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International Review of Education

, Volume 61, Issue 5, pp 673–690 | Cite as

Faculty research productivity in six Arab countries

  • Kamal AbouchedidEmail author
  • George Abdelnour
Original Paper

Abstract

This article analyses the research output of a sample of higher education institutions (HEIs) in six Arab countries in order to start quantifying academic research productivity in the wider region of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). A questionnaire classifying HEIs was administered to 310 institutions in Lebanon, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The study revealed a lack of capacity of HEIs to provide quality data, raising issues concerning institutional excellence and transparency. Those data which were available were analysed using a number of statistical methods. The result is that faculty research output in the Arab world is relatively low, confirming the existing notion of a lagging knowledge sector in the region. While traditional scholarship has focused on institutional factors such as budgetary allocation as one prime determinant of research productivity, this study claims that other factors need to be considered in explaining the low output, with broad implications for policy formulation. Such factors include overall satisfaction levels of academic staff, socialisation of faculty staff members into a research climate, and university mission vis-à-vis academic research. Given the distinct paucity of studies on faculty research productivity in HEIs in the Arab region, this study seeks to bridge this gap in the literature by providing original data derived from six Arab countries. The authors aim to provide a basis for further research into this topic.

Keywords

Arab Higher Education Arab Higher Education research output Research productivity Research output measures Faculty publications types Research budgets Knowledge society 

Résumé

Productivité de la recherche universitaire dans six pays arabes – Les auteurs de cet article analysent les résultats de recherche obtenus par un échantillon d’institutions de l’enseignement supérieur dans six pays arabes. Leur objectif est d’entamer une quantification de la productivité de la recherche universitaire dans la région Moyen-Orient et Afrique du Nord (MENA). Un questionnaire de classification a été administré auprès de 310 institutions situées dans les pays suivants : Arabie saoudite, Émirats arabes unis (EAU), Jordanie, Liban, Maroc et Qatar. L’étude révèle un manque de capacités dans ces institutions pour fournir des données de qualité, qui soulève des questions quant à l’excellence et à la transparence institutionnelles. Les données disponibles ont été exploitées au moyen de plusieurs méthodes statistiques. Il en ressort la constatation que le rendement de la recherche universitaire est relativement faible dans le monde arabe, confirmant l’impression existante d’un retard dans le secteur des connaissances au niveau de la région. Les études traditionnelles similaires se concentrent sur des facteurs institutionnels tels que l’affectation budgétaire prise comme critère déterminant de la productivité scientifique. La présente étude soutient que d’autres éléments doivent être pris en compte pour expliquer la faiblesse du rendement, qui ont d’importantes implications sur la formulation de politiques. Ces facteurs englobent le niveau général de satisfaction du personnel universitaire, l’adaptation des membres du personnel à un climat de recherche, et une mission institutionnelle envers la recherche universitaire. Étant donné la rareté de travaux spécifiques sur la productivité de la recherche universitaire dans la région, la présente étude vise à combler cette lacune en fournissant des données de base tirées de six pays arabes. L’intention des auteurs est d’établir un fondement en vue de travaux supplémentaires sur la question.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht and UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of HumanitiesNotre Dame University – LouaizeZouk MosbehLebanon
  2. 2.Department of English and TranslationNotre Dame University – LouaizeZouk MosbehLebanon

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