DescriptionThe importance of tertiary education for economic growth and competitiveness is increasingly recognized as critical not just for middle-income and advanced countries, but also for low-income ones. Access to a solid, world-class curriculum helps develop a skilled and flexible labor force that can positively influence productive activities by creating, applying and spreading new ideas and technologies. Research universities are emerging as the central institutions of the 21st century knowledge economies. In this context, the presentation will start by offering an operational definition of a world-class university. It will then outline and analyze possible strategies and pathways for establishing such universities. Finally it will share lessons of experience based on recent work with countries and institutions that are keen on establishing world-class universities, identifying in the process some of the challenges, costs, and risks associated with these attempts. The presentation will attempt to assess where KAUST fit into this picture and discuss the specific challenges of emerging universities in the Middle East which have not appeared yet in the global rankings such as those published by Times Higher Education and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.
Jamil Salmi is a global tertiary education expert providing policy advice and consulting services to several governments, universities, multilateral banks and bilateral agencies. Until January 2012, he was the World Bank’s tertiary education coordinator. He wrote the first World Bank policy paper on higher education in 1994 and was the principal author of the Bank’s 2002 Tertiary Education Strategy entitled “Constructing Knowledge Societies: New Challenges for Tertiary Education”. In the past twenty years, Dr. Salmi has provided policy advice on tertiary education development, financing reforms and strategic planning to governments and university leaders in more than 80 countries all over the world. Dr. Salmi is a member of the international advisory board of several universities in Europe, Asia and Latin America. He is also a member of the International Advisory Network of the UK Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, and the Editorial Committee of OECD’s Journal of Higher Education Management and Policy. Between 2008 and 2011, he represented the World Bank on the Governing Board of the International Institute for Educational Planning. Dr. Salmi’s 2009 book addresses the “Challenge of Establishing World-Class Universities”. His latest book, co-edited with Professor Phil Altbach, entitled “The Road to Academic Excellence: the Making of World-Class Research Universities”, was published in September 2011.
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