The UCJC Education brunch discusses education in the Middle East

The UCJC Almagro campus hosted a new UCJC Education Brunch, organised jointly between Camilo José Cela University and the Magisterio newspaper. On this occasion, Haizam Amirah Fernández, head researcher on the Mediterranean and Arab World at the Real Instituto El Cano, gave a talk in which he analysed the current state of education in the Middle East and North Africa.

The talk given by Amirah was introduced by Nieves Segovia, President of SEK Education Group, who remarked that ‘our links with education in the Arab world means we are very interested in the topics covered at this event’, referring to SEK Qatar International School, the only Spanish school in the Middle East, offering an international education to its students and with the mission of bridging cultural differences, as mentioned by Nieves Segovia.

The event was also addressed by Francisco López Rupérez, Director of the UCJC Chair on Education Policy, who outlined the results of the latest PISA report in terms of education policies in the Middle East. ‘Developing countries have seen education and training as a formidable tool for economic and social development,’ said López Rupérez, who remarked that the latest PISA report ‘included participation of Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Argelia and Cyprus, who use this report to inform their education policies.’

During his presentation, Haizam Amirah Fernández gave an in-depth description of education in the Middle East and North Africa, focussing on education levels in these areas, with a total population of 400 million.  ‘Education is a central and essential aspect in understanding health care systems, employment, economics and social stability in these countries.

Amirah gave a global analysis, not only focussing on education, since, according to him ‘if we don’t look at individual societies, their challenges and education, it is not possible to understand what goes on there or what will happen in the future.’ His talk tackled subjects such as the geographical context of the Arabic-speaking world, the consequences of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’, the challenges facing these countries and their societies, political systems and how far they still have to go. Furthermore, he also analysed other interesting data, such as women’s role in the Middle East.

The event concluded with a Q&A session moderated by José María Moya, Director of Magisterio.