Bulletin: Zayed U. to Attend Higher Ed Expos, Princess Noura U. Seeks to Boost Female Students’ Skills

Communication and Higher Education

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

In our higher education-focused media coverage, we face some challenges to bring you stories that meet your actual needs and follow proper media professional standards and ethics.

Credibility is one of the most prominent media standards. It entails the provision of sound, documented information from authentic sources.

An authentic source is a person identified by name and title, and a direct party to the issue being published. Therefore, ministers of higher education, university presidents, and college deans are among the most authentic sources for our work.

Communication between the media and institutions of higher education is a cornerstone in informing the public about developments in this important sector. However, communicators in higher education institutions must have very special specifications. We will continue to explore this concept together in future editions of this bulletin. 

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

News from the Region

Zayed University Sends Recruiters to Multiple Education Fairs 

Zayed University, in Dubai, will participate in international education fairs across the United Arab Emirates this month as it launches its 2024 student recruitment initiatives.

According to the Emirates News Agency (WAM), members of Zayed University’s admissions team will attend the Najah Expo in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi; the UAE Education Fair, run by Times Higher Education, in Abu Dhabi and Dubai; and the International Education Show, in Sharjah.

Among the degree programmes the recruiters will be promoting are four in the university’s College of Interdisciplinary Studies: business transformation, computational systems, social innovation, and sustainability. Each of these programmes has a range of specialisations and is structured in a way that allows students to gain broad knowledge and skills, along with subject-matter expertise.

The university also offers a number of popular arts programmes through its College of Arts and Creative Enterprises. These include animation design, graphic design, interior design, visual arts, and multimedia design.

U. of Jordan, World Bank Discuss Cooperation

Leaders of the University of Jordan met with Jamil Salmi, a higher education expert with the World Bank, on Sunday to discuss opportunities for cooperation and mechanisms for improving Jordan’s higher education institutions and raising their efficiency to reach sustainability.

According to an official statement, the two sides discussed the challenges facing the university, which include financial challenges, the large number of students, and old buildings. The university’s president, Nathir Obeidat, stressed the need for independence in decision-making as the university seeks to achieve stability and build distinctive competencies locally, regionally, and globally, in order to contribute to national and humanitarian development goals.

Salmi said the World Bank wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the challenges facing Jordan’s educational system, as part of the bank’s efforts to support the Jordanian government’s efforts to reform the educational system.

Bulletin: Zayed U. to Attend Higher Ed Expos, Princess Noura U. Seeks to Boost Female Students’ Skills
University of Jordan officials discuss the challenges of higher education with a representative of the World Bank (the university).

‘Somouq’ Programme at Princess Noura University Boosts Women’s Skills 

More than 15,000 female students at Princess Nourah bint Abdul Rahman University have benefited from a programme that seeks to enhance the role of female students in society by developing their skills in areas like problem solving, critical thinking, and communication, the university announced.

According to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the programme, known as “Somouq”, comes in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan for social and economic reform. The programme focuses on building human capabilities through the continuous development of basic and future skills needed in the workforce of the future.

The programme offers more than a thousand activities, targeting 35 skills and values, and more than 100 metrics to measure female students’ progress.

Palestine Mourns University Student Slain by Israeli Occupation

Palestine’s Minister of Higher Education, Mahmoud Abu Mwais, mourned the death of a student at Palestine Technical University–Kadoorie who was shot dead last week by Israeli occupation forces in the town of Huwara in the West Bank.  The student, Labib Muhammad Labib Dhmaidi, was majoring in graphic design.

In a Facebook statement, Abu Mwais said that Dhmaidi’s killing was “a new crime added to the series of crimes of the occupation, which is committed to killing, destruction, and heinous crimes, disregarding all human and moral norms and conventions.” The minister called humanitarian, human-rights and media institutions and all free people in the world to urgently intervene “to stop this ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people.”

Egyptian Teaching Hospital Performs Advanced Brain Surgery

A neurosurgical team at Tanta University’s International Teaching Hospital successfully performed an advanced surgery to alleviate movement disability symptoms of a patient who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education announced.

The ministry said the team performed a 12-hour surgery to install a deep-brain stimulation device in the lower thalamus of a 50-year-old woman who has been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for eight years. The patient had not been responding to medication. The statement said the surgery enabled her to move normally.

From Al-Fanar Media:

Arab Families and Foundations that Give Scholarships

Many prominent Arab families and foundations are among the donor institutions that provide scholarships to Arab undergraduate and graduate students. Al-Fanar Media takes a look at some of the major contributors in this area. Explore more in this article

Nobel Prizes

Chemistry Laureate Failed His First Chemistry Exam in University

When the Nobel Prizes are announced each year, many university students have an idealised picture of the winners’ careers, yet most laureates refer to the troubles they have had to overcome and the perseverance that required.

Moungi Bawendi, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-winner of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, is no exception. After the award was announced on October 4, the American scientist with French and Tunisian roots recounted how he had failed his first chemistry exam at university. The incident “could have destroyed him”, Bawendi said, but instead taught him a lesson in perseverance. Learn more in this article.

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

News that the Norwegian writer Jon Fosse had won the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature drew a mix of responses in the Arab literary world.

Dar Al Karma, an Egyptian publishing house that has issued Arabic translations of two of Fosse’s novels, praised him as “the new Ibsen”, while an Iraqi novelist in exile in Norway expressed dismay that the award had gone to a writer of “domestic literature” who “has no position on wars, global violence, or the oppression of peoples”.

For the Lebanese critic and poet Nabil Mamlouk, Fosse’s win was an occasion to renew some long-standing questions: “How is the winner chosen? Are the world’s readers implicitly consulted? To what extent do the award criteria represent the taste and art of reading?” Read more about the prize and Arab responses here.


Pen, Paper and Print: Some Advantages of Low-Tech Teaching

The Covid-19 pandemic provided a learning experience in educational technology for university lecturers around the globe, as universities acquired new tools for online learning. With the return to in-person instruction, however, many also gained a new appreciation for old-fashioned classroom materials. Jörg Matthias Determann, who teaches history at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, writes about his experience in a commentary for Al-Fanar Media. Read more here


American University in Cairo’s President: We Need the Humanities to Solve Today’s Problems

In a rapidly changing world faced with critical environmental and socio-economic challenges, Ahmad Dallal, president the American University in Cairo, sees interdisciplinary research and the liberal arts as essential in higher education’s response to our most urgent crises. In an interview with Al-Fanar Media, Dallal talked about the need for universities to rethink academic programmes, better prepare graduates to meet the labour market’s needs, and focus on interdisciplinary collaboration to solve current problems. Check more in this interview


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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