This special issue seeks papers of all kinds – empirical, conceptual, practitioner and viewpoint – with the exception of case studies to extend previous studies pertaining to the MENA region, which are currently scant in literature. Indeed, in a recent special issue based on whether the Middle East was the land of the future, Madichie (2013a) assembled papers that barely touched upon the efforts in business and/ or higher education across the region. According to him, this omission “obviously calls for further debate in these areas.”
In that special issue, only two papers touched upon HE – albeit only marginally. For example, Kemp (2013) argued that “the UAE society supports education, and government strategy has led to equal educational access and achievement by women over many years with a projection for a supply of educated females in the future.” She, however, acknowledged that the government policies geared towards enhancing female education and employment have made more progress in the former than in the latter. Even though she concluded on a cautionary note that “the progress of the UAE towards achievement of MDG (3) […] has had mixed results which will affect the future”, her contribution centred on matters of gender.
Similarly, Majumdar and Varadarajan (2013) opined that the UAE is now characterised by a generation of young, educated women who are engaged in diverse economic activities using advanced information and communication technologies. Going by their over-optimistic estimates, the “UAE is the only Arab nation that gave equal opportunities to males and females to positively interact in the changing social structure […] an open society without any gender bias and discrimination.” The benefits of such policies, according to these authors, have begun to manifest themselves, especially in terms of career goals and future aspirations devoid of gender considerations.
All of the above obviously pose a challenge to other Arab nations both within and especially those outside the UAE – notably those with “best practices” that have not yet been shared in any scholarly forum. In direct response to this challenge, therefore, this call for papers encourages scholars from the wider MENA region – with a preference for papers from Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Kuwait, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia (KSA), Syria and Tunisia – to take the debate on the future of the region to the next level. Furthermore, contributions to this special issue should address the following key areas of concern:
- What are the most popular internationalisation strategies of HEIs in the MENA region?
- How have HEIs in the MENA region responded to pressures to internationalise (what strategic alliances have been undertaken in the region both within and across countries)?
- What are the key challenges (or outstanding issues) facing HEIs in the MENA region – ranging from student recruitment and retention to finance issues?
- How has the search for legitimacy affected the strategies of HEIs in the region?
- To what extent has the HE curriculum been modified as a result of alignment of learning, teaching and assessment; curriculum development; licensure or licensing; accreditation and legitimacy; international student recruitment and destination choice; faculty recruitment and/ or retention; quality assurance; student evaluation or satisfaction surveys.
Kemp, L. (2013) Progress in female education and employment in the United Arab Emirates towards Millennium Development Goal (3): gender equality, foresight, Vol. 15, Issue 4, pp.264 – 277.
Madichie, N. (2013a) Guest editorial, foresight, Vol. 15, Issue 4.
Madichie, (2013b) Is the Middle East the land of the future? It is not a given! Foresight, Vol. 15, Issue 4, pp.321 – 333.
Madichie, N. (2013c) Unintentional Demarketing in Higher Education. In N. Bradley and J. Blythe (Eds.) De-marketing. London: Routledge. December (Chapter 13, Forthcoming). ISBN: 978-0-415-81648-9.http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415816489/
Majumdar, S., and Varadarajan, D. (2013) Students’ attitude towards entrepreneurship: does gender matter in the UAE?, foresight, Vol. 15, Issue 4, pp.278 – 293.
Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Internationalisation strategies of HEIs in the MENA region, e.g. international student recruitment, retention and destination choice; faculty recruitment and/ or retention
- Curriculum development in the MENA region
- Challenges of graduate studies in the MENA region
- Funding or financing MENA HEIs
- Learning, teaching and assessment
- Licensure or licensing; accreditation and legitimacy concerns in MENA HEIs
- Quality assurance; student evaluation or satisfaction surveys
- Skills development and employability challenges in MENA HEIs
Submission of manuscripts: 31 March, 2014
Comments to authors: 30 May, 2014
Revised papers deadline: 30 August, 2014
Papers submitted earlier than the submission date will be sent through the review process on rolling basis, and authors may expect to hear sooner.