Monitoring Quality in Arab Higher Education

This resource, developed by Al-Fanar Media, provides detailed, country-specific information about how the quality of higher-education institutions is regulated and monitored in the Arab world.  This resource is an ongoing project that currently includes information for 17 countries. Information for additional countries will be added as it is collected, and existing information will be updated regularly.

Related Article: “How Arab Countries Regulate Quality in Higher Education”Please use the clickable, interactive map or the list of countries below to see reports for individual countries.

Learn more about how the research for this project is being conducted.


List of Countries:


Project Details

This project is an attempt to make clear who is responsible for the quality of higher education in each Arab country and what the guidelines and laws are that regulate the quality of higher education in each country.  We assigned journalists in each country to submit a standard set of questions to officials to determine the following:

  • What government agency licenses universities and allows them to open, and what requirements does a university need to meet in order to open?
  • Once a university is open, what agency, if any, follows up to check on the quality of instruction, facilities, and student services that the university offers? If an agency does such quality assurance, how does it perform its tasks, and what sort of examination does it conduct? What information does it ask for?

We have also looked at laws and regulations and conducted interviews to learn which countries have safeguards in place that prevent the government officials who regulate higher education, particularly private institutions, from investing in them.  Investing in an industry that one regulates violates international standards of conflict of interest and risks a situation in which a government official might lower quality standards in order to protect personal investments. Thus far we have found that few Arab countries have legal safeguards to prevent conflict of interest.

We hope this resource can inform policymakers and education scholars about how Arab countries regulate the quality of higher education and, ultimately, encourage and support the improvement of those regulations and the quality of higher education in the region.

Our goal is to eventually include all 22 of the countries of the Arab League in this resource. This will be an ongoing effort. In some cases, government officials did not respond to repeated phone calls, e-mails, and personal visits. In a few cases, we did not have a journalist in the relevant country, and in a very few countries, either no true higher education exists or no regulation of it exists at all. We welcome suggestions about how we can improve our work on this topic, as well as additional information we should consider adding.

The following correspondents contributed to this work: Tarek Abd El-Galil for Egypt and Libya; Asma’ Jawabreh for Palestine; Tasneem Mohammed for Sudan; Khaoula Sliti for Tunisia; Mokhtar Al Ibrahim for Syria; Eman Kamel for Qatar; Samar Qaed for Yemen; Islam Alzeny for Bahrain; Toufik Bougaada for Algeria; Gilgamesh Nabeel for Turkey; Saba Abu Farha for Jordan; Aisha Algayar for Kuwait; Habib Battah for Lebanon; Melanie Swan for the United Arab Emirates; Ibtissame Berrado for Morocco; Doreen Ajiambo and Ameen Auwalii for Somalia.

We also have a list of Arab universities that have received international accreditation from respected agencies, which can be accessed here.