Published on 23 Oct 2013
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This inaugural Higher Education Leadership Forum organized by the Center for Learning Innovations and Customized Knowledge Solutions (CLICKS) in partnership with ICDE, the Association of Arab Universities and the UT Global Initiative was held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates earlier this month. ICDE Secretary General Gard Titlestad spoke on The Future of Higher Education and the Future of Learning at the Forum which also saw the launch of the MENA Association of University Presidents.
Seven keynote addresses were given including byJulie K. Little of Educause, David Baker, formerly with the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC), UK, Nadia Badrawi, President of the Arab Network for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ANQAHE), Egypt, and Gard Titlestad, Secretary General of ICDE who spoke on The Future of Higher Education, the Future of Learning.
Interactive panel discussions were held on globalization and internationalization of higher education and on quality, accreditation and accountability of HE. In addition, over25 institutional best practices were presented and workshops organized by the Higher Education Academy in the UK on strategies for teaching and learning and by the university of Texas at Austin on Strategic Planning in Higher Education
A closed meeting of university presidents worked to collectively address challenges association to quality and accreditation, governance and excellence in teaching and learning and to define strategies and action plans that support the advancement of Higher Education in these core areas within their respective institutions, countries and regions.
Narimane Hadj-Hamou, CEO of CLICKS commented that "I overall think the forum was successful with debating latest trends and issues dealing with HE in the MENA region, including the issue of quality and accreditation, the lack of research focus in our Higher education institutions, the aspect of technology integration and its implication and consequences".
Gard Titlestad praised the initiative; "I was very impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication from the organizers, many of the speakers and participants for developing the higher education collaboration in the MENA region, I feel this is a very promising start on a long term collaborative effort."
MENA Association of University Presidents established
The MENA Association of University Presidents was launched at the opening ceremony of the Forum with 17 founding members representing 10 different Arab Countries. Universities represented here include the American University of Sharjah in the UAE; Middle East University in Jordan; Abu Dhabi University in the UAE; Birzeit University in Palestine; Sharqiya University in the Sultanate of Oman; Al Akhawayn University in Morocco;and the Gulf University for Science and Technology in Kuwait.
The Association aims to advance Higher Education in the MENA region through establishing a dynamic network of university leaders that influences policy making, proposes and debates new and innovative ideas, addresses emerging issues and trends pertinent to quality, governance, access, technology, research and learning outcomes and promotes collaboration, community building and the sharing of experiences.
Bank signs new co-financing agreement with the Arab Trade Financing Program
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is supporting the expansion of intra-regional trade in the Arab countries by teaming up with the Arab Trade Financing Program (ATFP).
Under an agreement signed today, the ATFP will be able to co-finance with the EBRD in a selected number of issuing banks under the EBRD’s Trade Facilitation Programme (TFP) in Egypt and other SEMED countries. Guarantees will be issued to confirming banks involved in cross-border transactions supporting their payment obligations, thus expanding their capacity to engage in intra-regional trade and subsequently increasing the trade finance availability for local companies in Egypt and other Arab countries.
EBRD President Sir Suma Chakrabarti signed the agreement and said: “We are very pleased to welcome the ATFP as a partner of the EBRD’s TFP. This will undoubtedly help to extend support to local clients to promote intra-regional trade flows. Increasing trade will contribute to the overall economic growth in North Africa and the Arab countries.”
Dr. Abdulrahman A. Al Hamidy, Chief Executive Chairman of the Board of the ATFP, added: “The EBRD is a pioneer in trade financing with its Trade Facilitation Programme. Through our agreement we will be able to enlarge our product range and guarantee the obligations of national banking institutions in their trade finance operations.”
Launched in 1999, the TFP aims to promote foreign trade to, from and among the EBRD’s countries of operations. Under the Programme, the EBRD not only provides guarantees to international confirming banks, but also grants short-term loans to select banks and factoring companies for on-lending to local exporters, importers and distributors.
The TFP currently includes over 100 partner banks in 23 countries where the Bank invests, with limits exceeding €1.5 billion in total, and more than 800 confirming banks worldwide.
To date, the EBRD has committed €742 million across 23 projects in Egypt in various sectors. Under the EBRD’s Small Business Support programme, the Bank has also supported 185 technical assistance and capacity-building projects, which directly benefit small and medium-sized enterprises in Egypt.
Universities in the Middle East and Africa have begun to make their mark on the overall QS World University Rankings in the last two years. But they are finding it harder to break through in the subject rankings.
Although the QS World University Rankings by Subject have now been extended to cover 30 major subjects, with the addition of agriculture and forestry this year, many of the same universities dominate across the board. With some of the most successful institutions appearing in 20 or more subject rankings, it can be just as difficult to break into the top 200 for a single subject as it is to register in international comparisons of whole universities.
