Reforming universities in the Middle East

Trends and contestations from Egypt and Jordan

in Learning and Teaching
Author:
Daniele Cantini Halle University daniele.cantini@scm.uni-halle.de

Search for other papers by Daniele Cantini in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Abstract

This article addresses the core-periphery nexus by looking at some of the reform packages proposed in the 2000s in these two pivotal countries in the Middle East, Egypt and Jordan, as well as the resistances they generated. These reform packages include internationalisation and privatisation policies, as well as World Bank–sponsored programmes intended to enhance the higher education sector. These programmes are marked by a high degree of isomorphism with global trends: they belong to an unquestioned centre, with peripheries as receiving points of policies elaborated elsewhere. In this article, I examine some of the resistances they were met with in Egypt and Jordan and show how their translations were shaped by the logics of the local contexts so that they were rarely implemented. Looking at post–Arab Spring developments, the article reflects on the continuity of reform packages amidst political turmoil, and the ways in which these reforms are altering or reinforcing processes of peripheralisation.

Contributor Notes

Daniele Cantini (PhD Modena, Italy 2006) is a social anthropologist currently working at Halle University (Germany). He has been working in different Middle East countries (Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon) since 2003, researching youth and subjectivity, higher education and the institutional dimension of critique, doctoral studies and the production of knowledge, printed media, religion and migration. He taught in Germany (Halle) and Italy (Modena), held research positions in Egypt (CEDEJ-affiliated), Germany (Halle), Lebanon (Orient-Institut Beirut), and Switzerland (Zurich), participated in research projects in Italy and in the United States, and led research projects in Germany and Italy. Email: daniele.cantini@scm.uni-halle.de

  • Collapse
  • Expand

Learning and Teaching

The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences

  • Abdelrahman, M. (2015), Egypt's Long Revolution: Protest Movements and Uprisings (London: Routledge).

  • Aboulghar, M. and M. Doss (2009), ‘Min Ajl Jami'a Afdal: Majmu'at 9 Maris’, Alif: Journal of Comparative Poetics 29: 89100.

  • Altbach, P. G. (1978), ‘The university as center and periphery’, paper presented at ‘Conversations in the Disciplines: Universities and the New International Order’, State University New York at Buffalo, 2426 March.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Amit, V. (2012), ‘You too? The transnational diffusion of academic restructuring’, Social Anthropology 20, no. 3: 290293.

  • Arnove, R. (1980), ‘Comparative education and world-system analysis’, Comparative Education Review 24, no. 1: 4862.

  • Ball, S. (1994), Education Reform: a critical and post-structural approach (Buckingham: Open University Press).

  • Ball, S. (1998), ‘Big policies/small world: An introduction to international perspectives in education policy’, Comparative Education 34, no. 2: 119130.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Ball, S. (2012), Global Education Inc.: New Policy Networks and the Neoliberal Imaginary (London: Routledge).

  • Behrends, A., S.-J. Park and R. Rottenburg (2014), Travelling Models in African Conflict Management (Leiden: Brill).

  • Cantini, D. (2016a), Youth and Education in the Middle East: Shaping Identity and Politics in Jordan (London: I.B. Tauris).

  • Cantini, D. (2016b), Rethinking Politics of Higher Education: Ethnographic Perspectives (Leiden: Brill).

  • Dale R. (2000), ‘Globalisation and education: Demonstrating a common world education culture or locating a globally structured agenda for education?Education Theory 50, no. 4: 42748.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Farag, I. (2009), ‘Going international: the politics of educational reform in Egypt’, in A. Mazawi and R. Sultana (eds), Education and the Arab World: Political Projects, Struggles and Geometrics of Power (London: Routledge), 283299.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Farag, I. (2012), ‘Major trends of educational reform in Egypt’, in S. Alayan, A. Rohde and S. Dhouib (eds), The Politics of Education Reform in the Middle East: Self and Other in Textbooks and Curricula (Oxford: Berghahn Books), 8096.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Galal, A., M. Welmond, M. Carnoy, S. Nellemann, J. Keller, J. Wahba, and I. Yamasaki (2008), The Road not Traveled : Education Reform in the Middle East and North Africa, MENA development report (Washington, DC: World Bank), http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/305951468277186676/The-road-not-traveled-education-reform-in-the-Middle-East-and-North-Africa.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hanafi, S. (2012), ‘The Arab revolutions: the emergence of a new political subjectivity’, Contemporary Arab Affairs 5, no. 2: 198213.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Jones P. W. (1998), ‘Globalisation and internationalism: Democratic prospects for world education’, Comparative Education 34, no. 2: 143155.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Khoury, I. (2015), ‘Unbridled globalization: the transformation of higher education in Qatar’, PhD diss., Penn State University.

