Arab and European university leaders encourage co-operation, exchange



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The first Arab-Euro Conference on Higher Education concluded Friday (May 31st) in Barcelona.

The conference, which welcomed more than 100 university leaders from 50 European and Arab countries, was hosted by the University of Barcelona, the Association of Arab Universities and the European University Association, according to University World News.

Conference sessions included discussions on internationalisation and international co-operation in higher education, the employability of graduates, research collaboration, knowledge exchange and the role of associations.

Arab universities must work together to prevent cultural and economic stagnation in the region, the official Petra News Agency quoted Jordanian Princess Sumaya bint al-Hassan as saying in her keynote speech at the conference.

Education policymakers in the Arab world must consider the journey Europe has undertaken in recent decades to gain courage and inspiration for current challenges, said al-Hassan, who is the president of the Jordanian Royal Scientific Society and chair of the Board of Trustees of Princess Sumaya University for Technology.

The Arab world also has its own cultural heritage to draw on, she said: the modern concept of the university evolved in the Arab world and the drive for education and research is a fundamental aspect of Islam.



    غسان المصرى


    The truth is that the cooperation and mutual exchange in all respects for the Arabs with the Europeans is something very useful, particularly to the Arabs. It is clear without any doubt that the Europeans and the West in general have achieved progress in the fields of science and knowledge to a degree that the Arab world may not reach at this stage. Therefore, the close relations between universities in terms of information and intellectual cooperation will surely raise the scientific and intellectual level of the Arab universities, and this will not take place over night. Rather, it will come to fruition in the long-term. What is important is to continue sustaining the process of scientific and practical exchange and find real solutions for the Arabs. The conference, that was held in Barcelona with nearly more than one hundred European and Arab figures, will not pass unnoticed for those who had the honor of attending. Surely those who came to Barcelona in order to reach solutions to their countries have benefited a lot and will apply that to their countries. Conscious governments are surely eager to evaluate new ideas that come out of the womb of such global conferences. On the contrary, we see that when one of those figure attends, while his country is not willing to change or renew itself, then all he did was going to that Barcelona conference and come back empty-handed. Frankly, many are the Arab countries that do this. We do not want to be pessimistic. Perhaps this conference will be a good start for Arabs especially because the universities that linked between European and Arab universities was a major benefit for the sake of Arab Universities. And this creates aspirations to progress and having access to global ideas, new solutions and ingenuity of scientific research certainly in the stages to come, God willing. We have the genuine Arab culture and a rigid scientific legacy that must be retrieved to dominate the world again.

  • مازن احمد


    Education needs constant developments and it always needs to access what is new. These new things cannot be transmitted unless there are conferences and communication with researchers and scientists. We thank the leaders who organized this conference, which was held in Barcelona, and many Arab countries attended in order to cooperate and exchange experiences. And that’s what we said from the beginning: we as Arabs need to check what’s new in science, and attend similar scientific research conferences. We can’t deny that this step is a very special step, and the Arabs won’t feel its importance before they see the positive results. We hope that these conferences will be held frequently between Arab and European universities, and next time it could be held in an Arab city, maybe in Jordan, and could be hosted by the royal scientific organization, presided over by Mrs. Samiya Bint Alhassan. She is one of the respected personalities who gave a speech at this Arab-European conference. And thus, a real mixing would occur between Arab and European universities, as these protocols and conferences are the real way to exchange science and cultures. In that way, we would be able to regain the glories of the past by developing education, especially university education, and putting Arabs in a position that they deserve to be in.

  • عبد الرحيم مسعود


    I would like to express my gratitude and thanks to the participants in the conference which brings the Arab countries together in order to exchange cultures and to cooperate with each other. These are definite results now in order to develop higher education in Arab countries. It is really great that the participants and officials in this Conference think about the importance of developing higher education and finding a solution in this respect, not only to one Arab Country, but also to all Arab countries. Thus, I hope that this Conference will achieve its main objective through contributing to develop higher education.

  • شهاب عزمي


    Cooperation is obviously the first key feature of the Arab world. For this reason, we usually encourage the Arab States to cooperate even more. Of course, this depends on the relationships between the Arab officials. The good relationship between the Arab leaders was actually clear in the Arab European Higher Education Conference. The forthcoming participation between Arab States will pave the way for cooperation in large areas. On the other hand, the Arab States should promote the cultural interactions. Indeed, the Arab countries feature many prominent intellectuals who could help in the development of such cooperation. In the Arab nations, there are many scholars and intellectuals who should come to prominence in the other countries so that they share their ideas with them. Those people need a chance to benefit the Arab nations through their ingenious ideas. The Arabs must focus on cultural dialogues. The Arabs should establish universities which provide education to students from all nations. In this respect, the Conference is meant to seek ways of cooperation between the Arab universities. Of course, the participants will develop a new vision of the Higher Education in the region. The Conference is viewed as the first step in such cooperation. The region is actually in desperate need for highly qualified university graduates. For this reason, we call on the competent authorities to show greater interest in the quality of education offered by the universities. We need better quality of education. The holding of this Conference will definitely bring about positive results, God willing. Perhaps, the most important demands of the Arab peoples are the technical cooperation in higher education and the cultural interaction between their respective countries. There are many Arab students who need competent tutors so that they excel in their academic careers. Thus, the cooperation between the Arab States in this respect would help them achieve their dreams. Finally, I wanted to extend my gratitude to those who contributed to the success of this Barcelona Conference. I hope that this conference will be followed by many others. We need more and more conferences about Higher Education so as to develop it on a regular basis.