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Ministerial Council Data
Events And Competitions
Laws and Regulations
Cooperation in the field of Human and Environment Affairs
Cooperation in the field of Human and Environment Affairs
Cooperation in the field of Human and Environment Affairs
Cooperation in education
Cooperation in education
Scientific and Technical Cooperation
Cooperation in the field of employment and social services
Joint Social Action
Cooperation in the Filed of Health
Joint Municipal Action
Joint Action in the Field of Housing
Joint Youth Action
Joint Sport Action
Beginnings and objectives
The joint educational process began prior to the establishment of the GCC through the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States that was established in 1975 under supervision of the Ministers of Education (The General Conference). The development of education in the region in a later stage, the emergence of higher education institutions, which were independent from the Ministries of Education, such as colleges, universities, institutions of technical education and applied training, and the establishment of Ministries of Higher Education have caused the Bureau’s projects and programs to focus mainly on public education.
Therefore, the first meeting of the committee of the directors and presidents of universities and the higher education institutions, in the Secretariat General, March, 1986, represented the launch of the organized joint educational work under the auspices of the GCC in the field of higher education. The meeting discussed topics of special importance to the process of cooperation and integration among the GCC States. The topics included resolutions of the Supreme Council on the public education and higher education, objectives, policies and development plans, priorities of the joint action for higher education, equal treatment of students in terms of admission and treatment, coordination of efforts in the field of research, Arabization of higher education and enhancing the GCC trends towards integration and the joint students activities and meetings.
Due to the numerous fields of integration and cooperation among the higher education institutions, the Committee of the Directors and Presidents of Universities and the Higher Education Institutions adopted a plan for joint action (Kuwait, November, 1993). The plan identified the fields and objectives of cooperation among higher education institutions and the mechanism for organizing the meetings, studying the aspects of coordination and integration and addressing matters of mutual interest. According to the plan, committees have been formed, such as committees of the deans of colleges (Arts, Science, Medicine), support deanships (admission and registration, libraries, students, vice-presidents of universities) and heads of certain scientific departments.
In 1996, with the Ministries of Higher Education being established in most of the GCC States, a Ministerial Committee for Higher Education was formed to supervise the efforts of cooperation and integration between the higher education institutions and bodies. In addition to these two committees, there is a committee composed of the chairpersons of the degree-offset committees, a committee of the officials of technical education and vocational training and a committee of the deans of the technical colleges. Besides, there are many joint action committees as well as committees of support deanships.
Within the framework of Cooperation and integration among the works of the GCC and the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS), the Ministerial Council, at the 127th session (Jeddah, June 2013) directed to hold periodical meetings of the GCC States Ministers of Education to discuss the topics of GCC priority and peculiarity. The GCC Secretariat General will coordinate and make necessary arrangements for holding of meetings of Ministers of Education's Committee.
Resolutions of the Supreme Council
The joint educational action has been accorded keen interest by Their Majesties and Highnesses the leaders of GCC. This is demonstrated in the several resolutions taken by the Supreme Council in the field of education, the most important of which are the following:
• Adoption of the objectives and means that ensure the role of education in meeting the development needs of the GCC States (Muscat, November 1985).
• According equal treatment to the GCC students at the general education stages same as the students of the State where schooling is provided. (Muscat, November 1985).
• Treating the certificates and degrees issued by any official education institution in the GCC States the same as those issued by the host Member State (Muscat, 1985)
• Allowing GCC citizens to engage in economic activity in the field of education (Muscat, 1995)
• Supporting the Arab Gulf University: Seats at the university have been designated in the names of the GCC leaders; Member States have financed some scientific and academic programs (Riyadh, December 1993).
• Establishing gulf network for quality assurance in higher education in the GCC States.
• Approving common guiding criteria for equation of certificates issued from the national institutions of higher education in the GCC States.
The joint education process has been furthered by another set of important resolutions taken by the Supreme Council, which had a direct impact on the adoption of several cooperation programs. These resolutions are as under:
I. Joint plan for the Development of the General Education Curricula
The General Conference of the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS), at the 16th session, held in March 2001, approved programs of the joint plan for the development of the general education curricula.
• Re-formulating the general objectives of education
• Preparation of a reference framework for the pre-school education stage
• Developing the common values in social studies
• Improving specifications of the school book and the instructional aids
• Objectives of the school curriculum
• Identification of the basic skills for the first three elementary grades
• Integration of school curriculum
• Utilization of the IT and computer technology
• Placement tests
• Identifying teachers’ efficiencies
• Development of thinking skills
• Relative weight of school subjects
• General objectives of education and objectives of the school stages
• Development of thinking skills
In consideration of the importance of the Joint Plan for the Development of the Public Education Curricula, the Supreme Council (23rd session, Doha, December, 2002) adopted the plan to be the basis of the Bureau’s programs and projects. The Bureau has completed most of the programs of the plan.
