Posted on March 14, 2017

The IREG Forum 2017: “Excellence as the University Driving Force” co-organized by Qatar University and IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence (IREG Observatory) ended yesterday.

The Day Two program featured two (2) sessions entitled “International rankings and their regional variations: Experience of the Arab Region rankings [and beyond]” and “New rankings and rankings-related initiatives” chaired respectively by QU Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Dr Mazen Hasna and The Illuminate Consulting Group (ICG) Managing Director Dr Daniel Guhr.

It also included presentations delivered by speakers from global and regional ranking organizations and international academic institutions -- Head of QS Intelligence United Kingdom Ben Sowter, Dr Murat Perit Cakir from Middle East Technical University, Richard Holmes from University Ranking Watch, Perspektywy Education Foundation President and IREG Observatory - Poland Vice President Waldemar Siwiński, Shanghai Ranking Consultancy Ltd Ranking Manager Xuejun (Snow) Wang, and UI GreenMetric Rankings of World Universities Chairperson and University of Indonesia Professor Dr Riri Fitri Sari.

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They presented on “QS World University Rankings”, “URAP - University Ranking by Academic Performance”, “International Rankings and the Assessment of Teaching: A Regional Perspective”, “IREG Inventory of International Rankings”, “Shanghairanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2016: New Methodological Elements”, and “Trends in Sustainable Universities: 2016 UI GreenMetric World University Rankings Report”. Dr Mazen Hasna said: “The forum highlights many ranking-related issues. Today’s session sheds light on regional rankings such as Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) and the University Ranking by Academic Performance (URAP), and on the absence of standards that reflect academic excellence in universities.”

Kuwait University Associate Vice President of Strategic Planning Dr Majid Al Daihani said: “The participation in international ranking meetings is part of Kuwait University’s mission. I would like to thank Qatar University for bringing together ranking experts and representatives of local and international academic institutions. The forum focuses on a wide range of issues related to rankings and highlights the importance of establishing solid relationships between the universities in the region.” It was then announced that the IREG-9 Conference will be held at Hasselt University in Belgium in May 2018.

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The Day one of the forum on March 13 ended with a gala dinner at The Ritz-Carlton, Doha. The event included speeches by QU President Dr Hassan Al Derham and IREG Observatory President Dr Jan Sadlak, as well as the screening of a film entitled “Qatar University… Driver of education and research excellence in Qatar and the region”. Attending the gala dinner were QU officials, regional and international university leaders, representatives of leading educational, business and industry organizations, and world-renowned experts of higher education (HE).

In his remarks, Dr Hassan Al Derham said: “I would like to thank IREG Observatory for giving us the chance to organize and host such important event for universities in the region. This forum provides us the guidelines to communicate and connect with our stakeholders to achieve our goals.” Dr Al Derham noted that Qatar University is organizing on the sidelines of the forum a number of tours on and outside its campus, and to its Research Vessel “Janan”. He encouraged participants to take the opportunity of visiting and exploring the landmark sites of Doha such as The Museum of Islamic Art, Doha Corniche and Souq Waqif.

Dr Jan Sadlak said: “It is the best forum organized until now. We are so grateful for the hospitality we have received in Qatar University and Qatar. I would like to thank you for setting up very high standards for our conference. The time and efforts that Qatar University has put to host this forum made us its undeclared ambassadors.”