WENR, November 2014: Middle East

Bahrain

International Scholarship Program Celebrates 15th Year

Bahrain’s Crown Prince International Scholarship Program celebrates its 15th anniversary this year. The program has sent 146 students overseas to date, funding all costs incurred during study abroad and paying out up to US$500,000 per student.

Founded in 1999 by Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, the scholarship covers tuition fees, travel, accommodation and living expenses for 10 qualifying students every year to study in one of seven countries: Singapore, the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, France or Germany.

Students may choose any undergraduate degree program, with the exception of medicine, and have the option of continuing onto graduate study. Students from state schools, where the majority of teaching is in Arabic, also benefit from two years of study at a prestigious overseas boarding school to improve English language skills.

“[The Crown Prince] wants to have these young people come back as leaders in his country and to develop the expertise from the subjects they’ve studied in all their different career fields,” explained Cynthia Gessling CPISP Director, adding that students aren’t expected to return immediately after graduation.

The PIE News
October 21, 2014

Egypt

Egypt Looks to UK for Higher Ed Reform Model

The Egyptian government is looking largely to British models in planning major reforms to its higher education system, following the nation’s dramatic series of revolutions, reports Times Higher Education.

In September, Ashraf Hatem, secretary general of the country’s Supreme Council of Universities, traveled to Britain on a weeklong fact-finding trip organized by the British Council. He was accompanied by the rectors of three Egyptian universities. “We are now in a state of total reform, and we are putting together a new strategy for 2015-20,” Hatem told Times Higher Education.

“We need a new law on higher education, since the old one dates back to 1982.”

The Supreme Council is tasked with overseeing Egypt’s 24 public universities, regulating higher education and accrediting foreign qualifications. To gather information for the reform process, the delegation visited the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Universities UK and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, among other bodies in Britain.

Times Higher Education
September 25, 2014

Iran

President Encourages Increased Academic Mobility

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the country’s higher education institutions to open up to more foreign students and staff, as well as giving a ringing endorsement for study abroad, in a nationally televised speech marking the beginning of the academic year.

President Rouhani urged universities to “stop making excuses” about their internationalization efforts. In his speech at Tehran University, Rouhani addressed the antipathy felt by some political groups towards international exchange.

“Some people say that if we have contact with the outside world, if our teachers go abroad and their professors come here, maybe someone will be a spy among them,” he said. “Stop making excuses!”

“At least create one university that has English as the main language so that we can attract foreign students,” he continued. He also stressed the need for incoming students to fill “empty seats” on some programs of study.

Reuters
October 7, 2014

Posted in Middle East, Regional News Summaries