In recent years, there is an increasing number of countries, regions and universities around the world that are engaged in competitive strive for academic excellence. This trend to create or improve globally competitive universities can be observed in both developed and developing countries; and this holds true for universities in the Middle East and Africa region as well.

However, universities have different higher education systems and can be influenced by varying cultural, social and historical origins and conditions. Therefore, how do different countries and regions develop world-class universities? Are they encountering similar issues and challenges? Can successful experiences and strategies in one country be forged in other national contexts?

As such, to help universities achieve this objective and enhance their global competitiveness, QS and Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University have joined hands to organise this upcoming QS-MAPLE 2020 under the theme “Building World-Class Universities in the Middle East”. The nexus between teaching and research is a crucial topic for contemporary academics. Thus, at this conference we will be focusing on the learning and teaching in higher education, research, management and governance and internationalisation. We seek to gather a diverse and high-level group of audience to participate in extensive discussions needed for the purpose of driving forward higher education in the Middle East and Africa.