ISSN: 1550-7521

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Research Article Open Access

Higher Education in the Middle East: Opportunities and Challenges for U.S. Universities and Middle East Partners


In recent years, particularly in the aftermath of 9/11, there has been a significant increase in the presence of U.S. universities and colleges in the Middle East. This article examines the challenges and opportunities that are found in the evolving establishment of regional institutions of higher education in the Middle East, with particular attention to the Persian Gulf region. Despite the best intentions of those involved there are conflicting interests and ambitions among Middle Eastern and U.S. elites who are involved in the various partnerships and collaborations. This article reviews and examines some of the current partnerships in hopes that future endeavors will profit from recent events and design more effective and productive collaborations. No other region in the world confronts the next U.S. president with a greater set of challenges than the Middle East. Virtually each country in the region has a long and complicated relationship with Washington and other Western capitals. From Bagdad to Riyadh, from Islamabad to Jerusalem, from Tehran to Ankara, and from Doha to Muscat, the next occupant of the White House will confront nations and peoples fatigued from longstanding tensions and hopeful for change.

Richard Rupp

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