Globalisation requires us to foster global citizens

Globalisation requires us to foster global citizens Patrick Blessinger and Enakshi Sengupta St. John's University (NYC), USA and American University of Kurdistan Education and lifelong learning hold the key to addressing many of the world’s problems. Of course, education alone is not a sufficient condition for resolving these problems, but it is a necessary one, for it is within the fertile soil of humanistic education, grounded in democratic principles and universal human rights, that the seeds of political, economic, social and technological development can take root and grow. Authentic humanistic education provides the catalyst for summoning forth the best about humans – their innate drive to learn and create, their capacity for empathy and compassion towards others and their remarkable ability to come together to put in place humane policies and rules by which to govern society and relations between nations.  In short, education and lifelong learning provide hope in...

Inclusive higher education must cater for refugees

Inclusive higher education must cater for refugees Patrick Blessinger and Enakshi Sengupta St. John's University (NYC), USA and American University of Kurdistan   Every year on 20 June World Refugee Day is held to promote awareness of the plight of millions of refugees worldwide.  Currently, according to the UNHCR Population Statistics Database, more than 65 million people worldwide (roughly 1% of the world’s population) are displaced from their homes due to war, persecution, extreme violence, man-made disasters and similar factors. Of these displaced persons, about 20 million are classified as refugees, roughly the same number of people who were displaced worldwide as a result of World War II. Established in 1950, the UN Refugee Agency or UNHCR has become the world’s leading agency and programme responsible for the protection of refugees worldwide. In its capacity as the voice for refugees and other displaced persons, it leads international efforts to protect the rights of refugees and to...

Education for rehabilitation and rebuilding confidence in war-torn children: Perspective from a Yezidi from Camp Khangee in Northern Iraq

Education for rehabilitation and rebuilding confidence in war-torn children: Perspective from a Yezidi from Camp Khangee in Northern Iraq Enakshi Sengupta The American University of Kurdistan   “I want to be educated, it is my only way to fight Daesh” - Yezidi Refugee   When the Education for All (EFA) goal was declared at the World Education Forum in Dakar, Senegal in April 2000, many educators could not have imagined that the world would be so torn by war and conflict over the years since the forum. A large number of the world population is homeless, facing genocide and have been displaced from their home country due to war, political instability, or religious repression. According to a recent press release from UNICEF, it is estimated that more than 14 million children across Syria, Libya and Iraq are now suffering from the escalating conflict in those regions. With the conflict in...

Afghan students face integrational issues in universities

Afghan students face integrational issues in universities Enakshi Sengupta American University of Kurdistan, Kurdistan, Northern Iraq “We carry our bag full of books and they think we have bombs with us”. “If we wear a hijab (head scarf) they think we are different from them and will not understand their jokes.” “Why do I have to take the initiative of befriending them, why do I need to be nice to them or smile at them?”(Student A, from the Qualitative study). Afghanistan’s nation-wide literacy rate has seen a country wide growth since the year 2008. The youth literacy rates has increased by more than 16% and at present more than 8 million students are enrolled in schools, including more than 2.5 million girls. In 2013, one million Afghan learners are enrolled in schools with the assistance received from USAID. (http://www.usaid.gov/afghanistan/education). With the world opening its doors to Afghan students it is...

Post-Taliban Afghan Women Embrace Educational Opportunities

Post-Taliban Afghan Women Embrace Educational Opportunities Enakshi Sengupta American University of Central Asia “I remember my holidays in Kabul and how I had once shuddered seeing my cousins hiding their books under their veil going to a private school, their guilt ridden face showed as if they were stealing something, all they were doing was trying to educate themselves”, Maryam Haidary, 3rd year student , Business Administration, American University of Central Asia. “We had to move to Mazhar e-Sharif, I lost two valuable years of my life as I was not allowed to attend a school, life was hard, very hard, we were struggling to have some basic amenities of life and education was one of them, we are glad that it is behind us,” Samira, 1st year student of Anthropology, American University of Central Asia. Life is now different for Samira and Maryam, and others. They are the bright,...

Is Malaysia The Regional Leader In International Higher Education?

Is Malaysia the Regional Leader in International Higher Education? Patrick Blessinger and Enakshi Sengupta International HETL Association and University of Nottingham, Malaysia Campus While restructuring its educational policies in the 1990s, the Malaysian government realised it would not be able to provide higher education to a significant proportion of its population through its own public institutions. In 1995, the Malaysian government was faced with a situation where 20% of Malaysian students studied abroad. This cost the country an estimated $800 million USD, nearly 12% of Malaysia’s current account deficit. Malaysia became one of the top countries sending its own students to study abroad. Faced with such a predicament the Malaysian government embarked on a program to turn Malaysia into a fully developed knowledge based economy. To that end, the Malaysian government sought to partner with foreign higher educational institutions to offer more educational opportunities for Malaysians on their own soil. The ultimate aim was...

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