Innovation Through Education: Building the Knowledge Economy in the Middle East

National and global political discourse is increasingly making mention of the importance of developing ‘knowledge economies’, and placing the production of knowledge societies at the forefront of national development policy. Such development aims are being embraced by governments across the Arab world, and the Middle East as a region is seeking to embrace new ways of developing capacity through education. In this report, the fourth in a series of Global Education Research Reports published by the AIFS Foundation and IIE, scholars from a wide range of institutions and organizations set out to describe and understand current innovations, trends, and issues faced in the Middle East as a region, as they take the steps toward educational reform and development. Through broad thematic discussions, examples of current trends and practices, and national case studies, this report offers a contemporary and erudite examination of current innovative practices in the Middle East.

About the Global Education Research Reports

The Global Education Research Reports series is a joint effort of IIE and the AIFS Foundation to explore the most pressing and under-researched issues affecting international education policy today. The series will include five reports over three years with original research from IIE, as well as contributions by other experts in the field of international education, with funding from the AIFS Foundation.

Table of Contents

To preview select chapters, click on the linked chapter titles.

Figures and Tables

Allan E. Goodman, President and CEO, IIE

Bill Gertz, President and CEO, AIFS

Jamil Salmi, World Bank

Chapter 1: The “Knowledge Society” in the Middle East
Daniel Kirk, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates 

Chapter 2: Different Emirates, Different Models: Creating Global Institutions in the Gulf States (20 KB, PDF)
Spencer Witte, Ishtirak 

Chapter 3: Higher Education Creates Higher Expectations in Jordan: Combating the Loss of the Kingdom’s Intellectual Wealth (56 KB, PDF)
Robert G. Ayan Jr., Cambridge Advisors LLC 

Chapter 4: Strategic Planning in Higher Education in the Middle East: The Case of Non-Gulf Countries (40 KB, PDF)
Hana A. El-Ghali, Qianyi Chen, and John L. Yeager, University of Pittsburgh

Chapter 5: The Role of Internationalization in Women’s Education in the Middle East
Haifa Reda Jamal Al-Lail, Effat University

Chapter 6: Promoting U.S.–Middle Eastern Cultural Understanding through Youth Exchange
Sherifa M.B.E. Fayez, AFS Egypt  and Dan Prinzing, Idaho Human Rights Education Center

Chapter 7: Advancing U.S. Study Abroad in the Arab World
Jerome Bookin-Weiner, AMIDEAST and Ahmad Majdoubeh, University of Jordan

Chapter 8: The U.S. Arabic Distance Learning Network: An Effort to Expand Instruction in a Less Commonly Taught Languages
Norman J. Peterson and Yvonne M. Rudman, Montana State University


IIE’s Activities in the MENA Region (23 KB, PDF)
Daniel Obst, IIE
Liz Khalifa, IIE/MENA 

Classifying Higher Education Institutions in the MENA Region: A Pilot Project (17 KB, PDF), Rajika Bhandari and Robert Gutierrez, IIE

Historical Trends in Student Mobility from the Middle East to the United States Shepherd Laughlin and Patricia Chow, IIE

About the Contributors
IIE Information and Resources
Web Resources