II. Recommendations of the Consultative Commission on Education
The Supreme Council (22nd session, Muscat, December, 2001) adopted
the recommendations of the Consultative Commission (4th session) on
education and the development of educational process. The Council decided to refer the proposed joint projects to the competent ministerial committees for developing the necessary implementing mechanisms.
It is worth mentioning that the Consultative Commission has diagnosed
the educational process and the challenges encountered, and has developed a set of recommendations falling in four axes: the first is a general one, the second addresses pre-elementary education and education for special need students, the third deals with public education and the fourth deals with higher education. The Commission has also proposed a number of joint projects in the field of education and scientific research.
In implementation of the above, the Committee of the Presidents and Directors of Universities and Higher Education Institutions, in October, 2002, formed a committee of experts to study the proposals of the Higher Education and Research Commission and develop the steps to be taken for implementation. The 8th Meeting of the Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research, held in March 2003, decided that the Committee’s recommendations are to be circulated to the ministries, universities and national research centers and required them to prepare periodic reports on the programs and steps implemented or to be implemented.
With regard to the joint projects, the Commission proposed to establish an academic accreditation board, a joint commission for scientific and technical development, a regional center for scientific and technical research in the field of energy and a joint center for strategic studies in the field of energy. The Committee of the Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Kuwait, February 2002) decided that a team from the Ministries of Higher Education is to be instructed to prepare a study on the requirements of establishing the academic accreditation board. A Coordination Committee for Academic Accreditation in the Field of Higher Education was formed, headquartered in the Sultanate of Oman, to become the nucleus for the Gulf Quality Assurance Authority.
III. The Educational Aspect in the Document of Opinions of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques
The Document of Opinions submitted by the Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, at the Consultative Meeting (Jeddah, May, 2002) addressed a number of aspects related to the GCC economic and social process, including education. The Supreme Council (Doha, December, 2002) adopted the recommendations set forth in the summary report, which the Secretariat had prepared in the light of the proposals and comments of Member States on the educational aspect of the Document. The Supreme Council also instructed the ministerial committees to develop the necessary mechanisms and programs for implementing these recommendations. It is worth to mention that the said recommendations were based on four axes: building the educational basis, compatibility between the education outputs and the development requirements, development of curricula and coordination and integration among the educational institutions.
In this connection, the Secretariat-General has taken many following up steps and organized several orientation activities and adopted appropriate steps for implementation through the joint action committees. Resolution of the Supreme Council (Kuwait, December, 2003) reiterated the importance of that Document and the adoption of the necessary programs for implementing its contents. In response to this resolution, the Ministers of Education (at the meeting of the General Conference of the Arab Bureau of Education for the GCC States, Kuwait, February, 2005) adopted the Document to be a reference for the Bureau’s plans and projects. The General Conference has also adopted a number of relevant educational programs and activities, achieving the directives contained in the document.
The Committee of the Ministers of Education and Scientific Research has also formed a specialist working team to examine the reports received from Member States on the implementation mechanisms. King Abdulaziz University organized, in cooperation with the Secretariat-General, a workshop in February 2005 for submitting proposals about the Document. The findings of the workshop were submitted to the 10th Meeting of the Ministers of Higher Education (Riyadh, March, 2005) where a working party was formed to develop a plan for implementation of the Supreme Council’s resolution on the Document of the comprehensive development of education. Directives (Recommendations) concerning Education.
IV. Education Trends
The Supreme Council (Doha, December, 2002) has issued a resolution on education, which included a number of recommendations that can be summed up as follows:
• Development of Curricula
• Development of the Teacher
• Compatibility between the education outputs and the development
• Organization and Administration
• Integration of Resources and Exchange of Experience
• Improvement of Quality and Quality Control
The Supreme Council has assigned the GCC Secretary General with the task of preparing a report containing specific recommendations to translate these directives into executable work programs. The Secretary General has formed a team of specialists, experienced in educational issues, which has submitted a detailed study (Document on Comprehensive Development of Education) on the trends containing recommendations about programs and projects for their achievement.
V. The Document on the Comprehensive Development of Education
The Supreme Council (Kuwait, December, 2003) adopted the Document on the Comprehensive Development of Education and instructed the competent ministerial committees to implement the projects and programs contained in it. The resolution of the Supreme Council called for developing an integrated educational plan that takes into account the other resolutions of the Council issued on education. The Document contained several programs and projects for the development of education, such as the following:
• The integral comprehensive perspective for development of education.
• The GCC Project for professionalization of education: A unified vision.
• The quality assurance project for development of the administrative and organizational performance of educational institutions.
• The e-University and e-school project: A reference framework for achieving coordination and integration in the field of virtual education.
