Symposium Books Logo

Education in the Broader Middle East
Enlarge cover

Education in the Broader Middle East

borrowing a baroque arsenal


2013 paperback 206 pages, £34.00, ISBN 978-1-873927-86-1

However, it is still available immediately as an eBook: please click on the links below to Amazon Kindle and/or Google Books.

About the book

This book brings together academics and postgraduate students, practitioners and Ministry officials all of whom are wedded to developing an understanding of what is happening to education in the broader Middle East. They cover many countries whilst recognising that many more could have been included. In drawing attention to education in Pakistan, Palestine, Oman, Turkey and Qatar they indicate the wide range of education 'policy borrowing' and, most importantly, the effects of this exchange. The contributors know that the countries of the broader Middle East are not alone in having purchased glitzy, glossy and tantalisingly wonderful educational reforms, only to find how quickly they became outdated. In other words, they became a 'baroque arsenal' of educational goods, services and models of practice which, having been discussed, designed and generated many years before in countries elsewhere, have then been sold and delivered to the unsuspecting countries of the broader Middle East. It is argued that many of the countries of the region did not suspect that their purchases were, more frequently than not, the 'off-loading' of failed educational experiments in countries of 'the centre'. This book discusses what this means not only for educational reform projects but also for the impact upon regional political stability.

The two final chapters discuss the underlying key concerns of gender and of cross-border education. 



Gari Donn & Yahya Al Manthri. Education Policy Transfers – Borrowing and Lending Education Policy: a conceptual expedition into baroque arsenals

Sajid Ali. Education Policy Borrowing in Pakistan: public–private partnerships

Mohammed Alrozzi. The Politics of Foreign Aid and Policy Borrowing in Palestine

Brooke Barnowe-Meyer. Qatar’s Independent Schools: education for a new (or bygone?) era

Tanya Kane. Higher Education in Qatar: does a US medical school break the baroque arsenal?

Sana Al Balushi & David Griffiths. The School Education System in the Sultanate of Oman

Özlem Yazlık. International Influences on Adult Literacy and Basic Education in Turkey

Salha Abdullah Issan. Gender and Education in the Arabian Gulf States

Jane Knight. Crossborder Education in the Gulf Countries: changes and challenges

Notes on Contributors


Gari Donn is the Executive Director of the United Nations House in Scotland. She is the Convenor of UNA Scotland and Chair of the Edinburgh Peace Initiative. Dr Donn also works at the University of Edinburgh where she researches, supervises PhD students and lectures on postgraduate programmes in International Education. Her research focuses upon the political economy of globalisation, international education and higher-education policy making notably in countries of the Middle East, Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. She acts as adviser to ministries of education. She is an active member of the UK National Commission for UNESCO Scotland Committee and Soroptimist International in Edinburgh.

Yahya Al Manthri is the Chair of the State Council of Oman, having been previously the Minister for Higher Education, Minister for Education and Vice Chancellor of the Sultan Qaboos University in Oman. As a senior diplomat in the 1980s, Dr Al Manthri was a member of the Omani delegation to the UN and Deputy Governor of Dhofar, the Southern Province. He has represented his country at international events organised by UNESCO, the International Arab Union and the Arab Bureau for Education in the Gulf States.

Sajid Ali is an Assistant Professor at the Aga Khan University’s Institute for Educational Development, Karachi. He has a PhD in Education Policy from the University of Edinburgh, an MEd in Leadership and Policy from Monash University, and a Masters in Sociology from the University of Karachi. Dr Ali is a recipient of various academic awards including the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Award (2003), Australian Development Award (2003), Edinburgh Research Award (2006) and South Asian Visiting Scholar Oxford University (2011). Dr Ali has taught at Hamdard, Karachi and Aga Khan Universities as well as at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include globalisation and education policy, educational governance, education reforms, and the privatisation of education and the teacher labour market.

Mohammed Alrozzi is a Palestinian research professional who specialises in youth and young childhood. He was born and continues to live in Gaza in the Palestinian Territories. Mohammed completed his undergraduate study at Bethlehem University, where he was awarded a BSc in Occupational Therapy. In 2011 he completed his Masters degree in Childhood Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He has worked with many international non-governmental organisations and UN agencies, including Mercy Corps, Terre des Hommes, the Norwegian Refugee Council and UNICEF. He is currently the Child Participation Coordinator at World Vision – Gaza. Through his work experience, Mohammed has developed an extensive multidisciplinary expertise in child-protection issues, education in post-conflict settings and aspects of psychosocial wellbeing at times of crisis. He is particularly interested in researching the politics of education.

