WENR, June 2006: Middle East
Bahrain: French Business Interests Support Manama Business School
As a result of a partnership with the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Arabian Gulf University (AGU) will open the Ecole Supérieure des Affaires (ESA) Gulf, a business and finance graduate school, in the coming academic year. When the school opens in September alongside AGU’s College of Graduate Studies, it will offer graduate degrees in hospital and health management, energy management, Islamic finance, and business administration. All programs will be taught in English
The Paris Chamber of Commerce already manages a number of international business schools, including HEC Paris, EAP European School of Management, and another ESA partnership with Lebanon. Bahrain has reinvented itself as a financial center in the Gulf region in recent years because of dwindling oil reserves, a large foreign citizenry and its central location among its oil-producing neighbors.
Apr. 26, 2006
Jordan Markets Higher Education to its Neighbors
Jordan Tourism Board and the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research have joined forces to promote the country’s higher education sector in the Persian Gulf. The two Jordanian governmental bodies plan to entice secondary school students to consider Jordan’s universities for their higher education in an effort to expand the country’s education export business.
As it currently stands, approximately 22,000 foreign students study at Jordan’s public and private universities, the majority of which hail from Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. These students, and the money they spend while receiving their education (est. $15,000 annually), make up 2 percent of Jordan’s annual gross domestic product, a number the country hopes it can dramatically increase. The number of international students choosing to study in Jordan grew by 8.9 percent last year, and the government hopes they can coax that number up to 10 percent, and, by 2020, attract 100,000 students from abroad.
The Jordan Times
Apr. 19, 2006
Lebanon Finances Science, Technology and Innovation Development
This past April, Lebanese officials announced a US$33million initiative to develop graduate and postgraduate training facilities, research centers, and partnerships between universities and industry in the fields of science and technology. The plan, engineered with the aid of UNESCO, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization and the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, outlined research priorities in the fields of biotechnology, healthcare, agriculture, information technology, Arabic script software, marine resource management, water, and energy. According to American University of Beirut professor Ahmad Nasri, the project will link valuable research with Lebanon’ s basic economic needs as well as fortify Lebanon’s participation in international networks that examine science, technology, and innovation.
May 2, 2006
The U.S. State Department’s decision in May to re-establish diplomatic ties with Libya includes a decision to reopen academic ties under the Fulbright Foreign Student Program.
Approximately ten scholarships are expected to be awarded to students wishing to embark on two-year graduate programs starting in the fall of 2007. More than 3,000 Libyan students were studying in the United States in the early 1980s before its alleged ties to terrorist groups, and subsequent ostracism by Western governments, caused that number to drop to close to none.
In addition to students coming to the United States on Fulbright scholarships, those with the necessary private means are beginning to trickle back. At least two U.S. universities — Oklahoma State University and the University of Denver — welcomed a small number of students this academic year.
A WES profile of the Libyan education system is available here.
The Chronicle of Higher Education
May 17, 2006
No New Universities in Oman, Students not Filling Available Seats
An Omani Undersecretary for the Ministry of Higher Education, Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Sarmi, told a press conference in April that the Sultanate has stopped issuing licenses for the creation of new private universities.
Speaking to the media at the Ghedex/Trainex/Jobex exhibition, Al Sarmi explained that Oman’s universities are operating at minimum capacity and that the nation’s universities could accommodate roughly four times more than the current 56,000 students. The undersecretary cited the large number of low-income students unable to afford university tuition as well as the amount of students who travel abroad to receive their higher education as contributing factors to the lack of enrollment at Omani schools. The government offers around 2,400 scholarships to underprivileged students yearly to stimulate enrollment, and is working to educate high achieving secondary students about their higher education options within the Sultanate.
Times of Oman
Apr. 19, 2006
Qatar Comes to Aid of Universities Affected by Hurricane Katrina
The nation of Qatar announced US$60 million in aid in April for institutions of higher education affected by Hurricane Katrina, the devastating storm that damaged the American state of Louisiana extensively and left the city of New Orleans in a state of emergency last August. Xavier University, Tulane University, and Louisiana State University will all receive funds from the Middle Eastern nation to help them recover from the damage sustained during the 2005 hurricane. Xavier will receive $17.5 million to build a new school of pharmacy and provide scholarship for students affected by the disaster. Tulane University is slated to receive $10 million to help students affected by the hurricane, and to support students who are entering the university after its reopening. According to Qatar’s ambassador to the United States, Nasser Bin Hamad M. al-Khalifa, after hurricane Katrina Qatar felt a responsibility to act and come to the aid of the U.S.
