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Reforming higher education

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  Arab States

The Regional Scientific Committee for the Arab States of the UNESCO Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge has set itself the task of highlighting current changes in higher education through the ongoing processes of system diversification and restructuring in an environment characterized by the domination of the market ideology.
This Committee faces the challenge of transition to modernity, and more specifically the challenge of transition from a society that is based intellectually more on naql (tradition) than on ‘aql (reason)., This involves examining basic issues linked to higher education and scientific research in Arab countries while identifying areas most affected by information deficiencies.

Main themes
  • The Restructuring and Differentiation of Patterns of Higher Education
  • Institutional set-up and policies
  • Quality of education and graduate studies
  • Academic freedom
  • The organization of scientific research
  • The labour market and graduate employment
  • The management of universities
  • Teacher training reforms
  • Academic cooperation, mobility and exchanges

Members of the Arab Scienfific Committee
  • Prof. Nouria BENGHABRIT-REMAOUN (Chair) - Algeria
  • Prof. Abdel Moneim OSMAN (Vice-Chair) - The Sudan
  • Prof. Munir BASHSHUR - Lebanon
  • Prof. Mustafa O. ATTIR - Libya
  • Prof. Mohaya ZEITOUN - Egypt
  • Prof. Zakia BOUAZIZ - Tunisia
  • Prof. Maitha AL-SHAMSI - United Arab Emirates
  • Prof. Abdelhafez Q. AL-SHAYEB - Jordan
  • Prof. Mohamed N. ABDUL-WAHED - Syria
  • Prof. Nouria LAKHDAR-GHAZAL - Morocco
  • Prof. Amin AL HAKIMI - Yemen

    Main Events:
    4th Regional Scientific Committee Meeting for Arab States
    6-7 June 2006
    Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
    The meeting was hosted by the United Arab Emirates University and focused on two major themes: Globalization, Higher Education and Scientific Research; and Funding of Higher Education and Scientific Research. These issues were discussed in view of the preparation of the Second Regional Research Seminar (April 2007).

    3rd Regional Scientific Committee Meeting for Arab States
    12-13 September 2005
    Alexandria, Egypt
    One of the objectives of the meeting was to review and comment upon on the Academic Freedom Conference, that was held 10-11 September. Both events were hosted by the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Egypt. The committee also discussed papers on ‘Organization, Structure and Funding of Research’.

    2nd Regional Scientific Committee Meeting for Arab States
    13-14 December 2003
    Damascus, Syria
    The second Regional Scientific Committee Meeting for Arab States was organized in cooperation with UNESCO Office in Beirut and Regional Bureau for Education. A critical debate on higher education, research and knowledge was organized, based on the papers prepared by each committee members. The Committee also planned the first Regional Research Seminar, held in 2004 in Paris.
    1st Regional Scientific Committee Meeting for Arab States
    14-15 May 2003
    Cairo, Egypt
    This meeting was the first for the region. It was organized in cooperation with the UNESCO Office in Cairo and Regional Bureau for Science and the opening session was chaired by Mr. Mohamed Abdulrazzak, Director of the Office. The newly appointed committee members discussed the situation of research and higher education in the Arab States. These discussions served as a basis to determine the future areas of work of the committee.
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