Four Middle Eastern universities have been included in a list of the world's top 500 educational institutions, according to the 2010 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), compiled each year by the Center for World-Class Universities at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.
While the United States dominated the list, with eight universities in the top ten and 54 in the top 100, four from the Middle East made the cut.
The King Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's oldest university, and the King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals were the only institutions in the Gulf to make the grade. Also on the list was Istanbul University in Turkey and University of Tehran in Iran.
ARWU has been recognised as the precursor of global university rankings and one of the most influential lists.
US still dominates 2010 list with 8 universities in the top 10 and 54 universities in the top 100. Harvard University remains No. 1 in the world for the eighth year, followed by Berkeley and Stanford. MIT, Caltech, Princeton, Columbia, Chicago also appear in top 10 as in 2009.
The best ranked UK universities are Cambridge (5th) and Oxford (10th), other well placed European universities include: ETH Zurich (23rd) and University of Zurich (51st) in Switzerland, Paris 6 (39th) and Paris 11 (45th) in France, Copenhagen (40th) and Aarhus (98th) in Denmark, Karolinska (42nd) and Uppsala (66th) in Sweden, Utrecht (50th) and Leiden (70th) in Netherlands, Munich (52nd) and TU Munich (56th) in Germany, Helsinki (72nd) in Finland, Moscow (74th) in Russia, Oslo (75th) in Norway, and Ghent (90th) in Belgium.
One hundred and six universities from Asia-Pacific region are ranked among top 500 in 2010, among them the leaders are: Tokyo (20th) and Kyoto (24th) in Japan, ANU (59th) and Melbourne (62nd) in Australia.