Published on Jul 6, 2012
Education For Employment (EFE) helps young women and men across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by providing the training and opportunities they need to develop their professional skills, build social capital, engage in their communities and participate in their economies by securing a job or starting a business.
Through our regional reach, thought leadership, and partnerships that bridge the divide between the private sector and educational institutions, EFE is also working to enhance how educational institutions prepare youth for the workforce, and to change attitudes of educators, youth and employers.
In 2012, filmmakers traveled to EFE affiliates in Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Morocco and Yemen to capture the faces and voices of our alumni, employer partners, and leaders.
See how EFE is transforming lives and strengthening businesses across MENA through youth economic opportunity.
www.efe.org | Building Futures
Share this video and subscribe to EFE's Youtube channel for frequent updates on our training programs for youth employment throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
Follow us on Twitter at @EFE_Global
To donate to EFE, please visit: http://efe.org/make-a-difference/make...
For more info on the EFE Network, please visit: http://efe.org/our-network/network-re...
- Standard YouTube License
Today we present our exclusive interview with Dr Derar Bal’awi, Regional Director for the MENA Region at International Group for Educational Consultancy (IGEC) based in Saudi Arabia.
We discuss the popular KASP scholarship programme, as well as the KASPTT, which focuses on the vocational sector. In addition, Dr Bal’awi shares his insights on the Arab Spring’s impact on student mobility, as well as the importance of online learning in the Middle East and North Africa. Watch our video and continue reading below.
King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP)
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Scholarship Program (KASP) will run through 2020, sources have confirmed. The Saudi government invests a hefty 9 billion SAR (approximately 1.782 billion EUR) in the programme each year, and this provides full funding for nearly 130,400 students – for bachelors, masters and doctorate programmes abroad. At present, the undergraduate fields of study are limited to medicine, medical science and health sciences; however, more options exist for graduate studies.
Dr Bal’awi discusses the criteria the Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) sets for institutions looking to qualify to receive Saudi students, such as:
- quality of education
- professional, national accreditation
- ratio between local vs. international students
- admission requirements
- personal relationships
Dr Bal’awi highlights the importance of this last point:
“In addition to the criteria, the educational provider is recommended to come to Saudi Arabia and meet with the MOHE because this will actually enhance the process of accreditation.”
King Abdullah Scholarship Program for Technical Trainers (KASPTT)
In addition to the MOHE supervised scholarships, the Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) administers KASPTT. This programme targets graduates from colleges of technology and higher technical institutions.
When speaking about the KASPTT conditions, Dr Bal’awi explains:
“TVTC gives non-engineering students two years to complete their bachelors degree: it’s a 2+2 programme. However, engineering students are given 2.5 years to complete their bachelors degree, so it’s a 2+2.5 year programme.”
The fields of study/training are:
- Electrical Technology
- Computer Technology
- Civil and Architectural Technology
- Chemical Technology
- Environmental Technology
- Management Technology
- Food Technology
- Travel & Tourism Technology
- Ornaments/Jewellery design and manufacture
Destinations and student mobility
In terms of destinations for Saudi students, the reasons behind the students’ preferences for the US, Canada, the UK and Australia include:
- Academic excellence
- Variety of educational opportunities
- Cutting-edge technology
- Campus life experience
- Strong ties with Saudi Arabia
Editor's note: Each month, Inside the Middle East takes you behind the headlines to see a different side of this diverse region.
(CNN) -- In nearly two thirds of Middle Eastern countries, there are more women than men in university, according to United Nations statistics.
This is a giant step towards -- and in many cases beyond -- one of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals: to eliminate gender disparity in all levels of education by 2015.
While most women's rights campaigners welcome the progress in education, many are concerned it does not translate into greater equality in the workplace.
"The gender gap has been closed in education in many Arab countries, which is a big achievement of recent years," said Dima Dabbous-Sensenig, Director of the Institute for Women's Studies in the Arab World at the Lebanese American University.
"It's very recent," she added. "Even in the 1990s there was a big gender gap in education. However, there's a paradox that we have a lot of women getting a higher education and they are still too absent from the workforce and politics.
Mobile Learning in the Middle East Infographic
For 30 years, from 1960 to 1990, the Middle East experienced a staggering growth rate due to the huge rise in the price of oil. The wealth derived from this unprecedented growth was channeled into improving the quality of life in the region, turning it into the must-go place for business and travel.
Unfortunately this kind of growth cannot be supported indefinitely. As a reaction to the current global economic crisis, organizations in the Middle East have been pushing professional training as a key factor to ensure continued success in the region and outside of it. At the same time we’ve seen a rise in the importance of mobile devices in our daily lives. The two combined means a substantial effort has been put into elearning, and mobile learning (mlearning) programs.
In order to give you an overview of the mobile learning market in the Middle East we present you with some essential numbers in this infographic:
- July 2013
73% of all phones in the UAE were smartphones (TradeArabia News Service). This represents the highest smartphone penetration rate in the world
- In 2014, eMarketer estimated that approximately 94% of Internet users in the region will go online via a mobile device at least once per month.
- Mobile retail revenue will grow from USD 50.4 billion in 2013 to USD 59.1 billion in 2018.
Middle East Mobile Learning
- Mobile learning growth rate 18.4%
- Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Qatar, Jordan and Kuwait have growth rates over 50%
- In the mobile learning market, telecoms have a major advantage due to their billing capabilities
- In most countries in the region, countrywide academic content digitization efforts are underway
- Academia: preference for m-learning over e-learning is increasing
- Major catalyst: government mandates designed to increase English proficiency