Princess Sumaya calls for Arab cooperation in university education and research

01-06-2013 05:14 PM

Ammon News - AMMAN (Petra)- Arab universities must work together to avoid cultural and economic stagnation in the region.

This was the stark message delivered by Her Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of The Royal Scientific Society and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology, in a Keynote Speech at The First Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education (AECHE), hosted by the University of Barcelona.

Her Highness said that the Arab world was at a critical point in its history and higher education had a vital role to play in supporting society and tackling mounting uncertainty among young people.

The conference, which was jointly organized by the Association of Arab Universities (AARU) and the European University Association (EUA), brings together almost 200 university presidents and other senior education officials.

Princess Sumaya added that education policymakers in the Arab world must consider the journey that Europe had undertaken in recent decades in order to gain courage and inspiration to tackle our current challenges: "For Europe has experienced the most dramatic and inspiring evolution from bitter and brutal conflict just 70 years ago, to economic and political that guides governments and people through the most difficult times We can learn much from Europe in this regard, and we may start with the education of our youth and the support of our academics." The Princess cited Europe’s ‘Bologna Process’ in education as a comprehensive platform for growth that should be emulated in the Arab world. The process aims to ensure broader societal relevance for Europe’s academic sector, including links between higher education, research and innovation, equitable participation and lifelong learning.

However, the Princess also noted that the Arab world had its own cultural heritage to draw on when considering cooperation in higher education, pointing out that the modern concept of the university evolved in the Arab world and that the drive for education and research was a fundamental aspect of Islam.

AECHE aims to a joint framework of dialogue, mutual understanding, knowledge exchange and increased cooperation among Arab and European higher education institutions.

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