June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.1278.1 - 15.1278.8
. TRANSFORMING MIDDLE EAST ECONOMIES THROUGH EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND INNOVATION
Several countries in the Middle East with oil-based economies, such as the United Arab Emirates, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and Qatar have come to understand that they must diversify their economies, utilizing significant amounts of the income from sale of their oil and gas at current prices to invest in future commercial efforts. These countries have come to recognize that their substantial incomes from the sale of oil and gas will have a finite lifetime, and that they should be investing some of today’s income flow in economic diversification. The world wants to use less oil – both due to its cost, and due to the pollution of the environment which is leading to global warming. In addition, the oil supply in producing countries will run out someday, in many cases in less than 100 years.
In particular, several such countries are focusing on diversifying to “knowledge-based economies”, by developing higher education programs that will provide the human capacity to initiate and support such new economic thrusts. Total spending by the Gulf Cooperation Council countries on education in 2008 exceeds their $20-billion in arms purchases from the United States.
This paper describes education initiatives in the Persian Gulf region aimed at transforming national economies through education, research and innovation. It also reviews the efforts of several US engineering schools which have entered into partnerships with governments, or opened some version of a branch campus, to offer engineering education programs in the Middle East.
Education initiatives in the Persian Gulf region
Several US engineering schools have entered into partnerships with governments, or opened some version of a branch campus, to offer engineering education programs in the Middle East.
In Qatar, the Qatar Foundation has established a major Education City in Doha which hosts branch campus programs of six major US universities1. The Qatar Foundation was established in 1995 by the country’s ruler, with a multibillion-dollar endowment to fully finance universities that agreed to open branches there. Programs range from a medical school supported by Cornell University to a foreign service school offered by
Jones, R. (2010, June), Transforming Middle East Economies Through Education, Research And Innovation Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15658
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