Higher Education News
Was been hosted on a virtual platform under the patronage of the General Secretary of the Association of Arab Universities (AArU) his Excellency Professor Amr Ezzat Salama, in the presence of the Assistant Secretaries General of AArU, Professor Abdelrahim A. Hunaiti and Professor Khemissi Hamidi. In particular, the forum’s program contained global perspectives on higher education, perspectives from different countries on their plans for higher education to meet the aspirations of their visions, while the forum conducted by AArU and organized by Gulf Conferences organization.
On his speech, Professor Amr Ezzat Salama pointed out the challenges that Arab universities are facing such as; most of Arab students enrolled in humanities discipline that approximately 65 percent of them, while the rest enrolled in scientific disciplines. Moreover, most of Arab scientist immigrate to US and Europe, as well as Arab graduate students prefer to stay out of their home-countries. Unfortunately, only 11 Arab universities were ranked in the top 500 universities in the world recently, in 2022 QS ranking. Moreover, Salama mentioned the AArU’s promising projects and strategic academic programs those are in cooperation with many Arabic and global institutions.
Subsequently, this forum will help address policies related to online education by the Ministers of Education and Quality Assurance leaders’ recommendations. Which will be hopefully used in the UNESCO World Higher Education Conference that will be held in the view of the global health crisis and will take place in the middle of 2022.
Hence, it was a great opportunity for leaders of presenting and offering their expertise and insight. For their part, they referred to the experiences of their countries and universities and the challenges they faced during the Corona epidemic.
Pleasurably, the forum VIP guests were included the Ministers of Education of the Arab League and with an expected number of Delegates from 400 universities, such as; Professor Khalid Atef Abdul Ghaffar is the Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Egypt; Professor Omran Al-Qeeb, the minister of higher education and scientific research in Libya; Professor Amal Mint Cheikh Abdallah the Mauritania's minister for higher education and scientific research; Professor Aawatif Hayar the minister of Solidarity, Social Integration and Family; Thafer Y. Assaraira the Chairman of the Higher Education Accreditation and Quality Assurance Commission in Jordan; and Professor Ali Aerjash the Undersecretary Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Yemen.
The Secretary-General of the Association of Arab Universities (AArU), Professor Amr Salama, held a virtual meeting with the Secretaries-General of the scientific medical societies in Arab universities, such as Faculties of Human Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Physiotherapy and Science, in the presence of the Assistant Secretaries General of AArU, Professor Abdelrahim A. Hunaiti and Professor Khemissi Hamidi, as well as the CEO of the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET), Dr. Muhannad Al-Nsour, the Director of IAPH , Dr. Haitham Bashir, and a number of experts and directors of scientific councils at the Academy, such as; Dr. Faris Al-Lami; Dr. Youssef Faoud and Dr. Sheikh Badr.
On his speech, Professor Salama expressed that the AArU interest of developing the skills of applied health societies. Where AArU offers practical training for all faculties of Arab universities by AArU’s experts from various fields. Especially health disciplines, where AArU provides practical training experiences to faculty members in Arab universities; employees and trainees of teaching hospitals, as well as laboratories and university medical centers.
He also expressed that AArU encourages the use of new technologies as well as in training and follow-up whether in the official or private sectors, and then get the resource of required information, which may contribute to shortening time and effort and obtaining more accurate and effective results.
For his part, Dr. Al-Nsour valued the role of the AArU and thanked its team in opening the way for Arab and international institutions and organizations to get benefits from the AArU experiences, where AArU hosts many of the experts and the scientist from Arab universities.
Subsequently, Dr. Al-Nsour gave a brief explanation about IAPH, which is a multi-disciplinary professional development academy for the public health workforce that it is emerged from the EMPHNET. Notably, the aim of establishing IAPH is to provide high-quality education and training for physicians and health sector workers through several practical training programs. In fact, the educational and training programs and courses of IAPH were prepared by more than 75 physicians and scientists from the Mediterranean region and globally. Put sufficiently, there are 70 percent of programs and courses time offered by the Academy is offered practically. More precisely, he explained that these programs and training courses included most of the medical specialties and addressed the training gaps those exist in the health sector. Where several international reports focused on the need for the intensive work to go over these gaps and to rehabilitate health cadres with the best skills and the necessary practical training.
