EU Programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport

National Erasmus+ Office - Lebanon


Impact of International Rankings on the Performance of Lebanese HEIs and the New U-Multirank Approach

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The higher education sector witnessed substantial growth globally in recent decades in response to mass demand, expansion of access and the emergence of new institutional models. This gave rise to concerns for the quality of higher education outcomes, which in turn led to increased demand for accountability, transparency, evidence of quality and value for money. The result has been a continuously expanding evaluation culture (F.J van Raan, 2005), with rankings and the methodologies it employs comprising just one element of this evaluation culture alongside other elements such as quality enhancement which employs comparative analysis and benchmarking and quality assurance and its range of approaches that include accreditation, assessment and audit among others (Kis, 2005).

Rankings gained momentum at the beginning of the 21st century with the emergence of the knowledge-based economy and the role universities play in contributing to the development and competitiveness of their countries. This seminar aims at exploring the importance attached to rankings. It focuses on four rankings - the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), referred to as the Shanghai Rankings, Times Higher Education (THE), Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and U-Multirank. While the first three ranking systems produce a combined, weighted score across different dimensions of performance, which translates into a position in a league table, U-Multirank uses a varied approach. In the seminar, we will examine the methodologies employed by these four ranking systems, particularly the new U-Multirank approach to ranking. We will also explore the uses and misuses of rankings.


Different universities have taken different approaches to reinforce or improve their position in the ranking tables or to enter the ranking tables. Some institutions have invested significant funds in human resources and infrastructure. Others have formed partnerships with existing universities combining their resources together to enhance their quality and research output. Still some institutions have used rankings strategically to enhance performance outcomes as they align with their mission. Regardless of the approach, institutions participate in rankings with the aim of communicating to their stakeholders their quality and competitiveness. We will explore how rankings have been used globally as a driver for strategic reform and improvement at both the institutional and the system level. We will examine how rankings and the dimensions of performance they employ are being used by Lebanese higher education institutions and it higher education system to enhance quality. Lebanese universities that are ranked globally and regionally will share with the audience the strategies they employ to improve their position in the ranking tables. Rankings of Lebanese universities in the various ranking systems are summarized in Table 1


Table1: Position of Lebanese Universities in International Rankings



THE World University Rankings

QS World University Rankings








American Uuniversity of Beirut -AUB







Beirut Arab University - BAU







Holy Spirit University -USEK







Lebanese American University - LAU







Lebanese University







Notre Dame University - NDU







Saint Joseph University - USJ







University of Balamand - UOB








One thing for sure is that rankings will not disappear soon, although they are evolving continuously as is the higher education landscape. This reality has influenced even the most skeptical higher education institutions of the ranking systems, the methodologies they employ and the purposes they serve to participate in the rankings. Rankings have made a revolution in defining quality in higher (Hazelkorn, 2015). They offer the possibility to conduct performance measures of universities across the globe in a somewhat reliable and valid way over a short period and cost effective manner. They have made readily accessible to stakeholders - governments, policy makers, funding agencies, donors, faculty, students and the public among others - volumes of data on the quality of higher education and generated intelligence to guide institutional and government strategies for higher education.


Hazelkorn, E. (2015). Rankings and the reshaping of higher education: The battle for world-class excellence. Springer.

Kis, V. (2005). Quality assurance in tertiary education: Current practices in OECD countries and a literature review on potential effects. Tertiary Review: A contribution to the OECD thematic review of tertiary education14(9), 1-47.

Van Raan, Anthony FJ. "Challenges in ranking of universities." In Invited paper for the First International Conference on World Class Universities, Shanghai Jaio Tong University, Shanghai, pp. 133-143. 2005.


Erasmus+ Webinar on “Impact of International Ranking on the Performance of Lebanese HEIs and the New U-Multirank Approach”

Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday 15 June 2021, Via Zoom platform at:


10h00 - 10h15   Welcome notes

                           Aref Alsoufi, National Erasmus+ Office Lebanon

               Fadi Yarak, Director General of Education and Acting Director General of Higher Education


10h15 - 11h00   Keynote Presentation

     Discuss the importance attached to rankings. Explore the existing ranking systems and what they measure with details about U-Multirank.

