WENR, October 2018: Middle-East

Egypt: Egypt’s Universities Open Up to Blended Learning

The American University in Cairo has kicked off it’s new school year with a number of new master’s courses designed around blended learning. Egypt, like much of the Arab world, has had a slow start in adopting online curricula – mostly due to concerns over quality and the recognition of credentials. These new courses, which blend elements of MIT’s Micromasters courses, which are delivered online, and live teaching from AUC’s classroom faculty, are anticipated to help improve the view and recognition of online courses in the region, as well as provide the students with access to instruction from one of the world’s great universities.

Al-Fanar Media
October 11

Lebanon: Cash shortfall hits refugee education

As the Lebanese schools open up registration for “second-shift” afternoon classes – which are primarily for non-Lebanese, i.e. refugee, students, a large funding gap is coming into play. Recent data indicates that 36% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon in the 6 to 14 age group do not have access to formal education. Despite government efforts coupled with international humanitarian aid, there remains a USD $28 million gap for funding the current number of students. The Reaching All Children with Education program for the Lebanese Education Ministry has a further goal of increasing the number of Syrian children in school from 215,000 to 250,000, which would increase the gap to USD $49 million.

The Daily Star Lebanon
October 4

Iraq: Iraq wants India to help boost its education culture, offers scholarships to students

As part of the effort to recover from years of war, and gain footholds for its reputation and capabilities in modern research and innovation, Iraq has announced a number of scholarships targeting top students from many countries. The scholarships will cover tuition and accommodation, and are expected to have students enrolled in school by November 2018. Currently Iraq only has one university in the THE rankings – The University of Baghdad at 801-1000 – but the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Abdul Razak Al-Essa is optimistic that these scholarships will spur “students to be inventors, and create something special.”

The Print
October 4

Iran’s ‘branch campuses’ reach Sub-Saharan Africa

Iran’s universities have been forming partnerships and branch campuses around the world, but their Sub-Saharan Africa activity has been particular notable. Generally denied access to Sunni-majority North Africa, Iran has been making some inroads with establishing branch campuses in Sub-Saharan countries like Nigeria, Uganda, and Sierra Leone. Though potentially a boon for the large under-served school-age populations in those regions, much analysis of the expansion focuses on the exporting of Iranian ideals and soft power that the growth also enables.

University World News
September 28

Contradiction behind Egypt’s embrace of branch campuses

New Cairo – Egypt’s purpose-built future capital – is designed to do a lot of things like relieve congestion in the current capital city and give government and business leaders a place more easily conduct business. As Egypt tries to fill out all the amenities that the new city should contain, world class higher-education facilities are a priority. Though some may be worried about the soft-power that branch campuses can introduce, Egypt’s long-standing relationship with the American University in Cairo (founded 1919) and more recent success with the Technical University of Berlin point to a bright future.

University World News
September 21

Posted in Middle East, Regional News Summaries