WENR, December 2014: Middle East
Saudi Universities Top Regional Ranking
Universities in Saudi Arabia dominate the first ranking of 91 Arab universities published in November by US News & World Report. The top three universities are Saudi Arabian but Egypt and Algeria have a substantial number of institutions in the league table, albeit in lower positions. The top three countries in the rankings had 47 universities or 52 percent of the total.
Ranked first is King Saud University followed by King Abdulaziz University, and King Abdulllah University of Science and Technology. The rankings cover 16 countries across the Arab world and include rankings for 16 subjects over a five-year period 2009-13.
The rankings, based on bibliometric data, focus specifically on institutions’ academic research output and performance.
“We’re going to evolve the methodology and include additional material,” said Robert Morse, chief data strategist for US News & World Report, launching them at the World Innovation Summit for Education – WISE – held from November 4-6 in Qatar.
– University World News
November 4, 2014
Centrist Education Minister Appointed
Iran’s parliament has voted to approve President Hassan Rouhani’s fifth candidate to head the higher education ministry, ending an ideological tussle over a cabinet post important to his pledge to liberalize life in the Islamic republic, reports Reuters.
Mohammad Farhadi, a centrist who held senior positions in a previous reformist administration, secured a 197-28 vote of confidence with 10 abstentions in the conservative-dominated Majlis, or parliament. It had rejected four other nominees of similar political leanings, citing mainly their alleged ties to mass unrest in 2009 over the disputed re-election victory of Rouhani’s predecessor, conservative hardliner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The street and university campus protests were the biggest since Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, shaking the establishment led by hardline Shi’ite clerics and elite Revolutionary Guards before being crushed.
Strong memories of that upheaval made parliament, controlled by allies of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, sensitive about who should head the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Technology, which sets the ideological tone at universities.
November 26, 2014
United Arab Emirates
New Quality Assurance Procedures for Dubai’s Booming International Schools Sector
Dubai’s private school sector is showing record growth as demand for a quality education in the UAE continues to swell. Quality assurance remains top on the agenda of regulating body, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, which has just announced the two business models that will be accepted for private school operations.
Last year, KHDA reported record 10 percent growth in private school operations with the opening of 11 new schools including eight British, two Indian and one Canadian. The growth opened up 23,000 new seats for students offering needed relief in a highly competitive landscape where nine out of 10 children are in private schools.
Under previous models, local property managers or investors could franchise the school’s branding even though curriculum was under the control of a third party.
Under KHDA’s new “Branch School Model,” local commercial partners are allowed to be involved only in the commercial arrangements of the school– land, buildings, and finances – while the school is the sole owner. Under this system, the school is allowed to use all branding and marketing material associated with the home campus.
The “shared management model” meanwhile prohibits the use of brands, logos or “other collateral” of a foreign provider if the local investment partner is responsible for any part of the school’s operations.
“The main purpose of the two models is to attract international schools to provide high quality, outstanding education in Dubai,” Kalthoom AlBalooshi Institution Development Manager at KHDA told The PIE News.
Currently there are 78,000 students in 66 private schools in Dubai. Based on 9 percent annual growth trends, by 2020 the city is excepted to host 96 private schools catering to 132,000 students.
– The PIE News
November 24, 2014