WENR, December 2018: Middle East

Regional: Survey Finds Less than Seven Percent of Leadership Positions at Arab Universities Held by Women

A new survey conducted by Al-Fanar Media and InfoTimes has found that fewer than seven percent of leadership positions at Arab higher education institutions are held by women. In contrast, women lead 18 percent of the top 200 universities globally, and make up 30 percent of US college presidents. Despite the gender imbalance in leadership positions, women earn the majority of undergraduate degrees in Arab countries, and hold an increasing share of teaching positions.

Al-Fanar Media [1]
December 4, 2018

Syria: New Program Provides Online Courses to Refugees

A new program called the Partnership for Digital Learning and Increased Access is providing online blended learning study programs to refugees of the Syrian crisis as well as disadvantaged students in Jordan and Lebanon. The U.K. funded program aims to provide courses to 6,000 refugee learners over the next five years. There are over 65 million people displaced globally, and only one percent of refugees have access to higher education. In light of this, online courses provide an effective and accessible way for refugees to improve their situation, as well as create a skilled labor force able to assist in relief and recovery efforts.

University World News [2]
December 1, 2018

UAE: UAE bows to pressure, jailed UK researcher freed

A British PhD student studying in the United Arab Emirates and who was sentenced to life in prison for spying has been released with a “full presidential pardon.” Accused of spying on behalf of the MI6 in early May, Matthew Hedges maintained his innocence, and claims his research on Emirati national security strategy was in no way espionage on behalf of the U.K. government.  The accusations threatened to undermine relations between the two countries, particularly collaboration efforts in the higher education sector.

University World News [3]
November 27, 2018

Turkey: Academic Jailed After Raids on Activists and Academics

A Turkish academic has been jailed after a series of raids on activists and academics with alleged links to imprisoned philanthropist and businessman Osman Kavala. Turkish prosecutors have issues arrest warrants for 19 others, including a number of other academics. The suspects have been accused of “creating chaos and mayhem,” and “seeking to overthrow the government.” The jailing lends credence to increasing international concerns about the level of academic and political freedom in Turkey.

Al Jazeera [4]
November 19, 2018