Research 2030

Perspectives on rankings from a young university: César Wazen, Qatar University

April 14, 2021 Elsevier Season 2 Episode 2
Research 2030
Perspectives on rankings from a young university: César Wazen, Qatar University
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, host Giacomo Mancini welcomes César Wazen to the show. Cesar is the Director of International Affairs at the University of Qatar and brings the perspective of “young” university and the world of University Rankings to the Research 2030 podcast.

Link to our full show notes

To understand how a university is performing on the global stage, many turn to the ranking systems developed by organizations such as Times Higher Education, QS and Shanghai. However, there is a growing shift pushing rankings beyond traditional models based on publication data. Some rankings look at a subject area, emphasize teaching, compare universities in different regions, and ones that look specifically at newer universities. Increasingly, institutions are also being asked to demonstrate that their research benefits society in some meaningful way.

 Additionally, in 2015, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set an ambitious 2030 target to achieve an equitable future for all. Aligning research with the SDGs has offered the academic community a valuable lens to evaluate their progress and demonstrate their societal impact. This is supported by the global Impact Rankings, which were launched in 2019 by Times Higher Education to track and report on universities’ contributions towards the UN goals.

 In this episode, we explore how the complex requirements of all these individual rankings align with the goals and aspirations of a relatively young institution like Qatar University and, what, if any, benefits do the rankings bring them.

Episode Voices:
Guest César Wazen:  Director of International Affairs, Qatar University

César Wazen’s interests in rankings, academic accreditation and student assessment are backed by extensive experience teaching mathematics and statistics as well as in whole-school accreditation. He holds a BSc in mathematics, a teaching diploma and a master’s in educational administration and policy studies, all from the American University of Beirut and currently pursuing doctoral studies in European and International Studies

Learn more about the Qatar University office of Research Support from their blog:

Host: Giacomo Mancini, PhD

Business Development Manager at Elsevier and lead Host of the Research 2030 podcast

Dr. Giacomo Mancini is a Business Development Manager at Elsevier and lead host of Elsevier’s Research 2030 Podcast Series. He received his PhD in Developmental and Evolutionary Biology from New York University and has a vast amount of research experience, having held positions as a Scientist and Research Associate at Johnson & Johnson and Mount Sinai Innovative Partners. While he’s passionate about analytics and bibliometrics, you may also find him reading the sports section of or tracking MLB player statistics on Go Mets!

Questions about this episode? Contact us at

Mancini (00:04):

Hi, I'm Giacomo Mancini. Welcome to research 2030 an Elsevier podcast series in which our expert hosts and guests discuss debate and dissect the complex topics that research institutions face worldwide. And welcome to our second episode, exploring the impact of university rankings to understand how a university is performing on the global stage. Many turn to the ranking systems developed by organizations such as Time's Higher Education, QS and Shanghai. However, there's a growing shift, pushing rankings beyond traditional models based on publication data. There are rankings that look at subject area, place an emphasis on teaching, compare universities in different regions, and ones that look specifically at newer universities. Increasingly institutions are also being asked to demonstrate that their research benefits society in some meaningful way in 2015, the UN sustainable development goals known as SDGs set an ambitious 2030 target to achieve an equitable future.

Mancini (01:08):

For all, aligning research with the SDGs has offered the academic community a valuable lens to evaluate their progress and to demonstrate their societal impact. This is supported by the global impact rankings, which were launched in 2019 by times higher education, to track and report on university's contributions towards those UN goals, but do the quite complex requirements of all these individual rankings align with the goals and aspirations of a relatively young institution like Qatar university. And what, if any benefits do the rankings bring them. In this episode, we find out.

Mancini (01:46):

Hi, I'm Giacomo Mancini. And thank you for joining us today on research 2030. In this episode, we'll be talking about rankings, the rankings UN SDG or sustainable development goals and how this relates to an up-and-coming university. For this episode, we have Caesar Wazen from Qatar University. Caesar, Thank you for joining us on research 2030.

