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Index / Education /
University density


The information here is provided to illustrate the size and development stage of infrastructure for higher education. The information is only valuable if used together with other information, simply because the following here is not reflected: quality of institutions; size of institutions. Also, definition of what makes a university varies between countries, and in some countries there are institutes that are internationally listed and ranked together with the universities.
For comparison, Sweden has one university per 580,000 inhabitants; and Canada one per 410,000 inhabitants. Overall, the countries doing best in modern development average at around half a million inhabitants per university.
As a general rule, high density can be just as negative as low density. High university density can suggest overstretch of resources, both human and financial. It can also cause each institution to become too small to provide enough force for its scientific communities and research.
Low density is, naturally, a negative indicator to the extent that it reflects insufficient capacity compared to the population. For developing countries, a low density may be positive to the extent that not too many candidates are graduated for a work life with limited number of relevant jobs.

MENA rank Density
(Inhabitants for each university)
No. of universities
1. Bahrain 150,000 5
2. Lebanon 170,000 24
3. Jordan 250,000 24
4. Libya 390,000 16
5. Tunisia 400,000 26
6. United Arab Emirates 430,000 11
7. Palestine 470,000 9
8. Kuwait 550,000 5
9. Iran 560,000 130
10. Oman 570,000 6
11. Qatar 830,000 1
12. Turkey 830,000 92
13. Israel 930,000 8
14. Saudi Arabia 1,000,000 25
15. Iraq 1,030,000 28
16. Algeria 1,050,000 33
17. Sudan 1,200,000 33
18. Syria 1,700,000 15
19. Morocco 2,100,000 15
20. Yemen 2,400,000 10
21. Egypt 2,400,000 33
22. Mauritania 3,400,000 1





By Tore Kjeilen