19 Saudi universities among top 100 in the Arab world

Students attend a lecture at King Fahd University. (SPA)
Updated 06 September 2016

19 Saudi universities among top 100 in the Arab world

JEDDAH: Nineteen Saudi universities have been ranked among the top 100 educational institutions in the Arab region, according to the 13th edition of the QS World University Rankings released Monday.
Three universities – who also achieved 5-star rating – made it to the top five rankings in the region, led by King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, King Saud University and King Abdulaziz University (KAU) were rated 1st, 3rd and 4th, respectively.
Others top 50 institutions ranked by QS World are Umm Al-Qura University (18), King Khalid University (21), King Faisal University (22), Al-Imam Muhammad ibn Saudi Islamic University (35), Alfaisal University (37), Prince Sultan University (40) and Qassim University (46).
While universities rated from 50 to 100 are Najran University, Islamic University in Madinah, University of Dammam, Dar Al-Hekmah College for Women, Talibah University, Taif University, Majmaah University, Princes Nora bint Abdulrahman University and Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University.

Global rankings
The rankings include 916 universities from 81 countries. Thirty-three countries feature in the Top 200. The US dominates, with 48 institutions, ahead of the UK (30), Netherlands (12), Germany (11), Canada, Australia (9), Japan (8), China (7), France, Sweden and Hong Kong (5).
US institutions hold all top-three places for the first time since 2004-5, with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is the world's top university for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Stanford and Harvard.
Western European institutions consistently suffered drops in their 2016 rankings, particularly the UK and Germany. The University of Cambridge dropped to fourth.
Russia and South Korea rise significantly, 16 among top-500 universities compared to 13 last year.
Ben Sowter, Head of Research at QS, said: "Institutions in countries providing high levels of targeted funding, whether from endowments or the public purse, rise. Conversely, Western European nations making or proposing cuts to public research spending lose ground to their US and Asian counterparts."
74,651 academics and 37,781 employers contributed to the rankings through the QS global surveys. QS analyzed 10.3 million research papers and 66.3 million citations, indexed by Elsevier's Scopus database.

2016 2015 TOP 20 UNIVERSITIES

1 1 MIT US

2 3= STANFORD US

3 2 HARVARD US

4 3= CAMBRIDGE UK

5 5 CALTECH US

6 6 OXFORD UK

7 7 UCL UK

8 9 ETH ZURICH SWITZERLAND

9 8 IMPERIAL COLLEGE UK

10 10 CHICAGO US

11 11 PRINCETON US

12 12 NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF SINGAPORE SINGAPORE

13 13 NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY SINGAPORE

14 14 EPFL SWITZERLAND

15 15 YALE US

16 17 CORNELL US

17 16 JOHNS HOPKINS US

18 18 UPENN US

19 21 EDINBURGH UK

20 22 COLUMBIA US


Startup of the Week: Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially. (Supplied)
Updated 6 min 20 sec ago

Startup of the Week: Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

  • Aldrees: “Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills”
  • Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids

Carbon CPU is a biotechnology startup specializing in turning food waste into fatty acids for use as livestock nutrients.
Launched through the post-graduate startup accelerator program (TAQADAM) of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the venture was co-founded by Bin Bian, Jiajie Xu, Yara Aldrees, Sara Al-Eid and Prof. Pascal Saikaly.
The idea behind the enterprise began to take shape in 2018. Al-Eid said: “Our aim was to recycle food waste into value-added products in a manner that matched the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy.”
Similar to most countries, Saudi Arabia has a food waste problem, but Carbon CPU thought of utilizing it in a way that caused less harm to the environment and also benefitted the animal feed industry.
“Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills,” said Aldrees. “This produces a lot of gas, including methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and cycloaromatics, and contributes to global warming and air pollution.”
Water and soil were also being contaminated through leachate production, she added. “We’re trying to solve those issues, too.”
The team found that animal farms often struggled to provide enough feed nutrients for livestock such as cows and sheep. Al-Eid said there was a huge shortage of fatty acids, which are used as livestock nutrients and were in high demand from farmers.
“We’re trying to help animals live longer and be more nutritious,” she added.
Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids.
“We produce fatty acids from the food waste, extracting them through a liquid-liquid extraction system. The fatty acid oils are then used to help animal feed, as well as the feed and chemical industries,” said Xu.
KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially, added Bian. “KAUST, especially the Environmental Biotechnology Lab led by Prof Pascal Saikaly, provided us with the facilities to set up our reactors. The KAUST Innovation and Economic Development department and the Entrepreneurship Center also gave us a lot of guidance on how to push our technology into the market.”
The startup initially faced many challenges that KAUST helped to resolve. As individuals coming from backgrounds mainly in engineering and science, the team lacked the know-how in business that its project needed.
“KAUST made up for our lack of business thinking through training on how to solve business issues and create business modules and find the right customers for our product,” said Bian.