WENR, May 2013: Middle East
Canadian College to Operate Campus in Kuwait
Ottawa-based Algonquin College already has programs and campuses in India, Montenegro, China and Saudi Arabia, and as of next year it will have one in Kuwait.
The 140,000-square-foot campus is currently under construction in Kuwait City. It is being built by a private company with which the college has signed a five-year memorandum of understanding. Starting in September 2014, the Algonquin Canadian College of Kuwait will offer students a 48-week foundation program designed to prepare them for two-year college programs that will launch the following year. By 2017, Algonquin hopes to have at least 1,000 full-time students enrolled in one of four initial offerings: business accounting, business marketing, computer programming and computer system technician, with more added as labor-market needs dictate.
With partnerships already forged in five countries, Algonquin is also reportedly looking at opportunities in Kazakhstan and Vietnam.
– Ottawa Citizen
April 8, 2013
British University Delegation Visits Libya to Rebuild Old Links
A delegation of UK universities, led by the UK HE International Unit and funded by UK Trade and Investment, recently returned from a capacity building visit to Libya, in what is being described as an “opportunity for institutions to revitalize old relationships and to forge new links with Libyan universities, as well as to better understand Libya’s training and development needs after years of under-investment in this area.”
The Libyan Ministry of Higher Education hosted a day of institution-led workshops which allowed representatives to exchange knowledge and experiences in a number of areas, from teacher development to research collaboration. UK delegates also had the opportunity to visit the Academy of Graduate Studies and the Petroleum Technical and Qualifying Institute, as well as to attend a joint networking reception designed to promote UK higher education and potential partnerships.
International Focus, the newsletter of UK HE International Unit, reports that “it is clear that there is a real need for higher education capacity building initiatives in all areas of Libyan higher education and that challenges exist. The UK visa regime was raised repeatedly as an obstacle to student recruitment, researcher exchange and long-term partnerships. Low English language levels also hamper student mobility and the development of a true research culture, while the political situation remains unstable and precludes travel to many of the country’s universities.”
The report goes on to mention a real desire among policymakers and institutions to move forward in ambitious ways, with plans for the expansion of the Ministry of Higher Education’s scholarship program, and a desire to see joint programs and joint research undertaken with foreign partners. The report concludes by saying that, “despite the obstacles which exist, the UK remains the destination of choice for Libyans studying abroad and UK graduates with fond memories of PhDs spent in Swansea, Salford and Aberdeen are now working to develop the national higher education sector to meet the needs of a free Libya.”
– International Focus
United Arab Emirates
Dubai Knowledge Village 10 Years On
Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) opened in 2003 as a training and human resource management hub or “knowledge free-zone,” designed to allow organizations to operate without the constrictions of Islamic-based Emirati laws. There are now 52 universities with a presence in Dubai, and of these, 26 academic institutions and 16,000 students are currently based at Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) – founded in 2007 as the instructional core of DKV. Institutions are clustered together, and allowed to operate subject to their own accreditation rules, not those of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Ten years into this educational experiment, those running the cluster of global universities on the outskirts of Dubai are still confident in the project’s future despite recent worries about a local economy whose strength has traditionally been a key attraction for international students.
The post-2008 economic concerns have been cause for DIAC and its international branch campuses to re-examine the programs they offer, and to look beyond the popular and, for institutions, lucrative M.B.A.s and similar business degrees. Institutions looking to set up operations in Dubai now have to offer programs with relevance to the regional job market, such as petroleum engineering. To this end, DIAC commissioned a study by the consultancy Deloitte to see how its universities can help to fill some of the skills gaps in the Dubai economy; it concluded that the growth areas of tourism and engineering – among 62 other areas with skills shortages – require extra graduates to meet demand.
And demand remains: the Education Cluster has 19,000 students (44 percent of them women), with nearly 45 percent from the Indian subcontinent. While the international branch campuses at DIAC appear confident of attracting more foreign students — the hub aims to have 25,000 students by 2015 — the relative lack of home-grown students has been noted. Emirati students make up just 15 percent of the student body.
– Times Higher Education
April 19, 2013