• The Project of promoting the education outputs.
• The Partnership between the education institutions and community.
In implementation of the said resolution, the Committee of the Ministers of Higher Education assigned a specialized team to study the programs set forth in the Document for the comprehensive development of education and develop the appropriate implementing plan. Universities are expected to cooperate for implementing some of these programs.
The present stage is marked with quality advancement at the level of each Member State in the field of opening new public and private universities and colleges, the assurance of quality education, scientific research or overseas scholarship. All these steps have been an implementation of the resolutions of the Supreme Council in the area of education.
VI. Comprehensive Development of Education
Within the unified plan of programs and projects suitable for achievement of what is contained in the study entitled " Comprehensive Development of Education" and the Document of Opinions submitted by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and the opinions of the Consultative Commission, the Arab Bureau of Education for the GCC States has executed the project of development of public education, comprising more than thirty programs. The project dealt with five key areas of public education: Curricula and education, professionalization of education, education systems, technology and education and community partnership. The Office is currently working in cooperation with Ministries of Education to apply the outputs of project's programs and employ them in education field.
VII. Proposal of Custodian of Two Holy Mosques Concerning Acceleration of Performance
In implementation of the resolution of the Supreme Council taken at the 29th session (Muscat, December 2008), concerning acceleration of performance and removing obstacles, which adopted the proposed solutions for acceleration of performance, the following have been achieved:
In the field of Higher Education
1. Ministries of Higher Education and scientific research in the GCC States have allocated departments concerned with GCC affairs.
2. The Committee of Presidents and Directors of the Universities is striving to execute the joint action administratively and financially.
3. “Jesr” information portal has been developed for network connection among the higher education establishments.
4. A number or common bylaws, procedures and systems in the field of higher education have been completed. Among them are procedures of certification equation in higher education, competition of technical skills, student university activities, contracting with teaching staff, student exchange, admission and registration.
5. The Secretariat General, in coordination with universities and higher education establishments in the GCC States organizes symposia and workshops aimed to promote and disseminate culture of joint action inside each university.
6. The universities and higher education institutions are striving to establish a federation similar to European Universities Federation, as per the feature of GCC. A small committee composed of presidents and directors of universities has been entrusted to submit a concept paper in this regard, so that it may be submitted to the 20th meeting of universities, to be held in October 2014.
In the Field of Public Education
1. The Executive Council of the Arab Bureau of Education for the GCC States reached a mechanism to ensure application of outputs of the Bureau’s programs and its bodies in the Member States.
2. The Bureau is currently working in coordination with the Member States to make its programs meeting the needs of the Member States, and in line with their developmental projects.
3. The Bureau is following up to organize a meeting with the participation of international expert for preparation of new trends and paths for development of public education and develop a guiding document.
VIII. Educational Aspect in the Paper of the State of Kuwait.
(a) Regarding the higher education: Coordination will be made with the Ministry of Higher Education of the State of Kuwait, regarding the activation of economic and developmental dimension of the educational aspect in the Paper of the State of Kuwait. The Committee of Higher Education Ministers, at the 13th meeting (Kuwait, March 2008) agreed on four programs. The Secretariat General, in coordination with the ministries of higher education and scientific research of the GCC States have exerted its efforts to complete implementation of those programs. These are as under:
1. Education for GCC citizen in the institutions of higher education in the GCC States: a proposed concept for general preparation program.
2. Promoting moderation and addressing intellectual extremism: the role assigned to the scientific research centers in universities and establishments of higher education in the GCC States.
3. Scientific and research excellence in higher education institutions of the GCC States: a proposed model.
4. Proposed model of knowledge management in universities and institutions of higher education.
The Member States, represented in Ministries of Higher Education and Scientific Research, have implemented these programs under various titles and methods.
(b) As far as the cooperation in the field of public education concerned, two programs have been approved. They are strengthening educational values, and media culture. Arab Bureau of Education for the GCC States has implemented these programs within the project of development of public education. They have been assigned to expert offices.
IX. Vision of the State of Qatar Pertaining to Investment in the field of Education:
The Supreme Council, at the 30th session (Kuwait, December 2009) issued a decision concerning joint investment in education and health. A technical committee composed of the ministries of finance and competent authorities in the Member States, i.e. education and health, has been assigned to carry out the following:
a. Studying the projects proposed by the Ministers of Education and Ministers of Health to select those project which have priority.
b. Establishment of a GCC body for investment in education.
c. Promoting benefiting from existing educational projects in the Member States.
d. Supporting existing joint projects such as Arabian Gulf University.
The assigned committee has held four meetings, through which it has reached the following:
1. A GCC establishment for investment in education: The committee has concluded that this project is not a priority in the current stage, due to a big tendency of the private sector to invest in educational projects.
