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Professional Education Expert Urges Arab Countries To Standardize Higher Education Systems

An expert in professional education has urged Arab colleges and universities to standardize their programs. Referring to the Bologna Process, which created the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree and quality assurance standards more compatible across Europe.

Mark Andrews, MENA Director, Edexcel said: “Education is not only what we learn in college or university. Students should be equipped to acquire lifelong learning after graduating. We urge Arab governments to invest more in training their manpower especially since 20 percent of the population in the Arab region are in the 15 to 24 age group.”

Arab states have to make education reforms their top priority if they want to achieve socio-economic development. The quality of higher and further education in the Arab world is in danger of lagging behind other regions and the entire system requires urgent reform in an effort to ensure this does not happen.

Andrews said pan-Arab universities should modernize the courses they offer and alter the way they operate. The European Commission has published a modernization agenda for universities which has been widely welcomed by member states and main stakeholders in higher and further education. Moreover, the Bologna Process, through its promotion of pan-European curricular reforms has facilitated the establishment of the European Higher Education Area.

In contrast, the educational systems in the Arab world vary from country to another. Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia have adopted the French education system, while other countries typically follow either the American or British systems.

Andrews added: “Arab countries should unify their education systems through a Bologna-type accord. At a later stage, once a strong educational base has been established, Arab colleges and universities should work on enhancing their cooperation with colleges and universities worldwide so that they ensure that their certificates are recognized globally.”

Andrews added that Arab colleges and universities should also interact more with international universities through exchange programs and professors’ delegations and common research work.

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