Wazen (02:10):

Thank you for the invitation, Giacomo.

Mancini (02:12):

Excellent. So Caesar, why don't you tell us a little bit about yourself, your role at Qatar university and the university itself?

Wazen (02:20):

Sure. I'm a Caesar Wazen. I'm from Lebanon originally. I joined the university in 2011 as the director of scholarships and partnerships a job that led us to have you know, global visibility on the work being done by Qatar in Qatar. Then the university decided to go to split and have an international affairs form. So I'm now the director of international affairs at the university. The University itself is the national university of the state of Qatar. It has been there for more than 40 years. It's a relatively young university. If you talk about it in you know worldwide standards, but regionally it's a fairly old university around here, it serves the community and also has a quite considerable research component that hopes to have some societal impact.

Mancini (03:19):

Excellent. So you mentioned that Qatar university is a relatively young university but it's been also recently been increasing in the THE rankings over the past 10 or 15 years. How has Qatar's university's relationship with the university rankings changed, evolve? What, what is, what is your take on that?

Wazen (03:38):

Yeah, well you know, as only universities, young or new we had a perplexed approach to rankings that, that we started as everybody by saying, you know, we don't care about rankings and this is not part of our mission. Our mission is to educate and to train Qatari nationals, to hang on and, and be prepared to take over the very ambitious and very generous initiatives Qatar is undergoing in Qatar and abroad. Then over the years, we realized that tracking's not only is it a game to play, to compete on the, on the market, but also contain some very interesting indicators that can provide the university with answers on whether where it was doing well and bad and benchmarking it with regional and worldwide competitors. So basically now where we are quite engaged in rankings, I can say,

Mancini (04:40):

Excellent. You mentioned that you've recently, or at least the Qatari university. I started to look at it a little more closely for benchmarking and at least from an evaluation standpoint, do you, have you noticed that it's, the rankings are really reflective from what you see on campus versus what gets published in the THE rankings or is it, not as close? What, what is your take on that?

Wazen (05:01):

Well, our tech has evolved in fact again my belief personally is that those rankings did not reflect the mission of universities in the region in general, not only at Qatar University. So basically the region is a growing region. It's quite a young population region and the universities have to reflect that and help its population. So the missions are somehow threatened by those rankings that have standards that apply to worldwide universities that have been there for years that have been funded by corporations, by individuals. So it's not fair even for a rich country like Qatar to compare a university's missions, if I may say with the ranking measurements, however, rankings have had some credit for them, which is that they were responsive to these kinds of concerns that the region has raised. And I had with them and they introduced some indicators that are really yes, aligned with the mission of the universities and that reflect the excellence of a university in the region. But I'm talking only about indicators, some indicators, we have a long way to go to really have a ranking that can reflect the actual, you know, a placement of every university in the region.

Mancini (06:23):

How have you talked to THE rankings to have a more reflective view of the Qatar university? Have I know you've had some discussions online, I've, I've, I've noticed, but and they seem very receptive to I ideas, but do you think young universities, like as you mentioned, Qatar or schools in the Middle East, do you think that they should have a slightly different ranking system or are you, or the approach of more standardization that way it's comparing apples to apples?

Wazen (06:49):

Yeah, it's the fact that is that yes, we had the, in fact, the online discussions reflected the deep discussion we had had before with the ranking agencies, whether it is THE or QS, or Shanghai even we have discussed formally with them, their methodology, and we find we've felt a little bit like, you know the introductions of some of the indicators initially in the rankings did not really reflect excellence. They were just trying to push the universities up the scale without really showing excellence, relating this to excellence. That there's this sense that the discussion is ongoing to answer your question. We would love to have a ranking reflecting the reality of the region. However, even if we have some rankings labeled as MENA region rankings or Arab regional rankings, we don't believe that they're still there and we still need to there is still a long way to go.

