Bahrain's multimillion-dollar backed Crown Prince International Scholarship Programme has sent 146 students overseas to date funding all costs incurred during study abroad and paying out up to US$500,000 per student.
Demographics, increased purchasing power and consenting government regulation have created a blooming market for private education providers and investors in the MENA region. However, a report carried out by Informa shows a mismatch in goals among operators and capital investors.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani urged the country’s higher education institutions to open up to more foreign students and staff, as well as giving a ringing endorsement for study abroad, in a nationally televised speech marking the beginning of the academic year.
UAE-based alternative asset manager Gulf Capital has announced its first foray into the region's booming education sector with a US$30m investment in one of Dubai's international schools operators, Evolvence Knowledge Investments, to help finance two new schools in the Gulf.
Education giant Pearson has launched the Global Scale of English – a numeric measurement of English language proficiency. The company will begin introducing the GSE into its product lines worldwide over the next 18-24 months and aims to establish it as a universal benchmark for businesses, governments and academic institutions.
The UK's higher education watchdog, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, has found only two of 11 UK campuses in the UAE are "readily recognisable" branch campuses. It has warned providers not to mislead students about what is being offered offshore and advises that providers "do more to introduce a UK academic culture".
Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) giant Coursera has lifted restrictions to students in Iran put in place earlier this year in compliance with US export control regulations. The restrictions on provision in Iran, Cuba, Syria and Sudan came into force when the US government released "a clearer interpretation" of how export control regulations relate to MOOCs.
For the third year in a row, the United States has been named “top country for higher education” by the U21 Ranking of National Higher Education Systems. Sweden has maintained its second place, while Canada and Denmark rose to take joint third from their respective forth and fifth place positions in 2013. Finland rounds out the top five.