WENR, April 2018: Middle East

Qatar: Blockade Stifles Higher Education Collaboration in Gulf Region

The current blockade against Qatar could threaten the country’s higher education sector; something the Qatari government has invested heavily in as they try to lessen their dependence on natural resources. Though collaboration between Qatar and the blockade countries is relatively low, the conflict is still a setback for research in the region, stifling future interaction between countries who face many similar challenges. The blockade also reinforces the unstable status the Gulf region; something that could harm the higher education sector of the entire area.

Times Higher Education
March 22

Egypt: Universities Heavily Represented in Times Higher Education Arab World Rankings

Egypt is home to nine of the top 32 universities in the Times Higher Education’s 2018 ranking of universities in the Arab world. Beni Suef University is the highest ranked Egyptian institution, coming in 10th, and is immediately followed by the American University in Cairo. Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz University ranks first, however only four other Saudi institutions made the list.

Egypt Independent
March 22

Saudi Arabia: U.K. Confirms Support for Vision 2030

The U.K. confirmed its support for Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 program and committed to their position as a strategic partner of the Middle East at the recent U.K.-Saudi Strategic Partnership Council meeting. The Vision 2030 plan contains many education reform goals aimed at bolstering Saudi Arabia’s higher education system and addressing the workforce needs of the country. The U.K. has appointed a Special Education Envoy to support the program.

Al Arabiya
March 9


Middle East: Middle Eastern Institutions Boast High Proportion of Female STEM Graduates

Higher education institutions in the Middle East tend to have higher proportions of female STEM graduates than their western counterparts. Over 60 percent of science graduates in Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are female. Female students in Jordan, Qatar and the UAE are reportedly more comfortable with math than male students, a result of investment in education and gender equality initiatives.

March 8


Egypt: Government Misleads About Higher Ed Partnerships

The Egyptian government falsely claimed to have secured partnerships with 10 international universities in a move to convince British institutions to establish similar partnerships. Documents leaked to the Middle East Eye list the Canadian and Swedish universities that allegedly signed partnership agreements. When contacted, however, the universities claimed that though they’d been approached by the Egyptian government, they never signed onto any sort of agreement.

Middle East Eye
March 6