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AUK's Fourth Annual Liberal Arts Conference - Higher Education in the GCC: Emerging Trends and Models

The American University of Kuwait is holding its Fourth Annual Liberal Arts Conference on 26 and 27 April, 2009. The topic of the conference is 'Higher Education in the GCC: Emerging Trends and Models'.

The development of private higher education is a paradigm shift endorsed by the six member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in recent years. This has occurred, in part, to meet the demand for higher education that the public system could not meet. The dynamics of private higher education in the GCC countries is that institutions multiply to meet social needs and to satisfy social expectations.

Conferences such as this may be looked at as a process of 'articulation happening' and 'experience sharing'. Can they be made into intentional articulations to arrive at a synergistic place instead of "pundits" - often from the West - just speaking? Do all these different experiences make for a real emerging articulation of a new paradigm of education rather than just models that may end up competing, even if that was not the original intention?

The conference is spread over two days and divided into three panels. The first panel on 'Case Studies of Accreditation and Curriculum' will have practitioners from universities in the region who will share their experiences. The second panel on 'Technology, Curricula and Research' will highlight how learning outcomes are delivered in class room settings. The third panel on 'Emerging Trends' will discuss the directions that private higher education in the GCC is now being configured around.

The conference will be attended by Shaikha Dana Nasser Al-Sabah, Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of AUK along with several other Members of the AUK Board.
Introductory remarks will be made by AUK and Dartmouth College Presidents, Dr. Marina Tolmacheva and Prof. James Wright respectively. The keynote speaker at the conference is Prof. Dale Eickelman, Ralph and Richard Lazarus Professor of Anthropology and Human Relations, Dartmouth College. The conference coordinator is Dr. Shoma Munshi, Division Head of Social Sciences.


In addition to AUK faculty participation, the conference also has participation from other institutions including Kuwait University; Gulf University of Science and Technology; Arab Open University; Zayed University, Qatar University; American University of Cairo; Carnegie Mellon, Qatar Foundation; and California State University.

Released by the AUK PR & Marketing Department


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