Newsletter

Bulletin: British University in Egypt Honours Scholarship Winners, Saudi Students Develop AI Research Projects

Stop Graduating Students!

In our new bulletin, Al-Fanar Media brings you a selection of the most prominent news of higher education in the Arab world, as well as some of our own stories, a glimpse of developments in artificial intelligence, news of cultural events, and opinions.

Once, I was invited to attend a university graduation ceremony and unexpectedly asked to address the students and faculty.

“Stop graduating students!” I said these words while sitting in my seat. At that time, I meant that a university graduate at the time was just a student with a degree, unequipped with the skills most wanted in the labour market, including the soft skills needed to deal with others and advance in a career.

Years later, those words may no longer apply. Many Arab universities have adopted a methodology of training students in soft and practical skills needed in the labour market, along with theoretical knowledge.

The graduate is no longer a student with a degree, but a qualified member of the labour market, both locally and globally.

Mohammad El-Hawary
Al-Fanar Media editor-in-chief

News from the Region:

British University in Egypt Offers Scholarships in Economics and Engineering 

At a ceremony this week, the British University in Egypt honoured six high school seniors who have won full scholarships to the university for the 2023–2024 academic year.

According to a statement from the university, the scholarship recipients are enrolling in various majors in the Faculties of Energy and Environmental Engineering; Business Administration, Economics and Political Science; Communication and Mass Media; and the department of Chinese language and culture in the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.

The scholarships exempt the students from tuition fees and grant them a monthly subsistence allowance, as well as free university housing for students residing outside the governorates of Cairo and Giza.

Mohammed Loutfi, president of the university, congratulated the students on behalf of Farida Khamis, chairwoman of the university’s Board of Trustees. Loutfi added that the British University in Egypt awards a large number of full and partial scholarships each year to support outstanding and talented students and prepare them to be leaders of tomorrow.

Tunisia to Send 30 Students to Canada on Research Internships

The Tunisian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced 30 scholarships for engineering students to complete research internships in Canada during the 2023–2024 academic year. The internships are part of a cooperation agreement between the ministry and Mitacs, a Canadian nonprofit organisation that fosters links between the private sector and universities for research collaborations.

In a statement, the ministry said these scholarships will be awarded to third-year students who are enrolled in Tunisian public universities. Students who want to join this programme must submit their requests before September 21. For more details about the application process, visit the ministry’s website here.

Research Competition for Palestinian University Students

Palestine’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has launched a research competition for university students. Supported by the ministry’s Quality Development and Scientific Research Fund, the competition invites universities to nominate students for the best graduation project by an undergraduate and the best master’s thesis by a graduate student.

In a statement, the ministry said the competition aims to encourage scientific research among regular Palestinian university students and raise the quality of research output, which the ministry believes is important to advance progress in Palestinian society.

The deadline for nominations is September 30. Nominations should be sent by e-mail to: [email protected]. For more information, click here.

Saudi University Students Develop Research Projects in AI and Robotics

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) held a cooperative training programme for 24 trainees from several universities in the kingdom, culminating in 12 research projects spanning diverse engineering and scientific fields.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, Mariam Nouh, KACST’s vice president for the future economies sector, said the training was overseen by experts in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics technologies research, advancing the skills of both male and female trainees by making use of KACST’s laboratories and facilities.

The experts provided the students with knowledge in future economy domains such as cybersecurity, smart cities, advanced transportation technologies, earth, and space sciences, along with upcoming communication and sensor technologies.

37 New Faculty Members Join American University of Sharjah

The American University of Sharjah has welcomed 37 distinguished new faculty members for the fall semester. A two-day orientation event in August for the new faculty members covered aspects of innovation in teaching and learning, the university said in a  news release. Other topics discussed included research, interactive teaching, student and faculty engagement, academic support, and sustainability.

The university said the new faculty members bring with them a world-class wealth of knowledge in areas like mathematics and statistics, environmental microbiology, molecular biology and oncology, psychology, sociology, philosophy and critical theory, politics, computer science, cybersecurity, blockchain technology, various engineering disciplines, design, performing arts, and other fields.

An event on innovation in teaching at the American University of Sharjah (The University).

Suggested Reports from Al-Fanar Media: 

Programme Supports Entrepreneurship Development at Egyptian Universities

The RIPPLE Entrepreneurship Centers Development programme was launched this summer to help establish and upgrade entrepreneurship centres at 30 Egyptian universities. USAID, the United States Agency for International Development, is supporting the programme in partnership with the Arab League, Al Ahly National Bank of Egypt, and the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport. Read more in this article.  

Artificial Intelligence:

The Best AI Tools to Help Students with Writing and Research

Artificial intelligence infiltrates nearly every aspect of daily life, including students’ writing and research. Which are the best AI tools that can help students analyse data and research, make predictions based on patterns and trends, and write accurately and well? Al-Fanar Media asked several education technology experts for their suggestions. Read about in this article.

Tips and Resources:  

How University Students Can Improve Their Communication Skills

Workers who can communicate effectively with others are in greater demand than those with digital skills, labour market experts say, but developing students’ communication skills has not been a priority at many academic institutions. Where can students turn to gain skills and confidence in this area?  Al-Fanar Media suggests some resources. Explore more in this article

Culture:  

A Digital Archive Aims to Preserve Traditional Palestinian Embroidery

The Palestinian American entrepreneur Zain Masri created Tirazain, a digital library of traditional Palestinian embroidery, to document, preserve and reclaim a culturally important element of Palestinian heritage. The site honours the generations of Palestinian women who created the 1,000 cross-stitch designs it documents, Masri says. The various motifs and patterns can be searched by theme, colour count, project duration, and origin. Explore more in this article

In Conflict: 

In Lebanon’s Economic Crisis, Nearly Every Student Has to Work to Pay Tuition

Lebanon’s economic crisis is now so bad that practically every student has to work to pay for their education and avoid being a drain on their families. The Lebanese pound has lost more than 95 percent of its value in the last three years, the government is crippled by infighting, and some people have even staged bank robberies to try to access their own savings.

Al-Fanar Media talked with several university students about how they were trying to cover their living expenses while completing their degrees. Read more in this article

Opinion:  

Nurturing Empathy and Solidarity Through Teaching the History of Slavery

One of the greatest benefits of learning about history is the nurturing of empathy for people very different from ourselves, says Jörg Matthias Determann, who teaches history at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar. He believes that trying to understand how humans in distant times and places felt, thought, and acted can help us relate better to others in the present. Read more in this commentary

Scholarships

Al-Fanar Media maintains a database of quality scholarships for Arab students, which we continuously update. You can follow our website to stay up-to-date on the latest scholarships available in international universities. Check the Scholarships section here, and do not miss our constantly updated feedback on free learning opportunities in the News and Reports section, here.

Recent additions to our scholarship database include: 

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