WENR, December 2016: Middle East

Qatar: HEI Official Proposes Expansion of Private Universities to Meet Demand

A senior official of Qatar University, Dr. Khalid al-Khater, has called for the establishment of more private universities to accommodate the growing number of immigrants in the country, citing India, the UAE, and Bahrain as models. At a recent symposium organized the by Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue, Dr. al-Khater suggested that these institutions offer affordable tuition, take proper steps toward accreditation, and work closely with the Ministry of Higher Education. He also proposed that existing institutions implement an international student quota and offer more academic disciplines.

Gulf Times
November 26, 2016

Iraq: Militias Gain Influence at Universities

The Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), a state-sponsored collective of militias, is gainging on Iraqi campuses, particularly in Baghdad. Earlier this year, the PMU implemented a program to assemble, train, and support university student forces, offering sessions in the use of weapons and martial arts and sending members on actual “defense and security” missions in Baghdad. PMU campus events draw large crowds of students, to the consternation of many academics who argue that universities are not the proper venue for militia activity.

November 21, 2016

Middle East: New Report Reflects Progress in Educational Development

According to the 2016 Global Youth Development Index and Report, the Arab region is seeing progress in educational development, as measured by secondary school enrollment numbers, literacy rates, and “digital skills” among those in the 15-24 age group. Of the 21 countries in the MENA region, 14 were ranked “very high,” with Gulf states taking top spots, while Iraq, Djibouti, and Mauritania were ranked “low.” This educational disparity highlights existing hurdles to progress, and has led many in the higher ed sector to push for more intraregional partnerships and training institutes. The report was put out by the U.K.-based Commonwealth Secretariat.

Al-Fanar Media
November 11, 2016

Middle East: Academic Institutions Are a Key Target for Violence, Says a New Report

‘En masse’ attacks at universities in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen, were among the lowlights of a Scholars at Risk (SAR) report which details violence at institutions of higher education from May 2015 and September 2016. The report describes 158 reported attacks in 35 countries. Put out by SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project, the report calls for “increased awareness, enhanced documentation, and greater protection for scholars, students and other members of higher education communities.”

University World News
November 4

Yemen: Increased Student Mobility to Pakistan

Yemen is seeking to send university students to Pakistan, according to a Yemeni official. Pakistan, which has sought to improve access to and the quality of its higher education sector for more than a decade, now reportedly has 180 higher education institutions. Pakistan plans to expedite student visas for Yemeni students seeking to study at Pakistani HEIs.

National Yemen
November 3

Turkey: Higher Education Faces Continued Purge

The purge at Turkish universities is continuing, with some 1,267 academicians dismissed in late October and early December as the result of governmental decree. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also taken direct control of the appointment of university rectors. The dismissed academics join thousands of civil servants dismissed since an attempted coup on 15 July, in which 265 people were killed. Immediately after the coup attempt, 1,577 university deans and 27,000 education ministry staff members were dismissed, 4,225 academics were suspended, and 15 universities were closed.

University World News
November 1

Posted in Middle East, Regional News Summaries