Mancini (07:48):

Got it. Yeah. I mean, these rankings are never perfect. Right? And, and it's you know, I'm a big baseball fan and it's one of those things where you can look at stats all the time, but sometimes you just have to watch an individual player play for a little bit, and then you kind of get a better view. Having said all that. So I'm just going to read off some stats here because Qatar university has done an amazing job over the like you said, these 10, 15 years in, in climbing up the ranking. So in 2016, you top times higher education list of the world's most international universities in 18, you climbed 40 places in the Middle East and the North Africa region. And now in 2021, the most recent, THE rankings Qatar University has jumped 90 places and entered the club of the best 350 international universities, according to the world university rankings. So you're now in the three and one to three 50 band. Congratulations. That is phenomenal. Why don't you tell us a little about, how you achieve that and what initiatives that are going on at Qatar university that, that have contributed to that climb

Wazen (08:47):

Yes. Thank you for that. In fact, the improvement and of universities in the region has been outstanding Qatar university, no exception to that. And thank God. We did a great job on this. As you noticed. The thing is started with individual efforts. In fact, we were just exploring everyone from their own side about how to approach rankings, to understand the methodology, to see how people are approaching them. And then the university took a more strategic approach by introducing the efforts of rankings. And it's a strategy. We have a new strategy that was started in 2017 to 2022 is our first goal. We hope that we will be able to reach these goals. So basically to cut a long story short, we included the ranking effort as part of some of the initiatives and objectives and KPIs of our strategy by that we have formed a committee at the institutional level that is called, you know obviously ranking committee and we have a presentation and it offers some experts in statistics and the fields and research from the college.

Wazen (09:59):

So basically a good group of people that are approaching rankings from different perspectives and trying to align the efforts and the excellence the university is you know, engaging in and performing and research, and also in teaching with the indicators of the rankings. And I think this is starting to do us good on all levels. You have to also mention that the visibility of the state of Qatar in general, the Qatar brand has helped us in terms of surveying and in terms of being able to attract people and big events to the country in order for us to be able to make people know more about the country and about its efforts.

Mancini (10:43):

So you mentioned there's, there's two, I think there's a dichotomy in what you mentioned. So you have like you said, you have the support of Qatar as a nation, and, but you also have to also get buy-in from the professors and teachers and researchers. And I know I've been reading up on Qatar university. It sounds like there's been a lot of investment in education and research. How have the rankings or your approach to rankings influenced or not the professors and education and research, on campus? Can you comment on that?

Wazen (11:14):

Yeah, definitely. I know people did not, you know, in academia, people don't think much of marketing themselves marketing, the work that they're doing, they believe and rightfully so that they have you know, they're doing an excellent job. They're serving the community and they are to engage in the research. So they rarely think about really making, putting this you know shedding light on this or putting this in perspective. So what the ranking helped us is that we provided them with a space for them to shine, telling them, you know, this is, you know, you're doing a great job. We're not telling you to change what you're doing. We're not telling you to align your research with the demands of the rankings. We just want you to, you know, expose more what you're doing, the effort that you're doing and its excellence.

Wazen (12:03):

And this is as well as the learning curve that a lot of faculty members enjoyed because it was something like a new formation for them and you and your training, that they never had, the sense that they believe. Again, I say rightfully so that they are doing their job perfectly. And, you know, they're not accountable to ranking agency or someone was just judging them on, on an, on a simple indicator that has changed. And along with it, the marketing campaign of the university has changed. So this is not only impacting our faculty members. Our staff are also affected thank God, and this will never change. It does not impact our research strategy or priorities because we have very well-defined priorities being a national institution and not a research university. We have a very clear mandate and research priorities are not affected with just asking the teachers to show more of what they're doing.

Mancini (13:05):

Right, right, right. So it's basically free. You're helping them get some press and also to help market themselves. Have you noticed from a pure bibliometric standpoint, so citations and references, have you noticed since your rankings have increased, has, has that impact been felt at the publication level as well? Or are you not tracking that data?