Only 22 African and Middle Eastern universities appear in the subject rankings, although this is more than in previous years. In 2011, when the subject rankings were launched, just 16 made the top 200 in any subject.
Narrow representation for African & Middle Eastern universities
This year’s 22 African and Middle Eastern entries come from just eight countries, of which only South Africaand Egypt are on the continent of Africa. Israel and South Africa are by far the most successful countries, each with five universities in the rankings. Israel appears in 25 different subjects, and South Africa in 20.Turkey and Saudi Arabia are next, each with three universities appearing in 13 and eight rankings respectively.
The other African and Middle Eastern countries featured in the rankings are: the United Arab Emirates, with the American University of Sharjah rated in the world’s top 200 universities for English language and literature for the first time; Jordan, where Yarmouk University maintains its place in the modern languages ranking; and Iran, which saw Tehran University enter the top 200 universities for statistics.
The top position for the region in any subject was the University of Cape Town’s 32nd place in the education ranking, moving up from the 51-100 range last year. UCT achieved by far the best results in Africa, also holding onto a position in the top 100 for law and moving back into the top 100 for psychology after slipping out last year.
Highlighting strengths and weaknesses in the region
Perhaps the greatest improvement is that achieved by Turkey’s Middle East Technical University, which did not appear at all in the 2011 subject rankings. The university, which is based in Ankara and also has a campus in Northern Cyprus, now features in six of the subject rankings and is ranked within the top 100 universities in the world for civil engineering.
The Hebrew University, in Jerusalem, is another star performer, appearing in the top 200 in 20 different subjects. Its best result was a top-100 finish in the earth sciences ranking, in which Tel Aviv University also featured in the top 150.
The rankings expose the strengths and weaknesses of the region. Although only accounting and finance had no universities from the Middle East and Africa in the top 200, several subjects had only one or two representatives from the region.
Saudi universities remained strong in the engineering rankings, although the country’s best results wereKing Saud University’s top 100 position for both education and modern languages. South Africa featured strongly in the arts and social sciences rankings, but (like the rest of Africa) the country’s universities were largely absent from the rankings for engineering and technology subjects.
- See the QS World University Rankings by Subject in full >
- Get more detail with the individual country reports >
Sign up and take part in free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) which are being offered in a range of different subjects, from Blended Learning to Learning Design. The courses are offered in multiple languages and provide online and easy-to-access learning opportunities that are open to all learners.
These MOOCs, lasting between 6 and 8 weeks, are all offered by the new European Multiple MOOC Aggregator (EMMA) which brings together leading university partners.
Posted on October 27, 2014
Last week, I gave a presentation at the Westminster Higher Education Forum Keynote Seminar, where I explored the opportunities MOOCs provide for UK universities to develop their brand internationally and to expand their international market through online learning.
This diagram illustrates how MOOCs may offer a low-cost, flexible alternative for those ‘glocal‘ students, who choose to study in universities in their home countries but also gain an international experience (something that is highly valued) through studying courses online (MOOCs, the OU’s OpenLeran, etc.) that are integrated into their own university curriculum.
For institutions providing the free content, these courses can help universities to market their higher degree programmes and recruit new students who are better prepared to study on-campus in the UK, or through fully online degrees without leaving their own countries.
The Uncertain Future for Universities
Published on Jun 4, 2013
[This video presented by Mike Greer, The Best Free Training website: http://www.bestfreetraining.net ]
This is a video tour of "Alison: A New World of Free Certified Learning." Alison is simply amazing! It provides 500 free courses, 60 million free lessons, over 4 million hours of study, as well as diplomas, certifications, teacher/supervisor tracking tools, and more.
From the website: "ALISON is the world's leading free online learning resource for basic and essential workplace skills. ALISON provides high-quality, engaging, interactive multimedia courseware for certification and standards-based learning.... The mission of ALISON is to enable anyone, anywhere, to educate themselves for free via interactive, self-paced multimedia. It is our belief that through ALISON, the cost of access to high-quality education can be removed....Through the ALISON learning platform we can assist people around the world in educating themselves, thereby creating a more equitable and sustainable global society."
(For more reviews of great free training and education resources, visit The Best Free Training website, http://www.bestfreetraining.net or watch the YouTube Tour here: http://youtu.be/QLche6io7Ew ) -- Or visit Mike Greer's WORTH SHARING at http://worth-sharing.net
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Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) have opened new doors for free online learning that lends itself well to ICT-related subjects. Meanwhile, employers seek candidates with relevant web skills. The Supply and Demand of MOOCs Infographic shows what skills are most in demand and what MOOCs are available that teach those skills, based on the results of a study conducted by the European Commission.
Top skills employers are looking for:
- Web and app design
- Domain-specific skills
- Programming languages
Top skills students want to learn:
- Web design
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