Improving access to information on quality higher education opportunities to Arab youth is key to ensuring that the coming generation has a well-trained workforce that is capable of tackling complex challenges that face the region and can more effectively compete in the global labor market. With a team of undergraduate and graduate students, we could create a bilingual (Arabic and English), interactive online platform that both individuals and institutions could join to post and share relevant information about applying to undergraduate and graduate study programs in both the Arab world and abroad.
In essence, this website would serve as a clearinghouse of information relevant for prospective Arab students, current undergraduate and graduate Arab students, university recruiters, and NGOs and research institutions working on higher education in the Arab world. By offering a free, interactive space in which prospective Arab students can ask questions and communicate with Arab undergraduate and graduate students—as well as university recruiters—more Arab youth may overcome barriers to attaining high quality tertiary educational opportunities.
Audience and Participants
On this website, high school youth in the Middle East could post general questions about preparing for university and gain knowledge about how to create a competitive application. University students from the Middle East could respond to inquiries based on their own experiences and serve as informal mentors.
This website would attract current Arab university students by providing useful information to them about academic competitions and graduate scholarships.
University recruiters focused on international students could also use this website to disseminate information about their institutions, programs, and special scholarships for which some youth in the Arab would might be eligible.
EAS Team Needs and Skills
To make this project a reality, EAS delegates are needed to contribute their ideas and technical expertise.
Follow-up work on this project after the Envision Arabia Summit can easily be done online from remote, separate locations as long as direct and reliable lines of communication between different group members are maintained.
At the EAS 2012, the team should get to know each other and discuss revising the project as needed. It would be useful to begin considering what content should be included on the website, how the website should appear, and how it should be organized. We can also assign specific roles and tasks for each individual to carry out after EAS 2012 concludes, as well as appropriate deadlines.
Familiarity with barriers to tertiary education in the Arab world, as well as higher education in the Arab world and abroad, would be helpful to inform and guide this process.
Implementing this project also requires technical experts who are familiar with website development and are capable of creating a user-friendly, aesthetically appealing, and functionally reliable interface for this project. Some of the technical managers of this project should be comfortable working in both English and Arabic, although bilingual fluency would not be required for all.
This team may also require translators, editors, and webmanager(s) who would manage the page and ensure that it is regularly updated with new and relevant information.
Another aspect of the implementation stage is sharing and promoting the use of this page via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media tools. It may also be desirable to have a small team of Public Relations individuals who would correspond with university recruitment officers, as well as other relevant individuals in universities in the Arab world and abroad, to make them aware of how they can use this page to spread information about their programs and attract qualified, promising youth from the Arab world to apply for their programs.