Wazen (13:24):

Oh, we definitely are tracking the data, but we don't believe yet that the rankings have affected our, our citations. That's vice versa. In fact, however, we are working on you know, with hopefully we'll open access with work that we do, especially with Elsevier on you know, marketing our different research areas. We hope that of course, both rankings and marketing strategy will lead to an increase in citations because you simply, you know, those who didn't know about us before, just by looking at the ranking and we will engage and more, I will talk later on about specific ranking indicators that will affect the sense that some people would look at an area look at the rank of the university and then say, well, this university is ranking great on this specific area. So let me get in touch with them. They seem to be doing a good job in that sense. Yes, it will start affecting our citations and our research volume. But for now, I can say safely that it's the other way around the excellence that we're doing is affecting our ranking.

Mancini (14:40):

Beautiful. Yeah. It's always, it's always great to see to speak to someone from a young university, as you mentioned to hear how immediate those impacts can be felt, maybe not on the bibliometrics side, but at least from the university side, it's always great to hear it, you know, that that comes into practice. Okay. So now I want to shift a little bit more to societal impact. So we spent a little bit of time on the university itself, but there's been this new sustainable development goals from the UN that have come out along with the new, THE impact ranking. So shifting to societal impact I know Qatar university is also involved deeply in social impact. How does the university view its impact on the community and the world related to the UN sustainable development goals?

Wazen (15:22):

Well, yeah, that's a big question, especially again, it's twofold. I always come back to that, but it's very simply because being the national university, we're quite aligned with the strategy of the country itself. And maybe, you know, that Qatar has been engaged with the millennium goals and then with the sustainable development goals quite much the United nations level basically on environmental issues and anti-crime, and anti-corruption matters. So basically the university had a long way back aligned itself on the aspirations of Qatar as a nation to engage in meaningful you know, helpful projects with the United Nations. We have at the national level, many, many such projects like education above all that aims to give education to students in a remote area, in kids, in remote areas. And have them get a decent level of education that reached 10 million kids, not, I think, two years back now.

Wazen (16:29):

So basically the university was involved in many SDGs as they, we call them now before they were even put in place in that form or in that format. So the societal impact that at once is to support Qatar as a nation and it's worldwide effort. And of course, on the national level we have been engaged a lot in you know gender equality and providing good education and especially in environmental issues knowing that Qatar has been one of the first countries in the region to realize the impact that gas extraction or oil extraction is having on its shores on its coral of you know, a family and on the other things that that are being impacted on an environmental level. So basically the know to, to go back to your question about the strategy of the university, it was in fact aligned on the national strategy and the national need. And when the SDGs came they provided us in fact with a very good way to frame this or reframe them and very well defined you know, labels like a good education, like zero poverty. So gave them like these big names that could frame the work that we are doing. And in that sense, we are quite, I can safely say that we are covering most of the SDGs at the university in terms of research.

Mancini (18:04):

That's great. So you mentioned, so Qatar was already focused on SDGs before there were SDGs, and I just want to extrapolate it more. So you're saying the STGs really helped focus or clarify for, guitar university in Qatar itself. What those goals actually were, is that right?

Wazen (18:21):

In fact, maybe more focused, you know, they, they gave more focus on the things because they're more detailed than the midnight millennium goals and they have more action items and more KPIs what we, what we will translate into KPIs and action items. So basically as they gave us so my millennium goals were like guiding principles while the SDGs were you know things that provided us with a hands-on and tangible measurements for our work if I can put it in that way.

Mancini (18:53):

So, so now that we've talked about all the great work that Qatar and Qatar University have done with the SDGs, as you know, THE is now tracking these goals through the impact rankings could you help us illuminate the work the university does in these areas and how the rankings could contribute to those SDGs that Qatar university is ranked on?

Wazen (19:15):

Yeah, we can proudly say that we were, you know, we hosted the event of where the pilot for this ranking was launched. We were hosting the event for the emerging economies ranking by time dedication. And it was announced and that they were piloting this kind of rankings. We are, we were, again at the beginning, you know, we, we were not very clear as to why everything has to come back to become a ranking effort. But in that specific area, it was very helpful for us because we were trying, in fact, we were designing ourselves a way that would make us benchmark ourselves on each SDG with respect to other verses it's a huge job I can tell you. So what times higher did is that they caught along, you know, a chunk of the job on us.

