WENR, February 2017: Middle East

Egypt: International Education Sector is Thriving

Egypt has experienced a sharp increase in international students over recent years. There are currently 47,000 international students at Egyptian public universities, over twenty times the amount in 2010. Low tuition fees and cost of living are a huge draw—Egypt offers the lowest tuition rates in the Arab region and provides assistance to students from Syria, Sudan, and Libya. While the international education sector is booming, anecdotal evidence points to retention issues, with students interviewed complaining about the lack of post-graduation job prospects and low wages. Read more about international education in Egypt in this month’s WENR article, Academic Mobility in the Middle East and Egypt: If not West, Where Will Students Go?

Al-Fanar Media
February 7, 2017

Iran: U.S.-Bound Students Will Be Hit Hard by Travel Ban

Of the seven Muslim-majority countries affected by the travel ban, Iran stands to be hit the hardest. Despite  a historically contentious relationship between the U.S. and Iran, the number of inbound Iranian student has increased in recent years due to exchange programs and the easing of U.S.-enforced restrictions. There were over 12,000 Iranian students on U.S. campuses in the 2015/16 academic year. (Iraq is next in line with nearly 2,000.) Evidence shows that Iranians have a favorable experience in-country. Iranian graduate students have the highest desire to pursue post-study work opportunities of any other nation. It remains to be seen how the executive order, which has been temporarily halted, and shifting political climate will affect Iranian perception of U.S. higher ed and resultant mobility numbers. Gain more insight into the ups and downs of Iranian student mobility to the U.S. in this month’s WENR feature, Déjà Vu? The Rise and Fall of Iranian Student Enrollments in the U.S.

Chronicle of Higher Education
January 31, 2017

Arab States: UN Report Warns of Another Arab Spring

A recent UN report warns that unless strides are made to ameliorate inequality, high unemployment rates, and poor education among the population under 30, Arab states are likely to face another popular uprising.  The report recommends encouraging public participation in the political process, championing innovation and improving infrastructure all as a means to provide opportunities for civic engagement and new pathways to employment. This would allow countries in the region to move away from a system that depends heavily on income from oil and money sent home from family members working outside of the region, or what the report refers to as “unearned revenue.”  Two-thirds of the population in Arab states is under 30.

Al-Fanar Media
December 11, 2016

Saudi Arabia: Drop in Outbound Mobility to the U.S.

In 2016 the U.S. experienced a sharp decrease, nearly 20 percent, in Saudi Arabians on student visas, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Not surprisingly, universities are reporting lower numbers, despite concerted Saudi focused recruitment efforts across the country, citing cuts to the Saudi government scholarship program as the cause. Read more about where students may be going instead in this month’s WENR article, Academic Mobility in the Middle East and Egypt: If not West, Where Will Students Go?

Inside Higher Ed
December 9, 2016

Posted in Middle East, Regional News Summaries

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