2019 has been a big year for Notre Dame University-Louaize’s (NDU) research. Research output has been growing exponentially since 2015, with this year reaching an all-time high in its publications according to the SCOPUS database. “Research plays a vital role in any university striving to construct a distinct personality which stands out both nationally and world-wide,” said Dr. Ghazi Asmar, Assistant Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies. “It is a long-term investment whose return places NDU in the heavy weight league of universities.”
The crowning achievement this year was, of course, NDU claiming the #1 spot in Lebanon in the QS World Rankings “Citations per Research Paper” category as well as being ranked 8th in the Arab World. The QS World Rankings source their data from SCOPUS, which means that NDU’s position as Lebanon’s most impactful research is based on merit and external recognition. “NDU Articles that are strongly present on SCOPUS and are very well cited are mainly related to engineering, computer science, mathematics, astronomy, social sciences and health sciences,” said Dr. Elie Badr, NDU Vice President for Academic Affairs, but every faculty is putting out exceptional work. NDU’s paper per faculty ratio stands at 1.54 and places it among the top four universities in Lebanon in terms of publications per faculty member.
QS is not the only ranking body to recognize the strength of NDU’s research. The University is also featured on the SCIMAGO database ranking, in many cases the gold standard for high quality, high-impact research. “This ranking is extremely important for the University,” said Dr. Elie Badr. “It positions NDU firmly on the scene of research in Lebanon and the Arab world.” To qualify for SCIMAGO rankings, universities are evaluated with a very sophisticated methodology – without the institution intervention (data submission, etc.) – which charts 17 different indicators grouped under Research (50%), Innovation (30%), and Societal (20%) factors. NDU adopted the SCIMAGO database criteria in 2015, which has led to ranking NDU on the SCIMAGO Institutions Rankings for the second consecutive year in 2019.
NDU’s current status is due in no small part to its stringent requirements for undertaking research. “The exponentially rising trend in publications of NDU faculty members on Scopus, and NDU’s high ranking in Research by QS and SCIMAGO … are due to well-established strategies that focused on the importance of conducting research to stay up to date on current issues. These trends obviously trickle down to the quality of teaching inside the classroom,” said Dr. Badr.
Even with all its achievements, NDU is not resting on its laurels. “Research is the one of the main criteria in ranking and rating universities, and we are thinking five years ahead to ensure we maintain and develop our reputation,” said Dr. Lara Khabbaz, Director of the Office of Marketing at NDU. “The goal for the next five years is to be ranked by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, which is the highest reputable ranking in the world.”