President Hindi is a Keynote Speaker at the 5th QS-MAPLE Conference

Birzeit University President Professor Khalil Hindi is a Keynote Speaker at the Fifth QS-MAPLE Middle East and North Africa Professional Leaders in Education Conference and Exhibition, held on May 5-7, 2015, Grand Hyatt Doha, Qatar.

In his plenary address “Wither the Arab Liberal University?”, President Hindi admitted that the title of his speech is “provocative; some would even go as far as describing it as outrageous. Yet, the horrific barbarism being visited upon so many of our Arab countries, sometimes with active participation of some university graduates, often times with their collusion, connivance or submission, must lead us to wonder whether Arab universities are failing their civilizational mission”.

Hindi added: “For the university to fulfill its civilizational mission, it should not meekly surrender to the forces that relentlessly push it towards adopting impoverished curricula where technical subjects incessantly ease out the liberal arts, i.e., arts, humanities, languages, literatures, social sciences, mathematics and physical sciences. Indeed, even for professional degree programs, the need to educate necessitates curricula with a healthy provision of liberal arts, distributed over its major disciplines; a provision that is often referred to as the general education requirement. And this ought to be the case, even if at the expense of narrowing down the technical provision. Unfortunately, I probably need not tell you that general education has been beating a steady retreat in curricula throughout the Arab university system.”

In this context, the Middle Eastern and North African higher education institutions are steadily developing international linkages and recruiting more international students. Many now send delegates to the main international education conferences – NAFSA in USA and EAIE in Europe. Academics and administrators are now seeking a regional forum for exchange of knowledge and opinion in their professional sectors, one that will address the key issues and challenges that are specific to their international development.

In fact, QS-MAPLE is designed to become a forum where the major areas of concern regarding the evaluation of Middle Eastern and North African universities in a regional and global context is discussed and resolved.

Visit the conference website for more info.

You can download Dr. Hindi's speech in PDF format.