Between the Fears and Hopes for a Different Future for the Nation-states: Scholarship Programs in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates from a Public Policy Standpoint

Kholoud T Hilal


As Bereday (1964) once said, comparative education research, in its most rudimentary form, begins with juxtaposition. When juxtaposing contemporary trends concerning higher education in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates---both of which currently provide substantial support to improve their higher education systems---differences abound in terms of approach, strategic 'cultural' foresight, openness, and outreach. What do Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates aim to achieve via overseas scholarship programs? How do overseas Saudi and Emirati students evaluate the scholarship programs in terms of its negative and positive impacts on Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates? Among other things, this research highlights some of the similarities and differences between Saudi and Emirati students regarding their evaluation of Saudi Arabia’s and United Arab Emirates’ scholarship programs. This research has been conducted by a Saudi-PhD-sponsored by King Abdullah Scholarship Program; therefore, more emphasis will be placed on Saudi Arabia. While, in some parts, the study compares Saudi and Emiratis students, Emiratis and/or United Arab Emirates has been chosen in order to set KSA higher education in the context of another major Arab state.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online)

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