WENR, September 2009: Middle East


Government to Transfers Students Abroad After University De-accreditations

According to a report in the Kuwait Times, the Ministry of Education [1] committee looking into the suspension of the accreditation of a number of Indian and Filipino universities has issued a preliminary decision to transfer affected students to other accredited universities abroad.

Students who were given official permission to attend the disaccredited universities are eligible by law for compensation and other help – but other students who did not receive prior official permission will not be eligible for assistance.

Ministry officials have blamed the lack of a uniform set of standards for foreign universities, in addition to an undersupply of places at domestic universities and the high costs of tuition at private universities and colleges for poor standards at the implicated schools.

The Kuwait Times did not name the specific universities that had lost their accredited status.

Kuwait Times [2]
July 21, 2009


Iraqi Scholarship Program to Begin This Fall

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki formally announced a government program in July that will see hundreds of Iraqi students traveling to the United States on full scholarships as soon as this fall.

The program, called the Iraq Education Initiative, intends eventually to send 10,000 students to English-speaking countries each year for five years. It is part of a broader effort being driven by the prime minister’s office to improve Iraq’s education system.

Iraq’s parliament has set aside $54 million for the pilot phase of the program, in which 500 to 600 students will be sent to the United States or Britain this year for either undergraduate or graduate degrees. The University System of Ohio [3] has signed an agreement with Mr. al-Maliki committing Ohio to enroll 100 of the first wave of students and one-third of all future students coming to the United States through the scholarship program.

The Chronicle of Higher Education [4]
July 26, 2009


US Foundation Provides Financial Backing for New Business School

A California-based foundation, which aims to strengthen American-Israeli relations, has provided $12 million to help build a new business school in Haifa. The Andre and Katherine Merage Foundation’s gift to the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology [5] should see the new school—to be named the Andre and Katherine Merage-Technion Institute for International Business—open in 2010. It will offer an English-only International Executive MBA focused on the high-tech sector, and three Centers of Excellence aimed at helping Israel’s high-tech companies penetrate markets in America, Europe and Asia.

The Economist [6]
July 24, 2009


No New Private University Licenses to be Issued

Yemen’s Ministry of Higher Education will not issue any new licenses to those wishing to establish an institution of higher education, because it believes the supply side of the market is already saturated. The ministry reports that there are 25 private universities and colleges already in operation in the capital Sana’a.

The Ministry’s annual executive report for the President’s electoral program in 2008 said that the ministry began rejecting requests for private universities and colleges, as well as courses and branches for these universities, both in the capital and in the governorates before they completed their final licensing requirements. It added that the ministry suspended all distance education programs carried out by private and public Yemeni universities.

Yemen Observer [7]
July 18, 2009