Wazen (20:11):

And, they did a great work into going into the details of these you know requirements for SDGs and designing a ranking out of it. The good thing about this ranking is that it helps us benchmark, as I said, with other universities that have given us some measurements that are meaningful, it also made us complement some areas that we didn't see as being important previously, like as I was telling you before marketing some of the issues that we were doing without having them being published, and this ranking would rate you on a, how much is your website updated? What does the information that you provide on the work that you're doing on SDGs? So basically this is something that we worked on. It helps us tell us a lot. And it helped us also as I told, you know, if we were really framing our work in the right direction, so maybe we were working on something, thinking it's life on land, turns out that it's more life below water, for instance, or, you know thinking we're doing climate action where it turns out to be sustainable cities and communities.

Wazen (21:23):

So that is something that we have been able to focus on. On the other hand, I have some concerns about this ranking itself because the ranking would show of course the elements that you are good in, on every single SDG. However, THE has also a pooled ranking that would put all the efforts of the industry universities all together into one ranking to tell you, okay, this is the best university on SDGs in general. And to me that a little bit messed up the approach or the methodology of the ranking. That's a personal point of view because pulls the work that, you know, some universities are doing on individual as the digital shows, which is already great. And to making it, you know, being diluted and whole overall ranking, that doesn't really make sense. So it's not really important for us to know if you're doing good on all SDGs, even the UN would not claim such a, such a very good result on all the cities. I would rather settle for a SDG, you know, only by SDG ranking rather than having, an overall ranking.

Mancini (22:35):

Yeah. I know you mentioned this as a very interesting point. I know there was a blog post that you mentioned using the F1 point system

Wazen (22:42):

And the same blog itself. You can see that Duncan Ross was the lead guy. And at times I answered some agreed on some parts and explained why it would be so, but my, my concern is not, you know, I'm not criticizing the system just to criticize rankings, basically. It's, you know, I, I feel bad that this ranking has a big opportunity to be a really a ranking that goes beyond the traditional perception we have of rankings that is, you know, something that can that is put there to skew towards the Anglo-Saxon university system and you know, aligning universities from all over the world on American and UK based institutions. This ranking has a great potential, and it's too bad to lose that. My perception was maybe you know, caricatured one it was, but, but the idea is the same as the problem that you have in sports, which is someone can not win any of the competitions and ended up world champion.

Wazen (23:49):

While you have someone who wins like five or six races and then ends up in second place. So that's the idea was that one that some universities like an Africa I can think of, or other parts of the world are doing great, really great on zero hunger, no poverty, good health and wellbeing. And then you know, these universities can score very well on that, but then you're pooling them with the university. So are capable of scoring themselves on 17 SDGs. That's not fair because then you end up with the results against skewed towards Anglo-Saxon systems. So that's the only thing that's out of concern that this is a miss chance to do a ranking that would last forever and really provide a sign of excellence.

Mancini (24:34):

Yeah, I agree. I mean, look, universities, as you're mentioning specifically Qatar university, but you also mentioned some of the African universities as well. You know, they do a lot of work. They spend a lot of time, on these SDGs. And to your point, if, you know, if a lot of that good work is washed out in the entire PR you know, the entire ranking, you know, the overall number it's, it's, it's a little moot. So I agree, Totally agree.

Wazen (24:57):

If I may add also Giacomo, the issue is also that I'm not even mentioning how some universities are playing the game and to twisting the numbers. Here also, the blog generated a lot of reaction from European universities, even because Europeans, again, you know, come to think of it are a disadvantage and Latin American university. So I think it's a global issue. Everybody feels that there is you know, I missed a chance here, and we hope that the times higher we'll  deal with this

Mancini (25:26):

Great point, great point, great point Caesar. I want to go back to the, to SDGs the specific SDGs that Qatar ranks in climate action, that's SDG 13 quality education, SDG four and peace, justice, and strong institution, which is SDG 16. Can you give us a little more specifically pick one or two, or if you want to do all of them, but like specifically, what is Qatar university doing from a senior level, from a leadership level all the way down to the institution? What kind of mandates do you have going on to help support these three SDGs?

