Higher Education in MENA

The Future of Higher Education in MENA towards achieving Agenda 2030

مستقبل التعليم العالي في الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا نحو تحقيق أجندة الأمم المتحدة 2030

21-22 February 2021

Hosted by WASD in partnership with the Middle Eastern Knowledge Economy Institute (MEKEI)
Target audience: Academics, researchers, UN agencies, NGOs, civil society groups, youth, students, private sector, business, SMEs, and other stakeholders.

The aim of this conference is to critically discuss the impact of Covid-19 pandemic lockdown on the future role of higher education (HE) in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) towards achieving the United Nations Agenda 2030 and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The conference will therefore explore the role of academic and research institutions to enable countries in the MENA region reap the digital benefits form the global growth in the digital economy particularly for the region’s Digital Natives (Youth). The conference also aims to provoke forward thinking on the role of science, innovation and research in solving global problems related to sustainability as well as the potential of Industry 4.0 for the implementation of SDGs. While it is largely argued that Industry 4.0 has the potential to produce innovative solutions to global issues but the problematique of managing science, innovation and research for SD is strongly influenced by the institutional culture in which international discussions have taken place. 

Focus: The conference aims to discuss a range of questions relating to strengthening the linkages between universities and research institutions as well as reconnecting these institutions to the UN Agenda 2030 and SDGs by exploring the role of HE institutions in transforming the countries in the MENA region into knowledge-based economies. In doing so, a number of issues relating to the role and relevance of HE institutions to the contemporary discourse of MENA countries’ sustainable inclusive knowledge-based development will be examined such as: what is the role of MENA’s HE institutions in supporting and enhancing the process of economic and social development in the region?; what are the major obstacles that HE institutions face in the MENA region?; are there governmental components to these? if so what?; are there societal components to these? if so what?; and how can these obstacles best be overcome? 

The conference brings together senior and high level intellectual and practice-based contributors who will help develop a framework for the analysis of the role of MENA region HE institutions in achieving sustainable inclusive knowledge-based development and help policy-makers to constructs an “ideal role” for HE institutions in MENA countries and outlines how performance can be evaluated in pursuit of the goals of KE. You can browse here keynote speakers from our previous international conferences.