WENR, March 2018: Middle East

Iraq: Deputy Speaker Praises Iranian Higher Ed

Humam al-Hamoudi, Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, lauded Iran’s higher education system, and says a similar model would be ideal for Iraq. Hamoudi praised Iran for their higher education development in the face of sanctions and other economic hindrances. Hamoudi also indicated coming academic cooperation between the countries. Many Iraqi students currently study in Iran; over 20 percent of the 13,000 foreign students studying in Iran are Iraqi.

Mehr News
February 28

Jordan: Jordan to Now Recognize Accredited International Degrees

Jordan’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced they will now recognize degrees earned at foreign institutions as long as they are also acknowledged by foreign accreditation commissions. Jordan’s higher education minister hopes that this reform’s emphasis on accreditation will lead to Jordanian students choosing to study at reputable universities abroad, as well as increase the number of students returning to Jordan and bringing high skilled labor back to Jordan’s economy.

Pie News
February 23

Yemen: Civil War Nearly Halts Research Output

Yemen’s research output has nearly been halted by the country’s ongoing civil war. Yemeni research centers have lost funding and seen significant damages as a result of the conflict. The war’s outbreak also ceased all research cooperation projects, and contact with foreign research centers has become extremely difficult due to the blockade imposed on the country. Still, Yemeni universities are struggling to stay open and educate students, even as research falls to the wayside.

Al-Fanar Media
February 20

Egypt: New Strategic Partnership Aims to Boost African Innovation

The African Development Bank (AFDB) has formed a strategic partnership with the Egyptian government with the aim of increasing African innovation and development. The groups are calling for further investment in higher education, science, and technology as well as commercialization of research from the region. The Egyptian government also stated they aim to create more scholarship opportunities for students from other African countries.

February 16

Morocco: Government Allocates 70 Billion MAD to Higher Education

The Moroccan government recently allocated over 70 billion MAD to improving university conditions, as part of their strategic plan for higher education and scientific research. Funds will be used to upgrade facilities, examine and develop the current higher education system, and support scientific research. The government hopes to increase access to higher education institutions by 20 percent this academic year, and by 30 percent the next.

Morocco World News
February 7

Saudi Arabia: Taif University Lifts Rule, Allows Women to Leave Campus Freely

Taif University has removed restrictions on female students leaving campus without their parent’s permission. The change comes in response to a royal decree instructing government institutions to give more agency to female students and no longer require the consent of their guardian to utilize health and education services. The university stated that, because they are a public institution, it is not within their authority to restrict movement in this manner. The easing of these restrictions come at the same time as other gains in women’s rights, such as the government’s announcement that, beginning in June, it would allow women to drive.

Times Higher Education
February 7