WENR, May 2018: Middle East

Turkey: Government Proposes Splitting Up Universities, Sparks Protests

Many students and academics joined protests in response to the Turkish government’s new proposal to split up Turkish Universities and form new schools. The government cites the move as a pragmatic one, aimed at curbing the growth of institutions that have grown too large to be effective, however, many academics and students see the move as part of an effort to reduce university autonomy. Some think the government could wish to establish new schools so as to grant new building, transportation, and catering contracts to well-connected businesses.

Al-Monitor [1]
April 30

Egypt: Job Shortage for Egyptian Graduate Degree Holders

The Egyptian education system has seen an increase in the number of students seeking master’s and doctoral degrees. This has created a surplus of people competing for academic posts, with the rate of graduates far outpacing the rate at which jobs become available. More and more graduates are turning to adjunct positions at private universities, but these jobs offer much lower salaries and little job security compared to that of a permanent faculty member. This has led some to accuse Egypt’s private universities of exploiting the worker surplus, and sparked calls for new legislation to protect professors in the job market.

Al-Fanar Media [2]
April 27

Egypt: Private Universities Must Have Partnership with Top 50 Institution to Operate

A new Egyptian policy will not allow new private universities to operate within the country unless they have a collaboration agreement with an institution ranked in the top 50 internationally. The move is intended to improve the quality of Egyptian higher education and has seen mixed reception from international education experts. While most agree that it is important to incentivize universities to forge international partnerships, many feel that restricting the pool of eligible partners to the top 50 institutions is too limiting, and argue that national rankings aren’t the best metric for what will be a meaningful collaboration program.

University World News [3]
April 17

Egypt: New Tax Exemptions Expected to Stimulate Research and Innovation

Egypt’s Parliament recently approved a new law exempting higher education institutions and scientific research centers from tax and custom duties. The changes are expected to increase the research output of Egypt’s universities and foster innovation within the country. The law also carries new regulations aimed at supporting collaboration between research institutions and the private sector. The changes have been positively received.

University World News
March 30

Iraq: Location Selected for American University of Iraq Baghdad

Al Faw Palace has been selected as the location for the new American University of Iraq Baghdad. The university will open in September of this year with a College of Law, College of Medicine, College of Arts and Sciences, and College of Business. This will be third American University in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

March 29