Universities Are Gateway to Human Integration
In our news bulletin, Al-Fanar Media brings you our most prominent stories and news of higher education in the Arab world, as well as our selections of opinions and culture articles.
Today, our world faces common crises, including the impact of climate change, wars, and economic conditions. Our problems are no longer local or regional, but rather global.
Global problems cannot be dealt with from a local perspective. They need real international cooperation, in which scientific research plays a cornerstone. Therefore, it is no longer strange to find cooperation between Arab and European universities across the Mediterranean to seek new approaches to issues like migration and the problems faced by refugees, or the impact of climate change.
Universities are not just centres of knowledge and scientific research, but huge gateways to human integration. This requires graduates with international credentials, who knows the needs of this world and the sources of its suffering, and realise their roles in alleviating those pains or adapting to their consequences.
Al-Fanar Media editor-in-chief
News from the Region:
Libyan Universities Welcome Students in the New Academic Year
On Sunday, Libyan universities launched a new academic year amid hopes that the country can overcome the political instability that has afflicted the nation since 2011, affecting the chances of thousands of students to complete their higher education.
In a statement welcoming university students, professors and administrators back to campus, Omran Al-Qeeb, the minister of higher education and scientific research of the Tripoli-based Government of National Unity, expressed hope that the new academic year would be a distinguished one after government efforts to carry out urgent maintenance at most universities and supply modern laboratories needed by students.
The Government of National Unity has gained international acceptance but is challenged by the presence of a rival government based in eastern Libya and numerous armed militias, contributing to a decade of civil strife. The United Nations has urged all factions to resolve election-related issues so that long-delayed voting can take place to produce a unified authority.
Iraqi Project Seeks to Develop Graduate Students’ Research Skills
On Saturday, Iraq’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research announced the launch of a project to help graduate students in the sciences develop their research skills.
According to a statement from the Ministry, the Academic Skills Development Programme for Postgraduate Students (ASDPS) will include a series of regular workshops presented by professors with experience in research and publishing, to help students expand their research perceptions, develop their skills in finding solutions to research problems, publish their findings in dissertations and journal articles, and shorten the time needed to complete their research.
Egyptian Forum Connects University Graduates to the Labour Market
On Saturday, Ayman Ashour, Egypt’s minister of higher education and scientific research, inaugurated a Career Day job-recruitment forum as part of the “Be Ready” initiative, which aims to provide an integrated programme that qualifies university students and graduates to enter the labour market.
“Be Ready” was launched this year with support from the U.K.-funded Higher Education Career Guidance and Employability project in Egypt. More than 18,000 students at 20 Egyptian universities registered for the initiative, Ashour said in a statement.
He confirmed that the Career Day recruitment forum has yielded more job opportunities in various fields, signaling that the second phase of the initiative’s training programme will be attended by a larger number of companies from the private and banking sectors.
Princess Noura University Holds Workshops on Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Saudi Arabia’s Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University organised workshops to give students the opportunity to transform creative ideas and entrepreneurial projects into real job opportunities.
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the topics covered by the workshops included digital marketing, how to reach customers, and 3D printing skills and uses. Another workshop focused on design thinking skills, steps to develop products and services, design services, and provide a realistic application that meets the needs of the labour market.
Sharjah Narrator Forum to Focus on ‘Plant Tales’
The Sharjah Institute for Heritage has announced that the 23rd Sharjah International Narrator Forum will take place at Expo Centre Sharjah from September 18 to 20 with the theme “Plant Tales”. Some 120 researchers, academics, and storytellers from more than 47 countries will attend, according to the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
The narrator forum celebrates storytellers as “living human treasures” who preserve cultural heritage. The focus on plants this year will explore their heritage of the Emirates, their representation in literature, and their uses in medicine, decoration, and trade.
Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Almusallam, chairman of the Sharjah Institute for Heritage, said that besides presenting the Sharjah International Storyteller Award, the forum will offer 50 workshops, including one organised by Unesco to train new facilitators in the field of cultural heritage.
Suggested Al-Fanar Media Stories:
The European Union’s Erasmus+ programme is well-known for giving international students a chance to pursue degrees at European universities, but it also has many lesser-known mobility and cooperation programmes that go far beyond higher education. Both individuals and organisations can participate in its activities in education, youth events, and sports. Erasmus+ has opportunities for many types of learners, including school pupils, higher-education students and staff members, apprentices, trainees, and adult learners. Read more in this article.
Toronto Metropolitan University–Cairo has halted admissions of new students but has said little about what that means for the 39 students currently enrolled at the campus, which is part of Universities of Canada in Egypt. According to the Toronto Star, the students have been offered the option of completing their studies in Toronto or at alternative institutions in Egypt. But there have been few public communications from university officials in Canada or Egypt. Read more in this article.
Tips and Resources:
Going to university will change students’ lives in ways beyond improving their employment prospects, education experts say. Al-Fanar Media asked a number of educators at universities in various countries about how students can succeed in the university experience and get ready to “make their mark on the world.” Their advice covers a range of topics, including physical and mental well-being, developing communication skills, and building different experiences. Read more in this article.
The emergence of “chatbots” powered by artificial intelligence (AI) are the latest in a long series of technological inventions that have the power to reshape all areas of modern life, including education. The question is, how should educators respond? Explore more in this commentary by two scholars at the Gulf Studies Center at Qatar University.
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:
- Chevening Scholarships for Master’s Degree Study in the U.K.
- DAAD Scholarships for Development-Related Postgraduate Courses (EPOS) in Germany