Four challenges facing the gcc

This however, has not been an easy task and many students are only offered a conditional admission that usually requires some kind of foundation program. Through our experiences working with students and educators at the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research in the United Arab Emirates, we have identified four key challenges to GCC students being directly admitted into degree programs.

Four challenges facing the gcc

Al Jazeera interviewed six Gulf scholars about the key challenges facing the Gulf countries domestically, regionally and internationally. The question about sovereignty is also about security on all levels; political security, economic security, food and water security.

I think different countries have different views about how do they define their own territories, economically, politically, geographically and so on. And this is - again - very much related to the question of sovereignty.

Four challenges facing the gcc

And if we take it regionally, the main challenge is about having this common understanding of what is tactical and what is strategic. I think that the way we are reacting to what is happening in the Arab region is mixing up priorities of what is tactical again and what is strategic?

Unless we have this common understanding, I think not only the GCC is at risk, but the whole Arab region is at risk, because this is the first time in the modern history of the Arab region that the GCC becomes the centre of gravity of political action, an agent of change in the region.

And with this sort of, I would say, randomness towards different issues in different countries in the Arab region specifically, I think we are putting ourselves at serious risk.

Four challenges facing the gcc, internationally again, this is a question of how do we strike a balance between the interest that the world has in this region, because of what is perceived to be the custodian of the Islamic religion, and above all because of the resources, and our own interests.

So these are in simple terms the challenges the GCC is facing. Dania Thafer, PhD candidate, Kuwait Dania Thafer [Al Jazeera] Domestically, one of the key issues is the youth bulge, that is, a large percentage of population that are young.

This should be addressed from different perspectives: Interlinked to this issue is education. If you look at the current [education] system, a lot of it is based on rote memorisation.

I think there needs to be more emphasis on understanding concepts and ideas to think fluidly and to have a knowledge-based economy. With regards to the region, unity is a key issue to face the challenges so a sense of unity among different groups within the country and among GCC countries is much needed.

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On the international front, I would argue that the largest concern is oil prices, the drop of oil prices. Reform is another key issue, it does not have to be from bottom up but the idea of creating certain institutions that can accommodate the changes in the demographic situation should be addressed.

Also I think the key area to address the youth from a government perspective is institutions that can accommodate the demands and concerns of youth and communicate those demands and concerns to the leadership.

Another thing is the boredom, we have a lot of young men who are bored, they cannot find jobs and simply do not have a lot to do with their time and this obviously creates serious problems. It is a cultural problem. We do not have an answer to major questions like identity questions, what political model, economic model we are after.

These are all unanswered questions. The main problem with the GCC as a regional institution is that it was an institution aimed to fulfil security and political objectives, but they were using an economic model to achieve this.

You begin with customs union, the common market and then common currency. Well that is an economic model, it worked fine with Europe because Europe decides to modernise and neutralise politics and focus on economics.

The GCC, on the other hand, wanted political objectives and security objectives but they are using an economic model and that is why it did not really work and it never worked.

On the national front, political reform is a key issue.

3 Replies to “Challenges to preparing GCC national students for higher education abroad”

It should be a bottom-top approach. It is about demands from the public, which put pressures to reform. The problem with the GCC - and most Arab nations - is that political reform was not a bottom-top approach; rather, it was an ultra-top approach, ie from international powers.Against this background, a major challenge facing the GCC countries is to maintain high rates of economic growth through market-based policies at a time when the growth impulse from the oil sector would be expected to weaken; government expenditure cutbacks would have an initial adverse impact on non-oil economic activity; and pressures to create employment opportunities at home would likely .

Over the last six decades, reliance of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries’ economy on expatriate workforce has increased incessantly. Majority of private sector workforce in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are expatriates.

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Challenges to preparing GCC national students for higher education abroad – Edu Alliance Journal