Call for integration of Arab education

DUBAI - Arab education experts, meeting for the second day as part of the fourth General Assembly of the Association of Arab Institutions for Higher Education, organised by the Ajman University of Science and Technology (AUST), have called for the integration of the Arab educational institutions to face future challenges.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 31 May 2003, 11:47 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 11:09 PM

The higher education expertise, who gathered yesterday to attend the meeting of the association of Arab Private Institutions for Higher Education, also recommended the need to create a strong base for scientific research by the Arab Higher Education Institutions to match the ones in the West.

The meeting also pointed out the importance of integration between the private higher education institutions of the Arab world to face future challenges and strengthen their capabilities to offer Arab citizens the latest in science and education.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Saeed Salman, President of the Association of Arab Private Institutions for Higher Education and President of the AUST, said: "Since its inception in 1996, the association has achieved some spectacular developments in terms of bridging the gap between the private higher education in the Arab world."

"Though we haven't yet reached the ultimate objective of upgrading education to the required standard to be on par with our counterparts in the West, we are on the right path to achieve that," Dr Salman said.

Speaking about the achievements of the Ajman University, Dr Salman said that more than 4,000 of its graduates distinguished themselves in good positions in the service industry all over the region in the past 15 years.

Dr Marwan Kamal, Secretary-General of the Association of Arab Universities, said: "The number of universities in the Arab countries has doubled five times since the Second World War, with many Arab governments supporting education in an immeasurable way."

He said that the reluctance of students to join Information Technology and Science studies and lack of financial support to educational institutions providing that type of education is one of the formidable problems faced by education in the Arab world today.

According to Dr Marwan, the latest figures on the number of students studying science and technology in the Arab world is not even up to 25 per cent of the total number of students in these institutions.

"This is pathetic, because science studies lead to development of nations. The total annual investments of Arab educational institutions in scientific research is less than $400, while one university in the US spends six times what the entire Arab World invests in one year," he said.

Dr Mohammed Al Saeedi, Chancellor, Applied Sciences University in Yemen, said: "As private institutions we should work hard to convince our governments of the great contributions we provide to strengthen our nations."

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