In the discussion webinar, the participants discussed the ways of providing the participants the available programs and training courses in the near future, as a kind of two-ways cooperation.
Under the title “Enhancing Arab Excellence: a new vision for higher education in the region”, a conference was held in the UAE and hosted by Zayed University and Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). At the conference, the QS World University Rankings of Arab Region was announced, while the leaders of higher education in the Arab region discussed the future of higher education in the Arab region and how to prepare students for future jobs.
Notably, the conference had a wide international participation, where a number of heads of Arab and international organizations, universities and quality assurance bodies attended it. In fact, the QS ranking is considered one of the important rankings that has a direct impact on the status and reputation of local and international educational institutions. In more details, the QS ranking is based on the following indicators; Academic Reputation; Employer Reputation; Faculty/Student Ratio; Citations per faculty; International Faculty Ratio; and International Student Ratio.
In his speech, Dr. Amr Salama, the General Secretary of AArU, stated that the world university rankings affect the strategic plans of higher education institutions and their institutional policies. In particular, Dr. Salama pointed out that world university rankings are real triggers for academics and researchers to start new international collaborations, and also they contribute to assisting students and their parents in choosing universities with the best level of study. Moreover, the ranking affected the accreditation, financing, sponsorship and employment decisions.
On the other hand, Dr. Salama pointed out that the current rankings sometimes show an inaccurate picture of the true quality of the universities, due to the following; these rankings are interested in specific types of research, especially medical and natural sciences; they have a lack of fair interest in engineering and social science research; and they almost or totally ignore the humanities publications unless they are in English.
Gladly, Dr. Salama announced that AArU, in cooperation with the Arab League and the Arab Organization for Education and its Sciences (ALECSO), has completed the final stages of the Arab Ranking for universities project, where it will launch its pilot model at the beginning of the next year. In this ranking, accurate international standards and indicators were adopted, taking into account the peculiarities and standards of Arabic and regional societies.
Moreover, Dr. Salama figured out, in his speech, the academic and scientific projects those adopted by AArU such as; Arab Impact Factor; Arab qualifications framework; and Arab Journals Platform. Furthermore, he also mentioned the agreements between AArU and both Elsevier and Coursera, where these agreements show benefiting from their expertise and services in the field of scientific publishing, as well as supporting the academic projects adopted by AArU that serving the Arab education system.
His Excellency Professor Amr Ezzat Salama, Secretary-General of the Association of Arab Universities (AArU), praised the distinguished level and the remarkable technologies of the British University in Egypt (BUE).
On his visit, Professor Salama congratulated Professor Mohamed Loutfi, on his new position as BUE’s President, in the presence of Professor Yehia Bahy El-Din, Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, Professor Leslie Croxford, Vice President for Teaching and Learning and the Deans of BUE’s Colleges .
In his eyes, Professor Salama emphasized that the diversity of the university's disciplines is an important issue, and he mentioned the following disciplines: law; renewable energy; artificial intelligence; and dentistry. Thence, he pointed out the necessity of supporting graduates who have individual learning skills, which effectively helps them to excel, and also it contributes to the development of Egypt.
For his part, Professor Mohamed Loutfi, BUE’s President, welcomed and thanked Professor Salama for his fruitful visit, then he accompanied him on a visit to various places of the university. Subsequently, he referred to the distinguished position of the British University in Egypt, and he presented the university's educational message. Most importantly, BUE is a national university with British expertise, where it promotes the values of science, knowledge and advanced scientific research. Moreover, BUE is developing itself permanently and continuously, and it is also concerned with building characters, and preparing a strong national generation for a brighter future for Egypt.
In particular, Professor Loutfi emphasized that BUE has the first university-linked science park in Egypt called “ BUE-TUS Science and Innovation Park”, where its mission is to create an ecosystem that fosters knowledge-based sciences, innovation and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, BUE has 14 research centers, including most recently the Nanotechnology Research Centre.
Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council in the Association of Arab Universities
Conducted a blended live in-person and virtual training workshop specialized in preparing for The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology ABET entitled “How to Qualify for ABET Accreditation Including Virtual Visit Training
Prof. Dr. Abdelrahim A. Hunaiti, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Association of Arab Universities (AArU) and the Director of the Quality Assurance and Accreditation Council, said in his opening speech Participants from all Arab universities now have the ability to attend this workshop virtually through our new virtual learning environments. The blended-workshop was held in-person in the headquarters of the General Secretariat of AArU for the participant’s resident in Jordan and virtually for participants from outside Jordan, which is our first experience in holding a blended-workshop. Prof. Dr. Hunaiti welcome all workshop participants especially his Excellency the Secretary-General, Prof. Dr. Amr Ezzat Salama who attended virtually, the Assistant Secretary-General, Prof. Dr. Khemissi Hamidi, the ABET expert workshop instructors Prof. Dr. Adnan Nayfeh and Prof. Dr. Mansour Almatarneh. Moreover Prof. Hunaiti encouraged all Arab universities to seek international accreditation such as ABET accreditation for their academic programs to improve the quality of higher education programs. By studying in an internationally accredited Program, students gain a foundation of education that meets global standards, in accordance with the development of science and technology, strong in supporting career and professional success, and wider employment opportunities.
In his conclusion remarks prof. Hunaiti, explained that this blended-workshop is held according to the Council's plan that aims to help Arab universities to upgrade their academic programs, along with a series of qualifying workshops to help universities obtain other international accreditations.
On the other hand, the international expert, Dr. Adnan Nayfeh, presented valuable lectures for the detail procedural steps and processes that must be followed in preparing for ABET accreditation. Extensively, he mentioned the process of preparing the internal auditing references, and the way of preparing the necessary data and information according to the accreditation requirements. determine the time required to implement the accreditation stages; review the data and statistics available on the academic program of the college periodically; prepare an exact timetable for the official working plans in preparing the scientific material from the first day of their work; and convert paper work into computerized digital work.
Form his side, the international expert and the accredited resident of ABET. Mansour Almatarneh, presented a valuable step by step about the newly adapted work of the visits virtually and virtual assessment that ABET adopts due to the conditions imposed by COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, the workshop was attended by a number of academics from various Arab universities such as Jordan; Egypt; Saudi Arabia; Iraq; Lebanon; Oman; Somalia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Director of Public Administration in the Association of Arab Universities (AArU), Mrs. Lina Al-Bitar, participated in the first meeting of Arab Associations experts in the League of Arab States qualitative and specialized, which was held from October 1st to 2nd, 2021 in the city of Sharjah. At the kind invitation of his Excellency Dr. Ahmed Al-Jarwan, who is the Chairman of the General Union of Arab Experts, President of the Executive Office of the Forum of Arab Federations in the League of Arab States, and the President of the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace.
In fact, the aim of this meeting is for strengthening the relationship between experts and representatives of Associations that to unify their efforts, to support working in the process of joint Arab action, and also to share their experiences and interests. Thus, they will develop visions and implement plans for cooperation and partnership mechanisms, and also they will work on organizing joint events between Associations.
In his welcoming speech, Dr. Al-Jarwan expressed his thanks for the intensive work of the experts and the representatives of Arab Associations and their cooperation for the benefit and interests of the Arab people. Subsequently, he motivated the attendees to work together to unify and integrate efforts in their specialized areas of expertise in order to come up with initiatives that enhance joint Arab action with the aim of supporting development and prosperity in the Arab world.
Mrs. Lina Al-Bitar, the representative of AArU, presented an introductory overview of the most prominent activities of AArU and its most important projects. Hence, she pointed out the ways to activate cooperation between AArU and the General Union of Arab Experts in the areas of scientific research. Moreover, she mentioned the role of AArU in providing the General Union of Arab Experts with specialized experts in all disciplines from Arab universities those are members in AArU, and also the desire of AArU to cooperate with specialized Arab Associations.
