Palestinian educators have begun a series of national roundtables to address issues critical to the future of higher education in Palestine. The nine roundtables, which began in September and will be held monthly through next May, draw together university faculty and staff, government representatives, and international experts to review international best practices in higher education and how to apply them to the local context. A major goal of the series is to promote the continuing professional development of current and future leaders of higher education in Palestine.
Professional development is key to improving and maintaining the cutting-edge skills and knowledge of professionals in their respective fields. Done in a strategic manner and over a period of time, it adds not only to the expertise of the individual trainees, but advances institutional capacity and sustainable development in critical ways. This has been the case for the Professional Skills Training Program (PTP) in Lebanon, a 10-year, $1.7 million program implemented by AMIDEAST for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
As the first country to recognize the United States, Morocco traces its friendship to America’s earliest days. In recent years, this longstanding relationship has entered into a new phase, flourishing in the area of commerce as a result of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA), but also as increased travel and communication have drawn the two countries closer.
A new report, Higher Education Reform in the Arab World, underscores the critical role of higher education in the restructuring of Arab economic and political institutions that is currently underway. Authored by AMIDEAST Vice President Katherine Wilkens, the 11-page monograph links “the long term success or failure of today’s reform initiatives” to the ability of countries in the region “to place higher education where it belongs—as the engine of social and economic progress.”
Social entrepreneurship and its potential for addressing social challenges was the focus of the first regional conference of the Tomorrow’s Leaders Scholarship Program, held in Beirut in June. During a period of sweeping change in the region, the topic was timely and appropriate for a gathering of 90 young Arab scholars, selected for the competitive program based on their commitment to community, leadership qualities, and academic achievement.
AMIDEAST embarks this fall on a significant expansion of its already substantial commitment to English language training. Joining forces with World Learning/SIT Graduate Institute, a global leader in the professional development of English language teachers, AMIDEAST will offer the new, U.S.-accredited PCELT (Professional Certificate in English Language Teaching) for current and prospective English language teachers in the Middle East and North Africa.
INVESTING IN PEOPLE features stories of some of the thousands of individuals AMIDEAST worked with in 2010. Together with our partners and donors we worked to help thousands of individuals across the Middle East and North Africa access educational and training opportunities that will enable them to transform their own lives and bring positive change to their communities and societies. Learn about our activities in our 2010 annual report and read the stories of a few of the many individuals whom we proudly served this past year.