Kingdom, Turkey to boost educational cooperation
Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, minister of education, has discussed with his Turkish counterpart Omer Dincer the ways of enhancing cooperation between the two nations in numerous fields to meet development demands in youth education. The prince said his meeting with the Turkish minister comes as an extension of the long relations between the two countries in different fields. He stressed on the importance of providing education to young men and women, saying youth are the real future of the nations. "There are many aspects of cooperation that the two countries can develop and there will be more mutual visits to promote cooperation," said Prince Faisal. The Turkish minister demonstrated the development of the Turkish education through many projects most importantly 'Al-Fateh' project, which uses smart whiteboards linked to students’ computers. This project provides materials easily to students and makes learning process interesting for them. The Turkish project also provides links to curriculums and opens communication between students' families and schools through an assessment process.
Source: Arab News
Cash-strapped US universities eye Gulf students
Cash-strapped state universities in the US, which have seen a slump in funding, have hired international recruiters in a bid to attract Gulf students to top-up revenues, according to a report on Thursday. US State and local spending for public university students dropped to a 25-year low last year, according to the most recent inflation-adjusted numbers. On average, states provided US$6,290 per student enrolled at a public institution compared with US$8,025 in 1986, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers. Some of the biggest cuts have come since the 2007 to 2009 US recession as states have faced massive shortfalls. The cuts would have been deeper if states did not have access to federal dollars through President Obama's economic stimulus programme. As schools grapple with the realities of less funding from federal governments, some are looking overseas for students willing to pay heftier out-of-state tuition rates. The University of Missouri has struggled to adjust as its appropriation from the state fell to US$165m this year, down almost 15 percent from 2001. At the same time its enrollment climbed by 45 percent to 33,805. Tuition accounted for 60 percent of its operating funds in 2012, up from roughly 25 percent in 1990, one reason the University of Missouri has hired several recruiters in recent year, including someone to find prospective students from overseas, according to a report by Reuters. "We are focusing on countries with a rising middle class and good schools," said Ann Korschgen, enrollment management vice provost at the university. That includes places like Brazil, Korea, China, India, and Saudi Arabia. It is a sign of the times, say those who have remained in public education. "It's really kind of sad because we're the land grant school," says Mary Jo Banken, a spokeswoman for the University of Missouri. "The state does not adequately fund us so we have to look for funding elsewhere." As a result of the drop in funding, US public universities - which historically have graduated the majority of US college students - are eliminating programs, raising tuition and accepting more out-of-state students, who typically pay significantly higher rates. The upshot of it all? Students face greater competition for admission, significantly higher tuition bills, and bigger debt loads upon graduation. "I'm concerned about the costs of these universities," said Mike Eskew, a former CEO of United Parcel Service, who in 1972 graduated from Indiana's Purdue University without loans. "Those institutions helped build this country. For people like me who grew up in small towns, they were the ladder to the world." The state cutbacks also mean students are attending larger classes, frequently taught by part-time professors earning dismal salaries. In 2009, less than a quarter of all university faculty were full-time compared with 45 percent in 1975, according to the American Association of University Professors. "The quality of education is a continuous worry and focus," said Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and former president of Michigan State University. "As state support has been reduced, states have been looking more to universities even as they're cutting back." Despite the decreasing funding, he said, "You need to have these institutions feel as if they're part of the state." The shift has been dramatic. Last year, Michigan provided the University of Michigan a mere 4.5 percent of its budget. The school's US$7.8bn endowment funded US$266m, almost as much as it received in state support. Despite more than US$235m in spending cuts and cost-saving measures to non-academic areas since 2004 - ranging from limiting the colors of Post-it notes to installing dual flush toilets to save water - the University of Michigan is fortunate because it has a big endowment. "We saw this coming," said Rick Fitzgerald, a university spokesman. "We made strategic cuts ahead so we weren't pushed into doing things we didn't want to do." Other schools are not so lucky. New Hampshire cut funding for its university system by about half in 2011-12, and the University of New Hampshire now receives only 7 percent of its funding from the state compared with 32 percent 20 years ago. As a result, the school followed a similar game plan taken by many schools. It froze hiring, laid off workers, hiked tuition, and accepted more out-of-state students. The percent of out-of-state students is expected to climb in the new academic year to 56 percent, compared with 47 percent last year and 39 percent in 1991.