Wazen (26:02):

Definitely. I can also, you know, I'll stick to those this time. And later on, you'll see for this year, I think we will, we have covered even more areas because it was an eye-opener also for us that some other areas that did not score well, although we knew that we did a great job in it, but it was just because we didn't, you know how to approach them. So basically I can tell you very easily, you know, SDG four goes without saying that I can claim that we have a big role to play, but the biggest role is for the Qatari nation in general, the effort that Qatar is putting on education is not, you know, hidden on anyone. They have brought the best universities to education setting. They invested a lot on quality education in the country and Qatar university of course benefited from that a lot.

Wazen (26:49):

And I'm not talking only about the budget it's budget well spent the presence of the top universities, US universities and education city, the branch campuses that are here have given very healthy competition to the university. And also a lot of opportunities for collaboration on many areas and made the university grow in that sense. So basically quality education. And of course, the budget being fortunate to be in a country like Qatar has shown its impact, especially in the latest pandemic. And because we were able to shift in one week from presential teaching and learning to online learning, we have the platforms that we had, so we didn't have to face the same issues that other countries had to face, and the sense of not being able to shift to online learning. So a holistically quality education and Qatar is, has been anyways put in the Qatar 2030 vision, which is the national vision of the state of Qatar that has been put in place the early 2000s.

Wazen (27:56):

And they have been working on that. So appearing in SDG four at this level is now a surprise for us. The other thing that I'm moving, like, and also in a way that tells you that some went without saying a second priority was SDG 16, which is again the engagement of the state of Qatar on worldwide. And we had to highlight, of course, the work that we were doing with many United Nations entities based on a rule of law on you know, fighting crime and corruption and terrorism. So basically as it is 16, also as a result of our work with UN Odyssey and with other UN entities, but mainly you and Odyssey on establishing the rule of law. Qatar University is one of SD university that translated to Arabic, all of the components of the any, all the rule of law modules that UN Odyssey offers.

Wazen (28:58):

So basically we are quite engaged. We were always quite engaged in that. And many of our college of law faculty members on a daily basis engage on issues like that worldwide. So we just had to highlight that, and this explains the result that we received. And finally, the climate action. I don't know if you were following the statement by the Emir of Qatar at the United Nations, where he promised to have a zero-emission zero carbon emission world cup in 2022. And so obviously, you know, we, we are quite very engaged into fulfilling that promise. And Qatar university has been working, on climate action for a while. We have an environmental sciences center. We have a research vessel that has been operating in the sea to try to work on the impact of extracting gas on the life below water in Qatar. And so basically these three represent priorities, especially climate action, one and quality education on the present priorities and our research SDG16 represents, represents the engagement that Qatari university is doing with entities supported by the state of Qatar on the worldwide scene.

Mancini (30:19):

Amazing work. It's, it's really good to hear the focus that the STGs are getting at Qatar University. Okay. So as we're starting to wrap things up here a bit, I want to get a little bit more of like the future for Qatar university in 2030 or, or beyond. So you've, you've recapping what we've talked about. Great focus on SDGs increased in the rankings and THE, a lot of investment from the state on education and research. Do you see this persisting in the next 10, 20, 30 years? What do you think success looks like in, in, in that time span

Wazen (30:53):

The country as, as, as you know, very engaged on the worldwide scene after world cup 2022, we're hosting it, it's engaging and wants to host many events, many international events to keep the momentum going for Qatar being a hub in the region. So basically our challenge for the 2030, if I, if I may say is to really be able to serve that vision on the national level the, the Qatar nation and vision, it has four components, the human development, social development, economic development, environmental development, those are due by 2030, the university has to engage or is engaging and has to continue engaging into fulfilling its role. And those four components on top of that you know SDGs now are due for 2030. So we also have an index to, for the state of Qatar to support in all that to elevate the index of you know, completion of these SDGs for the state of Qatar.

