Bulletin: Al-Fanar Media Launches New Podcast; Qatar Conference Explores Entrepreneurship, Sustainability

Al-Fanar Media Podcast

In our new bulletin, Al-Fanar Media brings you the most prominent stories and news about higher education in the Arab world.

Al-Fanar Media seeks to provide you with professional content in a variety of formats that better suit our wide audience inside and outside the Arab world.

Starting on Sunday, October 22, we will launch the Al-Fanar Media Podcast about higher education, scholarships, and labour market needs. It will be broadcast every Sunday on Al-Fanar Media platforms, on SoundCloud, Spotify, and YouTube. It will be available in Arabic.

This new podcast comes after the success of two earlier podcast series, “The Anglo-Arab Voice”, which featured conversations with influential Arabs living in the United Kingdom, and “Student Sowt”, which sought to amplify and support the voices of Arab students.

Al-Fanar Media Podcast is a new venture in a series of services we seek to launch to meet the actual needs of our audience, whom we consider as our compass and the hero of our ongoing success story over the past years.

Subscribe now to listen to our episodes, which can help you chart your educational and career path.

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

News from the Region

Qatar U. Hosts Conference on Entrepreneurship and Sustainability

Qatar University, represented by the College of Business and Economics and the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Organisational Excellence, hosted the sixth Entrepreneurship for Sustainability and Impact (ESI) international conference this week. The three-day conference, which concluded on Thursday, met under the theme “Tackling Grand Challenges for a Sustainable Future” this year. 

In a statement, the university said the ESI conference provides a forum where scholars and practitioners can interact and share ideas for advancing entrepreneurship and organisational excellence research in the region. The conference aims to foster research collaborations among participants in order to develop innovative, sustainable policies for addressing economic, social and environmental challenges.

U. of Jordan Teams with Company on Training for Pharmacy Students

The University of Jordan’s College of Pharmacy signed a memorandum of understanding with Joswe Medical, a Jordanian-Swedish company for medical and sterilisation products, to train and qualify students in administrative, marketing, and organisational skills in Jordan’s pharmaceutical market.

In a statement, the university said the agreement provides for a number of Doctor of Pharmacy students to receive training in various departments of the company before they graduate. The university will appoint a coordinator to follow up on students’ progress during their internships. The dean of the college, Rula Darwish, said the agreement enhances the university’s partnerships with the private sector to provide students with opportunities to acquire practical competencies they will need in the labour market.

Bulletin: Al-Fanar Media Launches New Podcast; Qatar Conference Explores Entrepreneurship, Sustainability
Signing a memorandum of understanding to train pharmacy students at the University of Jordan (Photo via the university).

Iraq Opens Applications for Medical Studies in Private Universities

The Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education has opened the application channel for free studies of medical disciplines in private universities and colleges in the 2023–2024 academic year.

In a Facebook statement, the ministry said applicants must be graduates of the biology branch of high school with grades of not less than 95 percent for general medicine, and not less than 93 percent for dentistry and pharmacy. The online registration form is available through the e-portal of the ministry’s Department of Private University Education.

Saudi Arabia Opens New Round of Programme to Identify Gifted Pupils

The King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity (Mawhiba) and its partners—the Ministry of Education, and the Education Evaluation Commission, represented by the “Qiyas” Centre—have opened a new registration period in the National Programme for Gifted Identification, now in its 14th year.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), registration continues until January 15, 2024. The programme aims to discover young pupils gifted in scientific fields. The programme tests pupils in Arabic and English in Qiyas centres across the kingdom. Results will be announced in March.

Dubai Hosts International Exhibition for Educational Supplies and Solutions 

More than 6,000 education experts and learning resource specialists are expected to gather in Dubai for this year’s edition of the Global Educational Supplies and Solutions exhibition and conference (GESS Dubai 2023).

According to Tarsus Group, the event’s organiser, the exhibition will connect key industry stakeholders with tools, insights, and partnership opportunities that seek to meet the needs of international schools across the region. A conference running alongside the exhibition will feature seminars, case studies, workshops, and panel discussions.The event will be held October 30 to November 1 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Exhibitors include educational suppliers and solution providers from 40 countries representing over 350 brands of products designed to meet the needs of modern classrooms and transform the way students learn. The exhibition and conference are free to attend. You can find more details and register here.

From Al-Fanar Media

223 Arab Universities Make It into QS’s Regional Ranking for 2024

In the largest list so far, 223 Arab universities across 18 countries are compared in the 2024 edition of the QS Arab Region University Rankings, 24 universities more than last year. Egypt is the most represented country in this year’s regional rankings, with 36 listed universities. Saudi Arabia is next with 34, including the top-ranked King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

The classification, published on October 18 by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, evaluated the institutions based on 10 indicators. The factors given the most are two reputational surveys, one of academics and one of employers. Other indicators include measures of research prowess, teaching resources, and internationalisation. Read more in this article

Tips and Resources: 

Help Create a Better World: A Guide to International Opportunities for Students

University life is a time rich in opportunities for students who aspire to be global changemakers and help create a better world. Several international organisations sponsor activities that students around the world, including in the Arab region, can join as volunteers, teachers, or social innovators and entrepreneurs. In this article, Al-Fanar Media presents a short list of four such organisations.


Arab Writers React with Praise, Scorn as Nobel in Literature Goes to Norwegian

In the Arab literary world, news that the Norwegian writer Jon Fosse had won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature drew a mix of responses ranging from praise to curiosity to outright scorn.

Dar Al Karma, an Egyptian publishing house that has issued Arabic translations of two of Fosse’s novels, praised Fosse as “the new Ibsen”, but others were less positive. The Lebanese critic and poet Nabil Mamlouk said the prize raised anew the perennial question of how the winner is chosen, and the Iraqi novelist Azher Jirjees, who lives in exile in Norway, deplored the choice of Fosse. Jirjees criticised Fosse as a writer of “domestic literature” who ignores wars and violence and “stuffs his ears with dough against the screams of the oppressed.” Read more in this article


Academic Publishing Faces Challenges in Era of Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence

Academic publishing is coming under mounting challenges from controversies over the use of artificial intelligence in the article-review process and political claims of bias in climate-change research. Both researchers and editors at prestigious scientific journals are engaged in ongoing debates about these challenges.

For the Egyptian academic Tarek Kapiel, these discussions represent an opportunity for readers and researchers to gain understanding of the challenges and move towards best practices in publishing research for dealing with them. Read more in his essay for Al-Fanar Media. 

In Conflict: 

Amid War in Gaza, Book about Palestinian History Becomes a Best-Seller

With Israel and Hamas at war in Gaza, books about the Palestinian issue and its history are in demand. One best-seller, the Palestinian academic and historian Nur Masalha’s “Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History”, argues that there is an urgent need to teach a history of the land and its people that is based on facts, not myths.

Masalha’s book—published in English in 2018 and in Arabic in 2019—explores Palestine’s history, identity, and cultures from the Late Bronze Age until the modern era. The author hopes it “challenges the colonial approach to Palestine and the malicious myth of a land without a people.” Read more in this article


Al-Fanar Media maintains a database of quality scholarships available to Arab students, which we continuously update. To stay up to date on the latest scholarships available in international universities, check the Scholarships section here, and watch for updated feedback on free learning opportunities in our News and Reports section, here.

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