In our new bulletin, Al-Fanar Media brings you our most prominent stories and news about higher education in the Arab world.
The Israel-Hamas War is in its second week, and Israeli forces continue to attack the Gaza Strip with the heaviest airstrikes seen in decades. Palestinian health authorities say at least 3,000 people in Gaza have been killed, many of them women and children.
The bombing has targeted thousands of residential units, as well as academic, humanitarian and health institutions. Targeting civilians and their opportunities for education is a war crime. This bloodshed must stop immediately.
Al-Fanar Media editor-in-chief
News from the Region:
Education Above All Calls for the Protection of Gaza’s Children
Qatar’s Education Above All Foundation has called for the protection of all children stuck in Gaza during the escalating Israel-Hamas war.
In a statement, the foundation said that before the outbreak of the current warfare, there were already 1.1 million children in the Gaza Strip who needed humanitarian assistance. It said that since the start of new hostilities, 583 children had been killed and 1,901 injured. This figure is expected to rise quickly unless the fighting is brought to an immediate end.
Israel declared war on Hamas after its fighters launched a deadly attack on Israel from Gaza. Since then, Israeli airstrikes have caused massive devastation in Gaza, and Israel has blocked deliveries of food, fuel and humanitarian aid.
Education Above All’s statement said the blockade “poses a threat of famine and makes children vulnerable to hunger. Starving the civilian population is a war crime”.
Engineering Programme at UPEI Cairo Wins Accreditation
The engineering programme at the University of Prince Edward Island in Cairo’s Faculty of Sustainable Design Engineering has received a key endorsement from Egypt’s Syndicate of Engineers, the university announced. The syndicate enlisted UPEI Cairo’s programme under its Division of Mechanical Engineering.
This accreditation represents a “milestone” in the university’s commitment to providing high-quality engineering education, the university said in a statement. With this endorsement, programme graduates are now eligible to become members of the syndicate and get a licence to practice the profession. This will enhance their career prospects inside and outside Egypt.
The UPEI Cairo programme now has triple accreditation and licensing. It had previously obtained recognition of equivalence from Egypt’s Supreme Council of Universities, and the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board’s approval.
U. of Jordan, Canada’s U. of Alberta Sign Cooperation Agreements
The University of Jordan and Canada’s University of Alberta (UAlberta) have signed agreements to set up a framework for developing joint academic activities between the two institutions and to establish a “graduate sponsorship programme” that will allow Jordanian graduate students to study and conduct research at UAlberta, with support provided jointly by both universities.
In a statement, the University of Jordan said potential joint academic activities included
academic exchanges, participation in scientific seminars and conferences, and the establishment of joint academic programmes.
Under the graduate sponsorship programme, the University of Alberta will treat University of Jordan students the same as their Canadian counterparts in terms of providing facilities regarding student fees. The plan will support doctoral students for four years and master’s degree students for two years, while providing a 50-percent discount on fees.
Saudi Academic Workshop on Smart Cities
On Monday, the Centre for Local Administration at Prince Sultan University in Riyadh organised a workshop titled “Towards Smart Sustainable Cities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the workshop aimed to serve as a platform for objective discussion in the presence of decision makers and practitioners, and to exchange expertise on best practices and strategic solutions to enhance the concept of smart cities. The gathering also provided a space to discuss ways of cooperating and building partnerships with other entities to work on enhancing the sustainability of smart cities.
Dubai’s HBMSU to Showcase Smart Learning Innovations at GITEX Expo
Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), in Dubai, will showcase its latest technological innovations and educational platforms that harness the power of smart learning and artificial intelligence (AI) at the 43rd edition of GITEX Global 2023, which is scheduled to be held October 16 to 20 at Dubai World Trade Centre.
In a statement, the university said it will present several groundbreaking digital initiatives and systems, including a “smart building” designed to drive positive educational, social, economic, and environmental transformation at local and international levels. HBMSU will also showcase “H-preneurs”, an integrated platform aimed at empowering and supporting learners in their entrepreneurial endeavours, offering guidance and resources to turn business ideas into startup companies.
HBMSU’s qualitative initiatives include Cloud Campus, a bilingual (Arabic and English) smart educational platform that provides educational and training content with a flexible and interactive methodology.
From Al-Fanar Media:
In an academic first in Egypt, Cairo University has cut its Bachelor of Engineering degree from five years to four, starting this year. The new policy is based on the credit-hour system, meaning engineering majors will be able to graduate once they have completed their academic requirements, instead of having to study a specific number of years.
The policy applies to new students this fall and is not obligatory. Students who prefer the traditional course will be free to continue for five years.
Students and faculty members saw benefits in the change. Ahmed Yehia, a professor of electromechanics in the Faculty of Engineering, said it would shorten students’ time to degree and enable them to continue postgraduate studies more easily afterward. Read more here.
Tips and Resources:
Many Arab students, of all age groups, dream of studying abroad. There are many ways to achieve this dream, but three of the best ways include scholarships, student exchange programmes, and summer internships. In this article, Al-Fanar Media brings you the most important steps you need to explore opportunities and successfully achieve your goal of studying abroad. Besides scholarship advice, we also offer examples of relevant opportunities for cultural exchange, and to enrich young students’ knowledge, skills and experiences through internships abroad.
Art galleries are booming in Gemmayze and Mar Mikhaël, two neighbourhoods that were devasted by the 2020 Beirut port blast. Art lovers who run some of the galleries do not mind that some of the interest is because art is considered one of the few safe places to invest money in a country where many people cannot access their bank savings. Read more in this article.
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. In this essay, an Egyptian academic suggests that readers and researchers can learn from these debates, to understand the importance of maintaining quality standards in scientific publishing, and to move towards best practices for dealing with current and future challenges.
Education has come to a halt in the Gaza Strip and much of Palestine as Israeli forces continue to bombard Gaza in response to the deadly surprise attack that Hamas militants launched on Israel on October 7. Among heavy structural damage in Gaza, several university buildings and other educational facilities have been destroyed.
As the violence has escalated, education in Gaza universities has been suspended, and universities in the West Bank have switched to distance learning. 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.