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What are the implications of the Arab Spring for higher education systems in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa? How will the new university landscapes look? What kind of challenges will appear in the near future and how they can be tackled? Amidst much uncertainty and change in the region (see ACA Newsletter – Education Europe, October 2011), IIE recently presented a new report, Classifying Higher Education Institutions in the Middle East and North Africa, at the World Innovation Summit for Education in Doha, Qatar.
The aim of this two-year study, supported by Carnegie Corporation of New York and carried out in partnership with the Lebanese Association of Educational Studies (LAES), is to develop a classification model for higher education institutions in the region. Given the absence of a standardised framework for understanding the region’s institutions, more comparable information is expected to lead to a deeper understanding of the wide range of institutions in the Arab world.
The study features research on 300 higher education institutions in Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. It explores new ideas, partnerships and approaches to financing, as well as the issue of accrediting an expanding number of institutions and the challenges for student mobility facing the region. An important background for further discussions on the future of higher education in the Middle East and North Africa, this study is available electronically on the website of IIE, and the final print version will be published in the coming weeks.IIE New York Times