Funded by the Volkswagen Foundation and conducted at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum in cooperation with the OIB, this project studies the opportunities and constraints for quality education, creative research and international academic cooperation in the social sciences and humanities at Egyptian and Lebanese universities. Social sciences and humanities at Arab universities are often described as suffering from a lack of academic freedom. However, institutional autonomy and the individual academic’s opportunities and constraints seem to differ considerably under different configurations of local, regional and international influences by the state, the market, and civil society. The ongoing study is intended to explore which of these conditions vary between universities in Egypt and Lebanon under the impact of current political change. In particular, the project focuses on possible correlations between institutional and individual autonomy and between an institution’s autonomy and the academic services it offers to its clientele. In both countries, mass universities are compared to elite universities. The results are intended to benefit educational planners as well as individual academicians and academic institutions.
Author: Dr. Jonathan Kriener, Ruhr-Universität Bochum