Beyond Fikr 12: a Strategic Initiative on Academic Employability in the Arab World

HRH-Prince-Khalid

Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Makkah Governor and ATF chairman

In his closing remarks, Fikr 12 Executive Director Hamad Abdullah Al Ammari announced the Arab Thought Foundation’s resolve to launch two strategic initiatives to enable job creation in the Arab World.

The first initiative aims at setting up a strategy to facilitate investments and create jobs in the region. The second Pilot initiative aims at ranking Arab universities’ employability (i.e. graduates’ ability to find appropriate job opportunities) in three different countries: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Morocco.

This project, based on in-depth research by NGC and designed in close collaboration with the ATF, would represent an important contribution to better matching graduates’ skills and labor market needs, thus helping reduce Youth unemployment.

The importance of Culture, mindset and Education to help solve the tragedy of Youth unemployment was one of the key results of the special Fikr 12 report on Job creation conducted by PwC[1]. The need to reform Higher Education was highlighted throughout the Conference by political leaders, members of the private sector as well as researchers.

Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Ibrahim Saif said the Middle East must ensure that “the region produces not only an educated, but an employable generation.”

According to Waleed Al-Banawi, chairman and founder, JISR, Saudi Arabia: “The system of education prevailing in the Arab nations is producing thousands of graduates providing them with only theoretical knowledge. Instead, the graduates coming out of the Arab universities must be equipped with soft skills such as communication and analytical abilities.”

Marwan Iskandar, economy expert from Lebanon, stressed the need to enhance education levels in the region and update curricula to meet the job requirements in the market. to read more on the Conference’s discussions, check here.

More to come soon on this ambitious initiative!


[1] 86% of the surveyed population considers that raising education levels is very important to improve youth unemployment.

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