Moreover, the representative of the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States, Professor Samar Ahmed, who is responsible for the activities and programs of specialized Arab organizations and societies, and the experts and the representatives of Arab Associations participated in the meeting.
The Secretary-General of the Association of Arab Universities (AArU), Dr. Amr Ezzat Salama, chaired the Third International Conference for the affiliated Quality Assurance Administrations Associations of AArU that entitled as “Digitalization and Quality Assurance of Higher Education”, which held in the University of Sadat City under the auspices of Dr. Khaled Abdul-Ghaffar Minister of Higher Education, Arab Republic of Egypt, also in the presence of Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi, the President of Sadat City University, Dr. Magda Abul-Safa, the Secretary-General of the Association of Quality Assurance Administrations, and a number of participants from different countries such as: Jordan; Syria; Libya and Somalia. Moreover, the presence of the public and private Egyptian universities, government institutions and private companies’ representatives enriched the conference with fruitful discussions.
In his speech, Dr. Salama, emphasized that the leading international educational experiences highlighted the importance of employing modern technology in improving the educational process, and overcoming the administrative and the financial complications. In addition, he pointed out that the quality of the higher education is one of the means of improving and developing the quality of education and advancing its level in the era of globalization. Which can be described as the era of quality that become as an urgent necessity, where they are dictated by the rapid changes taking place in the higher education sector in all around the world and contemporary requirements. Dr. Salama said also that the contemporary world is characterized by a highly changing environment, where the competition plays a decisive role in it. Subsequently, the higher education institutions in various countries of the world forced to upgrade and increase their competitiveness in the market by adopting quality standards; creating of mechanisms to maintain their entities, and improving their activities and outputs.
Hence, according to these variables and the trend towards digital education, where there is a need for the authorities concerned with ensuring the quality of education and accreditation of digital education in the Arab world by the following matters; first, establish specific qualitative and quantitative criteria; second, evaluate the outcomes of distance learning programs; and third, follow-up supervision and control of the quality of their programs. Thus, they can obtain academic accreditation and recognition of the graduation certificate from electronic universities, through improving the capabilities and efforts to achieve qualitative educational commensurate with the international standards, as well as preparing and training the educational cadres, also developing the existing external review mechanisms. Taking in account, the integrated transformation in quality management, which is done by the remote external audit visits, virtual visits and field visits. Therefore, Dr. Salama pointed out that the AArU pays attention to scientific research, and looking to achieve the digital transformation strategy and preserving the quality of education. Hence, he looks forward to achieve an outstanding level of university education in Arab universities. Subsequently, keep abreast of the successive developments that the world is witnessing in the field of higher education. Thus, increase ability to attract students and increase the competitiveness of Arab universities
The General Secretariat of the Association of Arab Universities is pleased to be cooperating with Gulf Conferences in London to deliver the Middle East Education Thought Leadership Forum, virtually, on 25, 26 and 27 October 2021.
The forum will enable opinion leaders in education, including ministers, presidents and directors of educational institutions in the Middle East, to consider and present their views on education now and in the future, in the region in particular, and the world in general. The challenges created by the Covid pandemic and the creative initiatives and practices that your institutions have developed to overcome these challenges will inform the discussions. Examples will be shared on how to build on this experience and develop educational systems so that they acquire the strength and flexibility required to reach the highest levels of readiness to be globally competitive in the fields of education, learning and technology.
Main topics of the forum are the following:
· Scientific research and comprehensive development goals.
· Disseminating the use of modern technologies in higher education.
· Internationalization of university education and the possibility of benefiting from it in the Arab world as an entry point for achieving global leadership for universities.
· Improving the educational environment that stimulates creativity and innovation.
· The role of higher education in achieving sustainable development goals.
· Specializations and skills for future jobs and their suitability for development.
· Digital transformation of the higher education sector in the time of Covid.
· Education, quality assurance, and accreditation, and the extent to which this reflects on the economy and development in the development of Arab societies.
It therefore gives me great pleasure to invite you to attend this important Forum and participate in and enrich the constructive dialogue to advance education, particularly at this time of major challenges in the world and the Middle East and to help build a better future.
