MBRF and UNDP organise panel discussions in Amman in preparation for First Knowledge Conference 2015
Within the framework of its preparations for the First Knowledge Conference 2015, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), organised a workshop in Amman, which highlighted higher education and scientific research sector in the Arab world as one of the pillars for building knowledge based societies.
The workshop included two panel discussions, the first of which discussed the key findings of the Third Arab Knowledge Report, launched during the First Knowledge Conference 2014, with particular focus on the outcomes relevant to Jordan. The role of higher education and scientific research in building knowledge societies came up for discussion during the second panel discussion.
His Excellency Jamal Bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF, attended the panel discussions which featured expert speakers, including Dr. Ekhleif el Tarawneh, President of University of Jordan; Dr. Omar Al-Jarrah, President of Amman Arab University; and Prof. Reda Shibli Khawaldeh, President of Mutah University. Laith Alotoum was the youth spokesperson for the event which attracted the participation of more than 100 students from Jordanian universities, education experts and specialists in the field of knowledge. The panel discussions were moderated by Prof. Dr. Abdullah Al Zoubi, Director General of Scientific Research Support Fund.
The workshop started with discussions on the outcomes of a survey conducted among the students about the challenges facing the higher education sector and the capability of current university curricula in meeting the needs of the labour market. It also explored the status of scientific research centres in universities and ways to develop them.
Discussions also highlighted the role of information technology in higher education and the human resources capabilities in Jordanian universities as a model for Arab universities to promote higher education and scientific research. The workshop pointed to the adoption of e-learning systems as a supplement to traditional education methodology, and underlined the need to develop right strategies to promote the values of innovation in higher education and scientific research.
H.E. Jamal Bin Huwaireb said the Amman workshop has facilitated an effective and active discussion about the role of higher education institutions in building knowledge based societies. It provided an opportunity for professionals in the field to see in the light of the outcomes of the Third Arab Knowledge Report, the real status of higher education and scientific research sector, and the most important challenges facing the youth in the production, transfer and localisation of knowledge, H.E. Jamal Bin Huwaireb added.
The workshop concluded with an open dialogue session between the speakers and students, following which it recommended the need to achieve a balance between the Arabic and international languages at educational institutions. It also called for legislation to make use of Arabic language mandatory in all fields and transactions at national levels. The workshop sought measures to enhance communication between young people through exchange of knowledge and knowledge initiatives. It also stressed the need to enrich Arabic content on the internet.
The workshop recommended the setting up of knowledge incubators to enhance the capabilities of young people and ensure the success of youth initiatives. It also called for efforts to build stronger bonding with national heritage and identity, and raise awareness about the achievements of the previous generations to promote Arab national pride.
The workshop in Jordan was the first in a series of five workshops that MBRF is hosting in five Arab and international cities in collaboration with UNDP.