WENR, July-August 2017: Middle East
Saudi Arabia: Universities Encouraged to Curb Recruitment of International Academics
Faced with dependence on international researchers, the Ministry of Education has called for institutions to hire local academics and only recruit from abroad as a “last resort”. As of 2014, foreign staff comprised 42 percent of the entire workforce, while the country currently faces a 12.7 percent unemployment rate. The resultant “Saudisation” effort encourages institutions to use local publications for recruitment and work with the Ministry of Civil Service to connect with job seekers on their registry.
Times Higher Ed
Afghanistan: Private Universities Under Scrutiny
The Afghani Ministry to Education will begin assessing academic credentials issued by private universities after receiving allegations that some non-state run institutions are operating as diploma mills. The ministry may also require students from private universities to pass a standardized test. While the current plan is to review current students, once the quality assurance process is in place, it may extend to former students.
August 5, 2017
UAE: Government to Subsidize University Study for 3,000 Students
The Emirati government has agreed to fund university study for 3,000 students for the upcoming school year. Of the 13,195 students eligible for entrance, only 9,782 were offered spots as universities in the country have been forced to slash their budgets and lower admissions numbers. By providing financial support to those students left behind, the UAE is signalling their dedication to provide access to higher education for all qualified students. Moving forward, the government plans to provide a large increase in subsidies to public institutions as a more sustainable solution to the higher education budget crisis.
July 5, 2017
Iraq: Reconstruction of Universities Underway Post-ISIS
Now that the Islamic state is losing its foothold in Iraq, the country can focus on rebuilding the universities that were forced to shutter at the beginning of the three year ISIS occupation. Some institutions such as Tikrit University have already reopened their doors thanks to a collaborative effort with UN agencies and a local youth group to fundraise and identify volunteers that could rebuild many of the buildings and laboratories that had been destroyed. Students at Anbar university in western Iraq had to dodge land mines when they first returned to school and must share buildings with students as half of he university is still in shambles. Plans are underway to reconstruct the prestigious Mosul University after the government finally reclaimed the city in June of this year.
July 4, 2017