, ‘aren’t you too old?’ But that’s a myth. People think you can’t do ballet after a certain age, but you can start any time,” she told Arab News.
“Ballet is important to me. It’s more than just the physical aspects — it has taught me how to be modest, and that nothing hard ever comes easy.
“It has also taught me patience and how to take on difficult situations because it’s not only difficult physically but also psychologically. It has taught me how to overcome my fears,” Garii said.
A 13-year-old student at the studio, Oroub Al-Shareef, said that she began ballet when she was 4 years old.
“There was a TV show for kids about the mouse that did ballet (‘Angelina Ballerina’) and it inspired me. I’ve always wanted to be a ballerina,” she said.
“Ballet is very important to me. Dance is one of the ways I express myself and I feel at one with myself when I’m practicing.
“It’s a very hard thing to do, but it brings me so much joy.”
Saudi graphic designer Sara Al-Sabaan, 22, has also been practicing ballet since she was a young child.
“I started dancing in a ballet school in Guadalajara, in Mexico. Then I continued at the Kinetico dance school in Riyadh,” she said.
Al-Sabaan’s mother inspired her to take up the art form. “I’m following in her footsteps. She was a ballet dancer herself.”
The young dancer has watched ballet’s growth in popularity. “Dance classes were available when I was a child, but they have been most popular in the past decade.”
Practicing ballet is a form of self-expression, she said.
“I have danced modern, contemporary and classical ballet, and it affects me immensely. Not only is it a great physical activity, it’s also an outlet for self-expression through movement.”