The New York Times
May 2, 2006
3 US Journalism Schools Vying for Education City Branch Campus
The University of Missouri School of Journalism is one of three schools competing for a contract with the government-backed Qatar Foundation to establish a branch campus in the capital city of Doha at the multi-campus facility known as Education City, home already to five other prestigious U.S. universities.
Missouri, the nation’s oldest journalism school, would join existing campuses operated by Cornell, Texas A&M, Carnegie Mellon, Virginia Commonwealth and Georgetown at Education City. The Qatari campus would be a full-fledged branch of the University of Missouri, with Columbia maintaining control of admission standards, tuition rates, curriculum and graduation requirements.
According to an Associated Press report, Missouri is competing with two other unnamed American journalism schools. As with the other U.S. universities operating at Education City, the Qatar Foundation for Science, Education and Community Development would cover all construction and operating costs, including salaries.
May 11, 2006
INSEAD Plans Scuppered
Education authorities have reportedly decided to rescind an agreement with prestigious French business school INSEAD, after the school apparently breached the conditions of exclusivity contained within a memorandum of understanding by also committing to establishing a campus in the United Arab Emirates (see below).
The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development announced in a statement in May that it was withdrawing from its commitment with INSEAD to offer an executive MBA program. The French school would have been the first non-American institution to establish a presence at Qatar’s Education City. According to Qatari education officials, however, negotiations are ongoing with a number of other European institutions.
Both the UAE and Qatar are trying to establish themselves as regional education hubs for students from Persian Gulf countries, and are adopting policies of attracting prestigious overseas institutions to purpose-built, multi-campus facilities. In the UAE, Dubai-based Knowledge Village has attracted institutions from around the world, whereas Education City in Doha is until now working exclusively with prestigious U.S. institutions. This development might be considered a sign of growing competition between the two Gulf countries.
May 10, 2006
Saudi Arabia: International Teacher Contracts Terminated in Effort to Saudize Instruction
The Ministry of Education has ordered the termination of contracts of foreign teachers who have served more than 10 years in all public schools and special education institutions. In a range of other disciplines non-Saudi teachers irrespective of their service period will not have their contracts renewed. These include computer science in the public sector and primary school teachers, in addition to a range of other vocational and technical disciplines. The Saudi government hopes to fill vacancies while reducing unemployment levels among university graduates.
April 30, 2006
United Arab Emirates
Canadian and Indian Institutions to Offer Courses in Dubai
The University of New Brunswick (UNB) has partnered with Dubai-based Knowledge Village to offer its Bachelor of Science in Information Technology. Billing itself as the “first North American university in Dubai,” UNB will join a growing number of regional, European, Indian and Australian universities that have already established a presence at the multi-campus Knowledge Village. UNB-Dubai has already begun recruiting students for its inaugural class which is set to begin with the new academic year.
Another new partner institution is also set to begin classes in September. The Institute of Management Technology (IMT), one of India’s top 10 business schools, is currently enrolling students for three separate MBA offerings. IMT-Dubai is reportedly the first Indian business school to be licensed in the UAE (see above).
April 9, 2006
May 1, 2006
Internationally Backed Private University to Open
An agreement between Toronto-based Centennial College and private investors Bihendi Enterprises and Emirates Investment and Development Company will reportedly see the opening of the Centennial University in Dubai in mid-September, catering to an estimated 400 students.
April 12, 2006
New Agreement Brings Another Prestigious French Institution to the Capital
INSEAD Business School and the Abu Dhabi Education Council have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which outlines plans for the establishment of an INSEAD campus in the Emirati capital. According to the agreement, INSEAD-Abu Dhabi will, by next October, be offering executive business education classes while also placing a strong emphasis on conducting research.
The signing of the MOU between the prestigious French business school and Abu Dhabi education officials follows an announcement in February that Sorbonne University will open a campus in Abu Dhabi this October (see April 2006 issue of WENR). In addition to its home campus in Fontainebleau, INSEAD also operates a campus in Singapore. According to reports, this new Abu Dhabi agreement led to the scuppering of INSEAD plans to offer MBA programs in nearby Qatar (see Qatar section).
May 6, 2006