GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Designing Curricula for Business Studies in the GULF Region: The Conflict between Global Compatibility and Regional Specificity
Paper Proposal Text :

The discipline of business studies as such is relatively young, with its past at university and other institutions of higher learning traceable no further back that the late 19th or early 20th century. Over this period, canonical contents have developed, and the discipline has also come to accept certain educational and accreditation standards that have come to be accepted at a global level.
As a region that came to establish western-style academic institutions relatively late, the MENA region as a whole and the Gulf in particular have long concentrated on providing systems that enable them to vouchsafe the preservation of international standards, rather than customizing the curriculum to fit the specifics of the region to a larger degree.
After briefly reviewing the institutional structures and incentive structures that are in place in the region, the review will present recent region-specific customization efforts that its author is familiar with, both from the region itself and from western academic institutions, and concerning platforms such as on-campus postgraduate teaching (UK), summer school courses (Germany), and distance learning platforms (UK).
In so doing, the situation in the region, political, social and incentive-related constraints, as well as the question of national boundaries and regional fragmentation are traced, and current and past decisions in material production and design for MENA-related education offerings in the business field are reviewed.
This allows for the presentation of strategic choices to be made in designing MENA-related educational materials and their dissemination in the region, leading up to the further question of the extent to which regional institutions are in a position to achieve both the depth and the commitment to develop a region-specific offerings in the business studies field that put in on a par with the situation in Europe or East Asia, with respect to which such offerings have occupied a significant position in existing curricula for longer.