Education

  • AUB leaps up influential QS World University Rankings for 2016

    In a press release by the American University of Beirut, it said: "The QS World University Rankings for the year 2016/2017 issued on September 6, 2016 show progress on AUB's overall ranking amongst universities worldwide with an increase of 40 positions or spots, making it the university with the most improvement amongst the top 250 ranking universities in the past year. With an overall score of 43.3, AUB ranks 228 amongst universities worldwide, jumping from last year's score of 268."

    Release added: "The improvement in ranking is mainly due to an increase of 18 places in the Academic Reputation indicator (considered the centerpiece of the QS rankings and carrying a weighted score of 40% of the overall performance score) and 21 places in the Student-to-Faculty ratio (weighted at 20%) which evaluates the level of teaching quality through calculating the ratio between two datasets, full time equivalent students per full time equivalent faculty."

    "This significantly improved ranking is a clear testimony of the University's continuous drive for sustaining excellence in teaching, research, and service, and for becoming a premier University not only in the region but worldwide," Interim Provost Mohamed Harajli told us. "The AUB community, including students, faculty, staff, and alumni should feel proud of this remarkable achievement."

    Over 100,000 survey responses were collected by the think tank Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), considering 4,322 universities, with 916 evaluated in one of the most comprehensive and trusted global ranking processes, the only one independently scrutinized and International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) approved.'

    AUB ranks in the top 100 worldwide on two indicators: Employer Reputation (10% of overall score), taking into consideration the reputation of the university amongst employers and the resulting employability of fresh graduates; and International faculty (5% of overall score), assessing success in attracting academics from other nations.

    All the University's figures and indices for the Citations per Faculty category are higher for the year 2016, although AUB's ranking dropped for this category, indicating a rise in research figures across all universities. AUB increased its publishing from less than 500 to over 1,000 papers per year since 2015. AUB ranked 73rd in the world and first in the Arab world in employment reputation.

    "This is a significant evidence of the high quality of the faculty that AUB has and the services that our institution provides to students, the great and relevant education that it offers to its students, and the high caliber of workforce and leaders that it produces and makes available to the local and regional economies and societies," Director of AUB University Libraries, Dr. Lokman Meho told us.

    "I am heartened to learn of the prestigious QS rankings and their affirmation of us as the finest institution of higher learning in Lebanon and among the top 3 in the Arab world," President Fadlo R. Khuri told us.

    "While these rankings by no means can reflect all of the tremendous impact and value that AUB provides for Lebanon, the Arab world, and the international community as a whole, they do serve as affirmation of our continued progress towards being unanimously acclaimed as one of the finest universities in the world."

    Article Source : NNA

  • Northeast Ohio schools seeing fewer students from Saudi Arabia

    21258902 mmmainBy Karen Farkas for cleveland.com

    Cleveland State University can no longer count on wealthy Saudi Arabia to send hundreds of full-paying students to its campus.

    The country's new king, facing steep declines in oil prices, has greatly reduced government-sponsored scholarships to students who want to go to college in the United States.

    This fall, CSU has 88 graduate students from Saudi Arabia, compared to 134 in 2015 and 151 in 2014.

     

    The one-year decline translates into a $184,000 loss from in tuition, room and board, at about $40,000 per student per year.

    The number of undergraduate students declined from 443 in 2015 to 337 this year.

    "We have to expect and have already seen a significant drop of international students coming to us," CSU President Ronald Berkman recently told trustees. "The Middle East has shown the most dramatic drop. The government for all intents and purposes has closed those programs."

    Most students are continuing on scholarships awarded in prior years, Berkman said. When asked by a trustee if the number could one day go to zero Berkman said that could eventually occur.

    What happened?

    When the King Abdullah Scholarship Program was established in 2005, there were just over 3,000 Saudi students in the United States, according to the International Consultants for Education and Fairs, which monitors international education. Enrollment swelled to just under 60,000 students in 2014.

    Saudi Arabia currently sends the fourth-largest number of students to the United States, after students from China, India and South Korea, according to the Institute of International Education.

    The scholarship program, which is funded through 2020, includes room, board, tuition and travel and living costs.

    But it has become more restrictive, with a higher threshold for academic and language qualifications. CSU has drawn students who required pre-academic language training.

    And scholarship students may be sent only to to the world's top 100 universities.

    "We can attribute the decline certainly to the scholarship changes and the new leadership," said Cindy Skaruppa, vice president of enrollment services at CSU. "It's not that the Saudi students were dissatisfied with their experiences."

    Are other colleges affected?

