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Abu-Ghazaleh Tackles Transformative Education and Rejuvenation in the Arab World

25-Feb-2013 | Source : AG-IP News | Visits : 6330
Special to ag-IP-news Agency

RIYADH - The International Exhibition and Forum for Education 2013 (IEFE 2013), the official annual event of the Saudi Ministry of Education concluded at Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center with the participation of senior level decision makers, key industry education providers and stakeholders from around the world.

HE Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Chairman of the Arab Organization for quality assurance in Education and President of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University (TAGIUNI), the gateway to world-class education tackled Transformative Education and Rejuvenation in the Arab World during his keynote speech saying:" I am speaking to you today not only as a dreamer for the future of the Arab world, but also as a realist. And the reality is we must acknowledge our shortcomings to once again become thought leaders."

"In a critical 2009 study, UNESCO reported that higher education in the Arab world continually fails to meet the needs of students, employers, and society at large. Institutions in our region are overcrowded, understaffed, and produce graduates with qualifications that are not in sync with the labor market," he added.

According to Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh education must be an ongoing life experience.

"One is generally not afforded the luxury to simply stop learning, and stagnation of skills is no longer acceptable in the workplace. Technology is advancing so rapidly that even the most skilled professionals must be trained in emerging software, hardware, methodologies, and approaches," he said.

He added:" Education, at its core, is an investment in human potential. Students want to see their investment in education translate into opportunity. If, when they graduate, the positions offered to them is beneath their skill set, their response will undoubtedly be negative. This is why we see a lack of productivity or engagement. It is not a lack of will; it is a lack of opportunity. Regrettably this can become a self-fulfilling and self-perpetuating scenario."

According to Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh who is also Chairman of the Arab States Research and Education Network, the average government expenditure is much less than 1% of the total GDP on research and development compared to 3-4% in the industrialized countries.

He said: "Four decades ago, I built Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization with the aspiration to promote intellectual property rights and contribute to the development of a knowledge society in the Arab world. Our Organization has successfully done brick and mortar education: Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Graduate School of Business (TAGSB) in Jordan was the first FIBAA-accredited MBA in the Arab world. On September 25, 2011, TAGSB was named “Best Educational Institute in Management in Asia” by the World Education Congress Asia Awards. and now, with Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University, we are intensifying the paradigm shift from bricks to clicks."

"Talal Abu-Ghazaleh University is our endeavor to democratize education, promote global citizenship, and empower citizens who have been disenfranchised by the technological revolution. The first university to join our alliance was Canisius College, the premier private university in Western New York," he added.

He concluded by inviting attendees to fifth annual conference on “Quality Frameworks in Education” (www.aroqa.org), to be held in September 2013.

The International Exhibition and Forum for Education 2013 (IEFE 2013) is the 3rd in a series of events focused on providing substantial opportunities for international businesses in the education sector to create partnerships and connect with decision makers from Saudi Arabian and GCC government bodies overseeing education developments and also senior representatives from Universities, Colleges, Training Institutions, secondary education institutions and public and private schools in the region but particularly from Saudi Arabia.
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