Africa and MENA – Restructuring Higher Education Landscape To Join the Global Trends

The Higher Education World Reputation Rankings, e.g. in 2015, is based on a number of parameters wherein, it judges universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. Many universities around the world are lagging behind in international ranking because of lack of professional research, lack of modernized applied curriculum leading to  market and society benefits, lack of professional faculty, lack of academic freedom, excessive political and bureaucratic interference, so on. Though the situation in India may seem better than in many African universities, India is still struggling to reconstruct its higher education system ( 

Education on all levels serve as capital for a society in terms of promoting innovation, invention, critical thinking and above all a knowledge base and resource for the whole society. Among emerging economies that raised the levels of their higher education is China (including Hong Kong) with four universities in top 100 lists in the world. Similar trends and patterns took place in other Asian counties as well ( 

Even in Europe, e.g. Irland went through a reconstruction process of its higher education landscape. Higher education remained largely disconnected from other policy considerations until the 1990s, when rapid economic growth caused labour shortages and international competitiveness which forced new directions. Today, all policy documents and national strategies link higher education, the knowledge economy and global competitiveness. While the government maintains high commitment in participation, quality and excellence are the major drivers (

The Internet and WWW are making our world much smaller than at anytime in the past and we are rediscovering the interdependence of things “nexuses”. With this comes the neccessity for adaptation of higher education to a more effective information-processing world involving new organizational forms that encourage and reward collaboration. Developing viable networks for processing information is among strategic instruments in the 21st century where higher education worldwide would develop more and more towards: developing interdisciplinary, team-taught courses of study; forming interdisciplinary groups to bring together people to analyze problems; implementing leadership teams in the decision-making structures of departments, schools and colleges. The creation of interdisciplinary problem-solving groups as the building blocks of the information-processing society will require changes in our attitudes toward leadership.

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