    Many colleges across the country are seeing declines in Saudi Arabian students,  Inside Higher Ed reported. The drop has been greater for undergraduate and intensive English programs than for graduate degrees.

    Enrollment of students from Saudi Arabia declined from 669 in 2015 to 558 this year, Kent State University officials said.

    Kent State had increased the total number of international students on campus from 230 in 2008 to 3,000 in 2015.

    Saudi students now comprise 19 percent of total international student enrollment.

    What is CSU doing?

    About 9 percent of CSU's students now are from outside the country, compared to about 11 percent in recent years.

    CSU has about 50 Saudi students who pay their own costs, without help from the Saudi government, Skaruppa said.

    The university also has established partnerships with universities in China and has begun recruiting students from other countries, including Oman and Kuwait.

    It is also promoting its English as a Second Language program overseas.

    The university is investigating offering scholarships to international students, she said. And faculty and administrators with international ties are being asked to recruit when they are overseas.

    What about enrollment from other countries?

    Japan stands as historical precedent showing international students can stop coming to the United States, Inside Higher Ed reported. In 1995, Japan sent 45,531 students to study in the US. In 2015, just 19,064 Japanese students were in the United States, according to the Institute of International Education.

    The number of international students has risen sharply in the last 20 years, mainly due to China, Insider Higher Ed said. In 1996 there were 39,613 Chinese students studying here. In 2015 there were 304,040.

    But university officials are concerned that number may drop because China has more fully developed its own universities, Berkman told trustees.

    "We, too, are concerned about China, but haven't seen a shift in application or enrollment patterns," said Richard Bischoff, vice president for enrollment at Case Western Reserve University.

    CSU and other universities are also trying to stem a potential decline of students from India, which is issuing fewer student visas, Skaruppa said.

    CSU currently has 505 students from India in graduate programs this fall, compared to 706 in 2015, she said.

  • Reaching The Next Level Of Female Empowerment In Saudi Arabia

    Saudi WomanBy Rowaida Alerwi for The Huffington Post

    Over time, Saudi Arabia has adopted a society that has maintained traditional and religious customs. However, some changes have taken place, and in comparison to the traditional norms of Saudi Arabian society, these changes have been drastic.

    When Saudi Arabia first became a nation in 1932, education was limited to a few select schools. However, nowadays free access to education, from kindergarten to university, is every Saudi citizen's right. Although it was focused on males at the beginning, ever since the first school for females was built in 1956, female education has seen significant progress.

    The creation of colleges and universities for women has become commonplace. Princess Nora bint Abdul Rahman University (PNU) was the first women's university in Saudi Arabia and the largest women-only university in the world. The increased education of females in Saudi also played an important role in the decision to allow women to vote in municipal elections for the first time in 2016.

    Education affects both the Saudi and female labour force participation rates in many ways. In 2013, 60 per cent of graduates in Saudi Arabia were female, only 17 per cent of these women actually ended up in the job market. Many graduates end up unemployed, as the job market is still not very welcoming to women. Even though King Abdullah was viewed as a very cautious reformer of women's rights by changing the law to allow women to work in shops, progress remains slow since this 2011 change.

    Nevertheless, there appears to be a coming together that is creating greater opportunities for female entrepreneurs in the country. Saudi Arabia stands out as a country where entrepreneurship is well-perceived and is seen as a worthy career choice for women. This type of advancements will not only be an important factor in the social advancement of women, but will more broadly result in potential economic development for the country. According to Saudi's goals announced on April 25th of this year, Saudi aims to increase women's participation in the workforce from 22 per cent to 30 per cent by 2030.

    An increasing number of women in Saudi Arabia have begun to achieve significant success in the entrepreneurial field, tackling big businesses and male-dominated industries to make their unique mark on the economy. In light of recent increases in female-friendly business opportunities, several female entrepreneurs have shown that they are both willing and able to step out of the box to find creative jobs that ignite their passions and challenge them.

    Some examples include Yatooq, a young innovative coffee startup led by Lateefa Alwaalan, focuses on the most famous coffee in Saudi and the Arabian Gulf region, Arabic coffee. There's also Fyunka, a fashion brand of well-known Jeddah based designer, Alaa Balkhy, who gains her inspiration from contemporary pop-culture.

    I was thrilled to be a part of G(irls)20 Summit in Beijing, China, which brought together 24 delegates from across the world and gives them the opportunity to gain leadership and communication skills. It is a great way to advocate young females in order to maximize their potential to eventually initiate their own ideas. After meeting this year's delegates, I'm sure some of the delegates will be the great entrepreneurs of tomorrow.

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