  • Kohstall, K. (2012), ‘Free transfer, limited mobility: A decade of higher education reform in Egypt and Morocco’, Revue des mondes musulmans et de la Méditerranée 131: 91109.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Marginson, S. (2008), ‘Global field and global imagining: Bourdieu and worldwide higher education’, British Journal of Sociology of Education 29, no. 3: 303315

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Meyer, J. W., F. O. Ramirez, J. F. Frank and E. Schofer (2007), ‘Higher education as an institution’, in P. Gumport (ed.), Sociology of Higher Education: Contributions and Their Contexts (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press), 187221.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Musselin, C. (2008), ‘Vers un marché international de l'enseignement supérieur?’ [Towards an international market for higher education] Critique Internationale 39, no. 2: 1324.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Nielsen, G. (2012), ‘Higher education gone global’, Learning and Teaching 5, no. 3: 121.

  • Nowotny, H. (2016), The Cunning of Uncertainty (Cambridge, MA: Polity).

  • Rizvi, F. (2006), ‘Imagination and the globalisation of educational policy research’, Globalisation, Societies and Education 4, no. 2: 193205.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Robertson, S., R. Dale, S. Moutsios, G. Nielsen, C. Shore and S. Wright (2012), ‘Globalisation and regionalisation in higher education: Toward a new conceptual framework’, URGE (University Reform, Globalisation and Europeanisation) Working Paper 20.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sawahel, W. (2014), ‘Eight-year Egyptian plan for higher educationUniversity World News, 29 August.

  • Shann, M. H. (1992), ‘The reform of higher education in Egypt’, Higher Education 24, no. 2: 225246.

  • Schwedler, J. (2010), ‘Amman cosmopolitan: Spaces and practices of aspiration and consumption’, Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 30, no. 3: 4762.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shore, C. and M. Davidson (2013), ‘Methodologies for studying university reform and globalization: Combining ethnography and political economy’, URGE (University Reform, Globalisation and Europeanisation) Working Paper 21.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shore, C. and L. McLauchlan (2012), ‘Third mission activities, commercialisation and academic entrepreneursSocial Anthropology 20, no. 3: 267286.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shore, C. and S. Wright (eds) (1997), Anthropology of Policy. Critical Perspectives on Governance and Power (London: Routledge).

  • Shore, C. and S. Wright (2011), ‘Conceptualising policy: technologies of governance and the politics of visibility’, in C. Shore, S. Wright and D. Però (eds), Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power (Oxford: Berghahn Books), 126.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shore, C., S. Wright and D. Però (eds.) (2011), Policy Worlds: Anthropology and the Analysis of Contemporary Power (Oxford: Berghahn Books).

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Sorour, A. F. (1987), Strategy of Developing Education in Egypt (Cairo: Ministry of Education).

  • Taji, M. (2004), ‘Looking through the magnifying glass: Higher education policy reforms and globalization in Jordan’, PhD diss., McGill University.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • World Bank (2009), Project Appraisal Document for a Higher Education Reform for the Knowledge Economy Project, Report no. 46823-JO.

  • Wright, S. (2015), ‘Anthropology and the “imaginators” of future European universities’, Focaal – Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology 71: 617.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wright, S. and A. Rabo (2010), ‘Introduction: Anthropology of university reform’, Social Anthropology 18, no. 1: 114.

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 478 244 28
Full Text Views 28 2 0
PDF Downloads 54 0 0