Report Launch on May 31, 2012 Universities Through the Looking Glass: Benchmarking University Governance to Enable Higher Education Modernization in MENA A new tool for measuring governance is helping universities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region develop reforms that will allow them to be both more responsive to the needs of young people and become the sources of knowledge and innovation that will drive future growth. The University Governance Screening Card enables MENA universities to compare themselves with international standards and to define their own unique set of goals and establish benchmarks to assess the progress in achieving them. In the wake of the global crisis and the Arab Spring, young people in MENA are demanding change. In particular they seek better opportunities to study and work, challenging universities and governments to improve their options for higher education. University governance has been a recent focus of tertiary education reform worldwide. It is particularly relevant in MENA given the region wide demand for more responsive and accountable institutions. University governance addresses how universities and higher education systems define and implement their goals, manage their institutions, and monitor their achievements. There is a broad consensus on the role of governance in improving education quality, especially in MENA, where higher education representatives have expressed a specific need for a benchmarking tool. In response to this call, the World Bank, in partnership with the Marseille Center for Mediterranean Integration, developed the Screening Card, an innovative benchmarking tool that was derived from a series of good practice assessment tools used in OECD countries. The tool acknowledges that there is no single model of “good governance” and that the contexts within which universities operate determine their best practice. First implemented in 41 universities from four countries (Egypt, Morocco, Palestine, and Tunisia), the Screening Card is now being implemented in three additional countries in the region (Algeria, Iraq, and Lebanon), and universities from across the world have expressed an interest in joining the program. The team prepared a report entitled “Universities Through the Looking Glass: Benchmarking University Governance to Enable Higher Education Modernization in MENA” following the initial implementation and subsequent data analysis and validation. The report discusses the conceptual framework within which the Screening Card was developed, the results of the tool’s implementation in the first four countries, and preliminary recommendations for reform. The team has also prepared a new website with access to higher education indicators and innovative data visualization tools: www.cmimarseille.org/highereducation. The World Bank and CMI will launch the report and website on May 31st with videoconference connections at the CMI and in the World Bank offices in Washington, Rabat, Jerusalem, Cairo, Tunis, Algiers, and Beirut. For interviews or press inquiries, please contact Jennifer Barry (firstname.lastname@example.org, +33 (0)6 1042 8561) or Silvia Marchionne (email@example.com).
Published on May 22, 2012