The Scientific Conference Titled
The Role of Arab universities in facing the challenges of the Corona pandemic “Research and Outreach Efforts ”
Under patronage of the secretary general, Prof. Amr Ezzat Salama, AArU is
placed to announce the Scientific Conference titled as -The Role of Arab universities in facing the challenges of the Corona pandemic “Research and outreach efforts ”, taking place virtually on Monday 7-June-2021 and starting from 11:00 pm until 03:30pm Amman time.
The distinguished speakers are:
1. Prof. Azmi Mahafzah, a teaching staff member in the faculty of medicine at the University of Jordan
2. Prof. Ashraf Hatem, a professor of pulmonary medicine at Kasr Al Aini faculty of medicine in Cairo University
3. Prof. Maha El-Rabbat, a professor of public health, faculty of Medicine, Cairo University
4. Prof. Olfa Bouallegue, vice president Sousse University
The session's moderators are as follows:
1. Dr Mohammad Ghattas, Head of the college of pharmacy – Abu Dhabi Campus - Protection Methods Session.
2. Prof. Yaser Rayyan, professor of medicine-Jordan University - Spread Methods Session.
3. Prof. Ismail Ibrahim Matalka, a professor of pathology and laboratory Medicine at school of medicine at Jordan University of Science and Technology - Treatment Methods Session.
The chairman of the conference, Prof. AbdelRahim Hunaiti, Assistant Secretary General, urges you to register for the conference and confirm your registration via the following email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Kindly, find the attached brochure for more information.
During his visit to the president of University of Algeria 3
Dr. Hamidi pointed out the increasing willingness of the Maghreb region universities to be as members of AArU
In fact, the University of Algeria 3 considered as one of the major universities in Algeria. Pleasurably, Dr. Hamidi announced that the University of Algeria 3 is planning to be a member of AArU in the near future, because of the importance of AArU role in the higher education progress in Arab countries.
Subsequently, Dr. Mezraq applauded his concern of consolidating the Arabic work in the Academic field. Where, this can be reached by the unification of the Arab universities work under the AArU umbrella. Moreover, he mentioned the great efforts of AArU for improving the Academic process in all of its aspects.
Furthermore, Dr. Hamidi presented the most important AArU projects, where these projects are implemented with a set of Arabic and International institutions and organizations. In details, he mentioned the following AArU projects. First, the Arab University Ranking and Classification Project, which will be lunched at the end of 2021 in cooperation between Arab league, Arab League Educational, Culture and Scientific Organization (ALESCO), and AArU. Second, the Arab Journals Platform project that is implemented in cooperation with Elsevier the owner of Scopus. Third, the Arab Impact Factor project, which concerned on classifying the Arabic journals according to professional quantitative and qualitative selection criteria. In addition, he mentioned many projects those are in progress within the AArU Strategic Plan 2020-2030, where these projects will show the Arabic contents to the worldwide. One more, these projects will improve and support the efficiency of the Arabic language for both native speakers and others.
Arab Nations, through their research and academic centers, together with other countries around the world, have been seeking to keep up-to-date with international happenings and challenges and to continually reform to better serving the needs of their constituents and the communities involved. To realize these goals, the Association of Arab Universities (AArU) together with the Association of Agricultural Research Institutions in the Near East and North Africa (AARINENA) and some regional/international partners are setting out to strengthen their multi-stakeholder capacities on research and innovation for development. The new strategy on towards 2030 focuses on reforming and strengthening industrial research and innovation systems, enhancing multi-lateral collaboration, and influencing development in the Arab and NENA regions. More specifically, the lack of a good grasp on the value of innovative work products on sustainable development and the potential bearing it has upon economic growth across the entire Arab and NENA regions all call for concerted efforts to address such concerns.
- a) Establish collaboration between countries in the Arab world and the NENA region in the diverse domains of research and innovation for socio-economic development, and help them engage in ongoing development efforts in the developed countries around the world,
- b) Introduce member countries to the significance of adopting innovation as the way to go for economic development and growth, and
- c) Explore the current success stories in the Arab world and NENA region in the diverse fields where innovation can lay a foothold