Princess Basmah al Saud, keynote speaker at March’s London Gulf Education Conference, said that the Arabian Gulf region was moving ‘backwards’ through its efforts to attract academic talent from abroad. Princess Basmah, from the Saudi royal family, urged Gulf states to use ‘the people we have’, following the example set by the West to ‘educate the masses – this is where everybody should start’.
The comments, made during a Gulf Education Conference debate, were reported by THE, who also interviewed Princess Basmah during the conference. She told THE that ‘flagship’ universities funded by the House of Saud which brought in Western scholars served only ‘the elites of the elites of the elites of the elites – of not even Saudi Arabia’. Princess Basmah singled out postgraduate-only King Adbul lah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), with its generous scholarships for foreign Stem-subject students, and with comparatively few restrictions placed on women. KAUST has been, according to the princess, ‘a disaster – you see Japanese and Chinese coming to learn in Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Arabians have no right to go there’.
KAUST graduate affairs dean Brian Moran told THE that 37 per cent of its graduates starting last year were Saudis.
A businesswoman based in west London, educated in the UK and with a Beirut Arab University English literature degree, Princess Basmah is described on her website as ‘deeply affected by the growing disparity between rich and poor, in terms of capital, education and opportunities’. She is a prominent advocate of gender equality in Saudi Arabia.
THE NUMBER of international students going to the US for postgraduate-level study continues to rise, particularly for students from Brazil and India. But masters and doctorate degree enrolments from top-sending country China are down, as are numbers from other important sending countries. These are among the findings of The Council of Graduate School’s Findings of the CGS 2014 International Graduate Admissions Survey, Phase 1: Applications. The survey’s data has been released in the form of percentile increases and decreases rather than in numerical totals.
WILLIAM VAHEY, a paedophile and international school teacher who committed suicide after pictures of his victims were passed to the FBI, spent most of his forty-year career working for American international schools affiliated to the US State Department, Gazette research reveals. Despite having a conviction in California for child abuse in 1969, Vahey evaded discovery because US overseas schools are barred by law from accessing FBI criminal records.
Vahey, a US citizen who admitted to abusing boys throughout his career, first began teaching at Tehran International School, which was State Department-assisted, in 1973 and worked for other assisted schools in Lebanon, Spain, Greece, Indonesia and Venezuela before evidence of his abuse was uncovered by authorities at the American Nicaraguan School, also affiliated to the State Department.
UK business secretary Vince Cable (standing, speaking) used the occasion of his Mansion House speech to express approval for ‘overseas students who pay full market tuition fees, cross-subsidise British students and help to keep our universities financially viable’.
Photo Courtesy: City of London Corporation