WENR, September 2016: Middle East

UAE: 85% of Parents Want Their Children to Get Postgraduate Degrees

Parents in the United Arab Emirates spend 140 per cent more than the global average to educate their children – more than any other parents in the world – says a report from HSBC Bank. The report surveyed 6,241 parents across 15 countries, including the U.A.E., where 89 percent of parents hope their children obtain undergraduate degrees. Fully 85 percent hope for their children to obtain postgraduate qualifications. Fifty-eight percent of expatriate parents in U.A.E. want to send their children abroad to study –  the highest figure globally after Indonesia. Some 2,887 Emirati students studied in the U.S. in the 2014-2015 academic year.

AMEInfo
August 31

UAE: Curriculum Reforms Seek To Align to International Standards

The Ministry of Education, which operates state schools in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, released a revised curriculum including subjects such as technology, innovative design, health sciences, career guidance, and business management. The core curriculum includes subjects such as history, geography, economics, social studies and mathematics, which accord with international standards. Lessons will be conducted in English and Arabic. The changes seek to address perceived shortcomings on standardized international tests, and to better prepare students for university and the workforce.

The National
August 30

UAE: List of Accredited Higher Education Institutions Published

The U.A.E.’s Ministry of Education published a list of licensed higher education institutions and accredited programs, advising students to review the list to ensure their institutions were accredited and their degrees valid. Last month, the ministry placed three universities on a year-long probation when they failed to meet licensing and accreditation standards. The three institutions were Al Hosn University in Abu Dhabi, the University of Jazeera, and the University of Modern Sciences in Dubai. In recent months, the ministry has been seeking to enforce quality and cracking down on subpar institutions.

The National
August 28

Iran: Academic Partnerships With the West Take Off in the Wake of Sanctions

Last January, international sanctions on Iran were lifted, raising the specter of potential increases in Iranian student mobility and increased academic collaborations with the West. Today, top Iranian universities and their European and American counterparts have begun forging ties. Partnership agreements have been signed between three leading Iranian institutions — the University of Tehran, the University of Isfahan, and Sharif University of Technology — and École Polytechnique, one of France’s leading universities. A similar agreement with leading Swiss higher education institutions is in the works. U.S. institutions of higher education may emerge as a significant destination for Iranian students at the master’s and PhD levels. One recent British Council study predicted that in 2024, nearly 12,000 Iranian post-grads will study in U.S. institutions.

Al-Fanar Media
August 26

Afghanistan: America University in Kabul Falls Prey to Second Bout of Violence, Killings

In late August, at least 13 people were killed and dozens wounded in the hours-long assault on the America University in Kabul. Two American University professors, one American and one Australian, were kidnapped at gunpoint earlier in the month.  Founded in 2006 using US AID funding, the institution is one of 18 American universities across the Middle East and North Africa. As a nonprofit, private, coed university, it is unique in Afghanistan. More than 1,000 full and part-time students attend the school, which offers students a liberal arts and sciences curriculum taught in English. The university’s campus is on the Western edge of Kabul. The Taliban insurgency has been increasingly active in the city in recent months.

The Associated Press
August 25

Saudi Arabia: Scholarship Students Can Attend Malaysian Universities

Saudi’s Ministry of Education has opened scholarships for Saudi students to study engineering, medicine, dentistry, and a number of other health-related programs at 12 Malaysian universities. The ministry’s committee on the selection of non-Saudi universities recommended the institutions, which will allot seats for Saudi scholarship students. The Saudi Government’s long standing King Abdullah Scholarship Program has been severely curtailed in the last year, leading to substantial declines in the number of government-funded Saudi students pursuing international education.

Saudi Gazette
August 23

Oman: Ministry Publishes List of Approved and Non-Approved Higher Education Institutions Around the World

Oman’s Qualification Equivalency and Recognition Department at the Ministry of Higher Education has released a new list of approved and fake qualifications issued by the organizations worldwide. The approved lists include several in the U.S. The ministry has been seeking to crack down on widespread proliferation of fake degrees, which are routinely used to obtain employment in Oman. According to an earlier report, “the Ministry of Higher Education sees so many fake documents it has even classified the attempts to cheat into four categories and [established] a dedicated department vets all submissions.

Times Of Oman
August 15

Saudi Arabia: Canada’s Algonquin College Backs Out of Branch Campus

Ottawa-based Algonquin College, which has for-profit operations in China, India, Montenegro and Kuwait, plans to pull out of a five-year deal with a Saudi government agency to operate a mens-only campus on Saudi Arabia’s southwestern coast. When the project was announced, Alogonquin expected the campus to generate $4.4 million in profits. However, recently filed financial statements show that it had a net loss of $1.4 million during the fiscal year that ended on March 31. The campus also had losses of $1.4 million during the 2014-15 school year. In Canada, the campus had generated criticism in campus for not accepting women, and for operating in a country where human rights abuses are common.

Ottawa Business Journal
August 11

Posted in Middle East, Regional News Summaries