WENR, December 2009: Middle East


Region in Talks with China to Build Science Links

Chinese and Arab universities developed plans to build scientific research links at the Forum on Chinese-Arab Co-operation in Fields of Scientific Research, held in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum in November.

According to the Xinhua news agency, participants stressed the need to increase the number of students moving between China and Arab countries. Li Lianhe, a representative of China’s Foreign Ministry, said: “Education is the base of everything, and we believe this standing co-operation is fruitful and will achieve common benefits for China and the Arab countries. China is concerned with developing its relations with the Arab countries and increasing the level of partnership in the field of higher education.”

Xinhua [1]
November 11, 2009


Attracting the World’s Education Elite

Qatar held the first World Innovation Summit for Education [2] (WISE), a conference that aims to become an annual get together for the world’s education elite. Organizers hope the oil-rich emirate, already home to branch campuses of five top-flight U.S. universities, will become the venue where the world’s most powerful and prominent educators will confront the planet’s most pressing educational challenges.

The Qatar Foundation [3], whose mission is to make the country a leader in education research and innovation, paid for nearly 1,000 educators to fly to Qatar from around the world to participate in discussions about some of the big ideas in global education: pluralism, sustainability, and innovation.

In an interview, Abdulla Al-Thani, vice president of education for the Qatar Foundation, emphasized that because this is the first WISE summit, organizers had to make an educated guess about the sort of conversations that would take place. Next year’s summit, he said, would be focused by the feedback from this year’s participants.

The Chronicle of Higher Education [4]
November 17, 2009

Saudi Arabia

King Khalid University to Develop Major Medical Facilities

Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Higher Education, Dr Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Anqari, signed a US$500,000 contract in November for the Medical City Project at the Abha-based King Khalid University [5].

In a statement following the signing, Al-Anqari said the project will include a university hospital with 400 beds as well as faculties of medicine, medical science, pharmacy and dentistry, and classrooms and laboratories.

He said the project is an extension of previous contracts signed by the Ministry, adding that the first stage of the University City Project at King Khalid University is currently being executed.

Saudi Press Agency [6]
November 17, 2009