Middle Eastern universities begin to make their mark

by Martin Ince

They may be at an early stage in their development, but investment schemes of Middle Eastern nations are beginning to pay dividends.

Across the Middle East, nations large and small are developing plans for higher education. Some have immeasurable sums of oil wealth to spend on this ambition, but even those that lack billions of petrodollars see no reason to be left behind.

Some Middle Eastern nations want universities for the new knowledge they generate, with an eye on replacing oil money with high technology employment. But others are aware of the soft power potential of universities in the struggle for world prominence. They would like universities that are good enough for their elites not to assume that their children have to go to Harvard or Oxford to complete their education. Read more