Wazen (31:53):

So the success for us would look like being able to really support the effort that was done here. And the university itself has somehow been affected by the different, you know shifts in speed that as a nation has taken. We started as a very traditional university in 2008. We engaged in a reform strategy that made the university become really you know comprehensive moving from three or four colleges to 10 colleges in the space of 15 years. It also provided us with a way to reform the standards of the university in 2015, 17, sorry, a strategy was put in place to transform the university, and that can include like also many important things, but the most, one of the most important statements I can say as digitalization and you know, moving to online learning anyways.

Wazen (32:57):

So if I can say the COVID in that perspective was a blessing for us because it made us accelerate the strategy. So I think that we're doing well on fulfilling the main components of the subsidy 2022. And that sense in 2022, we, we, we should be able to engage into a new strategy. We'll definitely include you know, something to enhance the momentum because 2022, the world cup has given a lot of visibility for Qatar, a lot of interest from a lot of researchers and a lot of people from abroad to come here, just for the love of being part of this big event, the Qatar university will definitely have to help in that perspective so that we keep the momentum

Mancini (33:41):

Interesting. It's, it's interesting, interesting to hear that the world cup is sort of like a, a landmark for I don't want to say landmark, but it's, it's, it's a point in time that is there's so many, I mean, it's the world's biggest event and for one of the world's biggest sports, right. And it's, it's, it's interesting to hear how, you know, Qatar University is rallying around that, that event, and then, you know, for formulating a plan moving forward. And I personally can't wait for the world cup in Qatar, so I'm really excited to see, to see what that looks like.

Wazen (34:12):

Yeah, just wanted to add you know, quickly that the fact is that if this one was held in a traditional country, it wouldn't maybe have had such an impact, but Qatar engaged in it a while, basically starting from zero. So that's why the university has a big interest in the sense that it participated in the creation of all of these stadiums and you know, the cooling of the stadiums, the architecture of the state stadium. So this is the nice part of the world cup it's that, you know, you're starting, you're starting from scratch in terms of infrastructure the Metro all of these big transformational efforts were being done at the same time, in a very short period of time. And that is what attracted a lot of researchers and a lot of experts.

Mancini (35:11):

Amazing. Well, Cesar, thank you so much for this for the, for your time today, we, you know, talking about impact rankings, we even gotten into sports, F1, soccer, baseball, it's we, we do it all here at research 2030, but really thank you for joining us for enlightening us on your, your work at Qatar university and all the great work that guitar university has done for the nation of Qatar and in the world. And hope to speak with you again soon. Thank you very much.

Wazen (35:35):

Thank you. Thank you for the invitation. Thank you for the entertaining session

Mancini (35:40):

For Caesar and Qatar university. It seems the rankings have proved a mixed blessing. On one hand, the results have provided new insights into their own strengths and opportunities, particularly in relation to other institutions and Qatar's progress towards the UN SDGs. However, it's also clear that the existing rankings don't necessarily capture the reality of life, research, and education in the Middle East. Cesar would like to see the methodologies and indicators evolve to better reflect universities in growing regions whose missions are often linked to the needs of their populations that focus on people and sustainable progress is a sentiment Caesar shares with our previous guests in this university ranking series professor Aluisio Segurado. If you didn't catch the interview with Aluisio, it's available now. We want to thank Cesar for sharing Qatar university's experiences with us on research 2030. And if you have any questions or comments to share with us about this episode or the podcast in general, we would love to hear them send us an email at That's Are you interested in learning more about the United Nations SDGs or Cesar and his work in Qatar? Our show notes contain more information and links to explore again, I'm Giacomo Mancini. And thank you for listening to this episode of research 2030, and please don't forget to sign up to research 2030 on your favorite podcast provider. That will, you'll be the first to hear about new episodes.