Brooke Barnowe-Meyer is a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, Brooke completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Washington in Seattle (BA Political Science, 2005) before pursuing postgraduate study at the University of Edinburgh (MSc Education, 2010). Her PhD studies focus on the role of policy networks and social entrepreneurs in the development and implementation of health-education programmes in sub-Saharan Africa. Her research and professional interests include globalisation and education, international policy borrowing, sexual and reproductive-health education and HIV/AIDS prevention.

Tanya Kane graduated with a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Edinburgh in 2011. Her thesis examined the transfer of a US pedagogical model to the Arabian Gulf against the wider context of the globalisation of higher education. Dr Kane’s anthropological fieldwork was conducted at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar where she explored Arab student experiences of the US-style medical curriculum. A former schoolteacher, with a BEd from the University of Toronto, BA from Queens University, and an MA in Classics and Archaeology from McMaster University, Tanya has taught in Canada and the United Kingdom. Her research interests include globalisation, education, medicine, neoliberalism and knowledge-based economies, especially in relation to the countries of the Middle East.

Sana Al Balushi is the Director General of the National Career Guidance Center at the Ministry of Education in the Sultanate of Oman. She has worked as the Director of the Technical Office for Studies and Development, running the International Educational Programmes Office. She works as an educational expert with education-reform projects, and in that capacity has supervised a number of consultancies and works closely with international agencies. She is a qualified teacher in English language at elementary, preparatory, secondary, college and university levels. She received her PhD in Education (Curriculum Design and Evaluation) from the University of Louisville (Kentucky, USA). Her research is in the areas of education reform and English as a second language. She is a member of a number of policy-making committees and represents the Sultanate of Oman on international consultative bodies.

David Griffiths qualified with an MA (Honours) Degree from Dundee University in Scotland. He worked as teacher and Principal Teacher for 15 years in schools in Edinburgh. He served as a Curriculum Development Officer with Lothian Region for four years and as an Examination Officer with the Scottish Examination Board for six. He worked as the Lead Consultant on a three-year Scottish Qualifications Authority project to reform assessment practices in schools in Oman. For the last 12 years he has been employed as an Educational Adviser to the Ministry of Education in the Sultanate of Oman. He is the author of several school textbooks.

Özlem Yazlık is a PhD candidate at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Her PhD is on women’s identity-related participation and engagement in adult-literacy and basic-education courses in Turkey. Her research interests focus on conceptions of literacy and identity, adult-literacy programmes, women’s literacy, feminist methodologies and gender and education in Turkey. She worked as a teacher of English for both children and adults in Turkey. She also worked as a project officer in the community-based educational projects of international non-governmental organisations in the earthquake-stricken Iranian city of Bam and Pakistani Kashmir. She continues her involvement in feminist activism in Turkey through her voluntary translation and publication-research work in the Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation.

Salha Issan graduated with an MEd degree from Hull University, United Kingdom and a PhD in Comparative Education from the Institute of Education, University of London. Her research continues to be in comparative education. She has lectured and supervised postgraduate students in educational administration at Bahrain University, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman and Cairo University. She is external examiner for PhD dissertations for the University of Malaya, Institute of Graduate Studies. Professor Issan has worked as a consultant for the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Higher Education in Sultanate of Oman. She has presented research papers in comparative education at conferences around the world. During her period as Dean at SQU, she introduced accreditation and evaluation of programmes in education. She has participated in multiple international research projects, including the Service Learning Project in collaboration with four renowned US universities.

Jane Knight works at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, where the focus of her research is on institutional, national, regional and international dimensions of higher education. Through her work in over 65 countries with universities, governments, UN agencies and foundations a comparative, developmental and international perspective is brought to her research, teaching and policy work. Dr Knight is the author of numerous publications on internationalisation concepts and strategies, quality assurance, institutional management, trade and cross-border education. She is the co-founder of the African Network for the Internationalisation of Education and sits on the advisory boards of many international organisations and journals.

Related and recent books

Cross-national Attraction in Education HUBERT ERTL

Education in the Muslim World ROSARII GRIFFIN

Educational Policy Borrowing DAVID PHILLIPS, KIMBERLY OCHS

The Cross-cultural Transfer of Educational Concepts and Practices MASAHIRO TANAKA


Aspects of Education in the Middle East and North Africa COLIN BROCK, LILA ZIA LEVERS

Globalisation and Higher Education in the Arab Gulf States GARI DONN, YAHYA AL MANTHRI


Book Reviews