     Explore the uses and misuses of rankings.

Speaker: Ellen Hazelkorn

Moderator: Diane Nauffal

11h00 - 11h15   Q&A


11h15 - 11h35  How to use rankings strategically to enhance the outcomes of HEIs

                            Explore trends on how rankings are used globally as a lever for enhancement. Explain how performance measures used for rankings can be employed by Lebanese institutions and its higher education system to enhance quality.

Speaker: Ellen Hazelkorn

Moderator: Hania Nakkash

11h35 - 11h45   Q&A


11h45 - 12h45   Mapping of HEIs in Lebanon within the current global ranking systems

      Based on the experience of Lebanese universities, describe what is required to participate in the rankings and how rankings are used to inform institutional and national strategies

  1. What is required on the part of the institutions to participate in the rankings?
  2. How can rankings help institutions enhance their outcomes?
  3. How can rankings be used to inform institutional strategy?
  4. How can rankings be used to inform national strategy in terms of research?
  5. How can rankings be used to inform national strategy?
  6. What is the influence of rankings on the different stakeholders of higher education (students, parents, employers, funding agencies)?

Speakers: Bradley Jon Tucker (AUB), Ursula Hage (USJ), Walid Marrouch (LAU), Hoda Moukannas/Zeinab Saad (LU), Hania Nakkash (BAU), Lara Khabbaz (NDU), Rima Mattar (USEK)

   Moderator: Chafic Mokbel

12h45 - 13h00   Q&A


13h00 - 13h15  Benefits of participating in U-Multirank

13h15 - 13h30  Conclusions and recommendations including feedback from Prof. Hazelkorn



Name Organization
Rony Darazi Antonine University
Mohammad Malli Arab Open University
Doreen Kharrat Arab Open university
Dani Aoun Arab Open University
Bardely Jon Tucker AUB
Karma Elhassan AUB
Jean Abi Saab AUB
Hala Dimechkie AUB
Hiba Othman AUST
Layal Abu Daher BAU
Ghassan Hamdan Beirut Arab University
Maha Aboul Ela Beirut Arab University
Hania Nakkash Beirut Arab University
Hassan Noura Islamic University of Lebanon
Makram Chehayeb Islamic University of Lebanon
Makram Chehayeb Islamic University of Lebanon
Mohammad Ayache Islamic university of lebanon
Jamal Haydar IUL
Pierre Gedeon LCU
Aya El Mir Lebanese American University
Samer Saab Lebanese American University
Walid Marrouch Lebanese American University
Samer Saab Lebanese American University
Diane Nauffal Lebanese American University
maha jarjour lebanese University
Mohamad Oueidat Lebanese University
Hoda Moukannas Lebanese University
Pascale Salameh Lebanese University
zeinab saad Lebanese University
Mariam Fadel Modern University for Business & Science
Iman Rabah Modern University for Business and Science
Nadim Tabbal Modern University for Business and Science
Nina Zeidan MUBS
Bassem kaissi MUBS
Aref Alsoufi National Erasmus+ Office
Lara Khabbaz NDU
Rania Najem NDU
Yasmine Al Gharib NEO LB
Amer Helwani NEO Lebanon
Ursula Hage Saint Joseph University of Beirut
Nada Moghaizel Saint Joseph University of Beirut
Elie Sayegh Universite Antonine
Rosabelle CHEDID Université Antonine
Joud Bey Université Libano-Française de Technologie et des Sciences Appliquées ULF- Academic Division - Tripoli Branch
Melissa Greck Université Saint-Joseph de beyrouth (Saint-Joseph University of Beirut)
NAYLA HAJJ Université Saint-Joseph de Beyrouth, USJ
antoine Abche university of Balamand
Karim Nasr University of Balamand
Chafic MOKBEL University of Balamand
maha khachab UOB
Maha Hurayki UOB
Rima Mattar USEK
Joan Samaha USEK
Josiane Abi Khattar  USF
Hana El-Ghali World Bank