Opportunities and Challenges of Internationalizing Higher Education: The Case of Saudi Arabia
Rapid developments in technology are at the core of the ever-increasing pace of change in almost all human activities, often against a background of socio-economic turmoil. These facts are key dynamics for consideration in the necessary growth of internationalization in higher education worldwide. Through consistency, determination and an awareness of urgency, advancing the internationalization of higher education programmes offers a significant contribution to supporting the long-term promotion and development of economic and social stability, especially in vulnerable communities.
Education is a core principle of the Islamic faith and therefore holds a high priority in government planning in Saudi Arabia. The degree and success of internationalization programmes in higher education in Saudi Arabia has been remarkable and deserves greater recognition. The effective, and successful, implementation of internationalization policies and projects in Saudi Arabia offers excellent examples of models which could be followed with advantage.
A potentially convenient priority for future cooperation between institutes of higher education – regionally and internationally – is in relation to the success or failure of aid projects in developing economies. Many serious instances of failure reveal that inadequate evaluation, compounded by often unbelievably poor coordination, is – too frequently – a common factor in costly, wasteful and even harmful failure.
The author contends that if a country’s national policy was to offer scholarships to achieve 50% of international students in higher education, this would be a significant step in advancing the cause of peace and stability in the world. Other significant steps would be to frame research programmes, together with business leaders, with maximum international collaboration, to ensure the greatest possible cross-fertilization of successful ideas.
KeywordsInternationalization Higher education Middleast Saudi Arabia International Collaboration Student exchange Faculty exchange Study abroad Semester Abroad Peace and Stability
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