WENR, November 2009: Middle East


Virtual Campus Initiative Launched

Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, in partnership with UNESCO, has launched a three-year Avicenna Virtual Campus project in a bid to improve and expand access to higher-education opportunities.

The project was launched in early November at a two-day training workshop in Amman, Jordan. The workshop focused on online course development for Iraqi academics and ministry representatives. Three Avicenna centers will be established at the universities of Baghdad, Basra and Salahaddin to link these institutions with others that are part of the Avicenna Virtual Campus in the Mediterranean region. The virtual campus was first created by the European Commission and UNESCO and now has centers in 14 countries.

The three Iraqi centres will be able to use modules developed by the Avicenna network over the past five years. Ultimately, each university will produce modules of its own which will then be pooled among institutions participating in the Avicenna Campus and the newly established African Virtual Campus.

October 20, 2009


Government Endowment to be Established for Top Talent

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in October announced that the government will develop plans for an endowment to be used to supplement the salaries of top academics, after years of exodus to the United States. He said that the goal was both to prevent further losses and to lure back to Israel some who have already left.

October 18, 2009

Saudi Arabia

Nation to Host First International Exhibition for Higher Education in January

The Saudi Ministry of Higher Education is organizing the first International Exhibition for Higher Education from 26-29 January 2010 in the new Riyadh International Exhibition Centre, Riyadh KSA.

– Ministry news release
October 19, 2009


Nation’s Private Universities Face Closure

Yemen’s private universities only have preliminary licenses and these could be withdrawn if institutions fail to comply with legal requirements, Higher Education and Scientific Research Minister Saleh Ali Ba Surrah warned in October.

“We don’t want cabins, apartments or buildings; we want to see integrated structures that are competitive with public universities and not just a clone of them,” the Minister said at a three-day conference on “Challenges of Higher Education and Academic Accreditation in the Third World”, held in Sana’a.

“Before the revolution, there were no universities in the entire country. However, there are 300,000 students in Yemeni universities today,” he said, adding that the Ministry is working to complete the establishment of an academic accreditation council. The ministry is also restructuring the administrative organization and network links between all Yemeni universities.

Yemen Observer
October 12, 2009

Posted in Middle East, Regional News Summaries