Source: ArabianBusiness & Reuters
Institute to offer MBA with Mideast flavor
The French-Arabian Business School said it has joined hands with the Essec Business School to offer an MBA with a regional flavor, following an extensive market study in the Middle East. The MBA has been designed to transform mid-career managers into business-oriented individuals to meet specific needs of the GCC, said the French-Arabian Business School. School director Dr. Karim Said said the 18-month programme starting in September offers a dynamic learning environment delivered by Essec and Arabian Gulf University (AGU) faculty. The programme is designed to include 40 credits of instruction from all business related areas and six additional credit hours are required for students with non-business background. The courses will be held mainly at the AGU in Bahrain with a two-week residency programme at ESSEC Singapore campus. During this period, students will attend classes as well as seminars and visit leading companies and organizations.
Source: TradeArabia News Service
Qatar cracks down on university lessons in English – report
Qatar is cracking down on the use of English as the dominant language for university lessons, with the country’s largest university dropping English in favor of Arabic from the start of the next academic year, according to a report on Tuesday. Following a decree by Qatar's Supreme Education Council, Qatar University, the country's largest third level educational institution, all lessons in business, economics, media, and international affairs will be solely in Arabic from the next semester, the Financial Times newspaper reported. However, courses in engineering and science will remain in English. Previously, lessons were held in English and Arabic speaking students enrolled in a foundation programme to learn English before entering their degree programme. Arabic students will now bypass this foundation programme and proceed directly to their chosen course. In a country where local Qataris are in the minority, the move has proved controversial. Looking to promote itself as a knowledge hub, Qatar is also trying to balance this against preserving its language and culture from being diluted.
Tamkeen opens 'Mashroo3i' exhibition
An open exhibition showcasing innovative business ideas by Bahraini youth was inaugurated today at the Bahrain City Centre as part of Tamkeen’s ‘Mashroo3i’ youth business plans competition. The Kingdom-wide competition was designed to promote entrepreneurial culture among the local youth, a statement from the organization said. The exhibition which will run till Jul 14, was officially inaugurated by Tamkeen’s CEO Mahmood Hashem Al Kooheji, and attended by a number of senior Tamkeen officials. Commenting about the competition, Al Kooheji, said: 'Tamkeen strives to enable and train Bahraini talents, help in creating a sustainable economy, and consequently, improve the living standards for all Bahrainis. Here lies the importance of Mashroo3i initiative, which not only encourages entrepreneurship among young Bahrainis, but also helps unleash creative business ideas that will stimulate the private sector.” “Investors visiting the exhibition will learn about these ideas and help turn them into real projects. Given the success of this first edition of the competition, Tamkeen looks forward to organizing further editions in the future,” he said. The general public can support the youth by visiting the exhibition to see business prototypes and voting for the ones they like most using the competition's Facebook page www.facebook.com/mashroo3i. The voting of the public will play a major role in the selection of the best project that will win Mashroo3i trophy, Al Kooheji added. Prizes will also be given to the teams scoring the highest points in seven individual categories - most profitable business plan, best display design, best marketing, best brand, most innovative business model, and most socially responsible business project. The winners will be announced on the last day of the exhibition, at a closing ceremony where the Mashroo3i trophies will be awarded to the best performing teams. In its first edition, the competition, which was launched in February, attracted around 232 male and female student teams. Out of these, 60 teams were shortlisted based on the quality of their business ideas. The teams were assigned mentors from among prominent local business and civil society leaders who provided practical training on preparing their business plans for a period of six weeks, followed by live presentations by each team in front of a panel of expert judges. The judges then selected 25 teams to compete in the final stage and participate in the live exhibition at City Center to promote their ideas to potential customers and investors in a lifelike experience.
Source: TradeArabia News Service
Over 6,000 teaching jobs on offer
The Ministry of Civil Service announced a total of 6,166 jobs for Saudi men in the education sector. The ministry will offer the jobs in cooperation with the Ministry of Education. The vacancies included 1,700 teaching jobs at elementary level, 3,464 at intermediate and secondary levels, 752 in the special education sector and 250 vacancies for laboratory staff. The ministry urged qualified Saudi nationals to submit their applications for these jobs. Holders of university degrees, those who have obtained degrees from colleges of education as well as laboratory diploma holders can apply for the job. Those who had registered earlier should visit the ministry's website to update their profile by adding required information, the ministry said, adding those who have so far not registered should do so quickly. The ministry's statement said that it started appointment procedures after reporting these vacancies. The statement added: "Those who fulfill the conditions and criteria will be appointed and it will be on the basis of an evaluation test plus their academic excellence."
Source: Arab News