2. Survey to enumerate and assess GCC States' needs of joint ventures financially and economically feasible in the field of education: The Secretariat General has coordinated with the State of Qatar to prepare the general framework of the study. It has been discussed and approved by the technical committee. Coordination has been made and the necessary procedures have been taken and agreement has been made with the Gulf Research Center to perform the survey.
3. Supporting projects of Arabian Gulf University to establish an endowment fund for the University: The committee did not approve the proposed endowment fund, in implementation of the decision of the Financial and Economic Cooperation Committee in this regard.
X. According equal treatment to GCC students in terms of admission and treatment in public universities and higher education institutions of the GCC States
Within the framework of activation of the GCC Common Market, the Supreme Council, at the 8th session (Riyadh, December 1987), issued a resolution concerning according equal treatment GCC students in terms of admission and treatment in government universities and higher education institutions. It directed the Committee of Presidents and Directors of the Universities and Higher Education Institutions of the GCC States and the Committee of Deans of Admission and Registration in the Universities and Higher Education Institutions of the GCC States to devise regulatory mechanisms to activate the decision to give equal treatment to GCC students in admission and treatment. The Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research, at their 16th meeting held on 12 February 2014, in Riyadh, have agreed on the proposal submitted in this regard by the presidents and directors of universities and decided to refer it to the Supreme Council.
XI. According equal treatment GCC students in terms of admission and treatment in technical education and vocational training
Within the framework of activation of the GCC Common Market, the Supreme Council, at the 30th session (Kuwait, December 2009), issued a decision concerning according equal treatment GCC students in terms of admission and treatment in technical education vocational training institutions in the GCC States. The Secretariat General has communicated the decision to the concerned authorities in the Member States seeking issuance of necessary legislations to implement it in each State. It has received responses from all the Member State, stating to implement the decision.
Fake and un-licensed Universities and Academic Federations
The Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research in the GCC States, at their 15th meeting (Manama, January 2012) discussed the topic of eliminating the phenomenon of spread of fake and un-licensed universities and academic federations and methods of putting an end to them. They recommended the following:
• Emphasizing the authorities concerned with employment in public and private sector of the GCC States to ensure the soundness of data of the certificates of the applicants to work in the Member States and have them equated.
• The competent authorities in the Member State shall take the necessary procedures to quickly implement this decision.
The Ministerial Council adopted this recommendation at the 125th preparatory session, held on December 23rd 2012.
Social and Educational Coherence
In the field of social and cultural communication, a number of educational and youth meetings and activities are periodically organized by GCC universities with participation of higher education students and institutions. These activities include many participants every year, in addition to their indirect impact on all categories of GCC community. The following are some of the activities that were completed so far:
a) Student Activities
• Organizing eight educational weeks for the university students at the GCC States: Hundreds of students participate in these weeks with their scientific, educational and social output.
• Organizing seven sport competitions for university students at the GCC States, of which the sixth competition was organized at Kuwait University (March 2005). Hundreds of university students have participated in those Competitions.
• Organizing 26 visits for the distinguished students from the universities of the GCC States. Each visit was made to one of the GCC universities, where students met university staff and students
• Organizing 12 camps for the rover students from the universities of the GCC States. The 13th camp will be organized this year.
• Organizing several across-country racing competitions.
• Organizing three university theatre festivals for the students of the universities of the GCC States.
• Organizing the first GCC Competition for vocational skills
• Organizing the 4th students external visit for the university students, to France in August 2014.
• Organizing four international visits for the officials of technical education and vocational training.
• Organizing 18 internal visits for competent persons in technical education and vocational training institutions.
b) Forums and Conferences
Many scientific forums and conferences have been organized at university, college or department level, or at the level of scientific departments specialized in technical and vocational training.
c) Studies and Research
• Issuing the Arab Accounting magazine (periodical); A concise scientific magazine issued by the accounting departments.
• Basic education; the Ideal and Application
• Compatibility between the higher education outputs and the development requirements of labor force in the GCC States
• Intermediate colleges: The international experience and the efforts of the GCC States in this connection
• Selection of teachers and assessment of their performance
• Admission criteria at the universities of the GCC States
• Guidelines for development of higher education at the GCC States
• Diversification of finance sources of higher education
• Social and financial positions of the GCC students abroad
• Methods and techniques for detecting false degrees (for the officials in charge of offset of degrees at the GCC States)
• Study on comprehensive development of education
• Study on the special-need students at higher education institutions and universities
• Study on the indexes and achievements in higher education.
• The Supreme Council resolutions in the field of education and education excellence.
• Highlights on the higher education process in the Member States: resolutions and accomplishments.
Secretariats of Joint Action Committees
In view of the expansion of joint action in the field of higher education,
Presidents and Directors of Universities and Higher Education Institutions adopted a regulation that allows universities and higher education institutions o participate in managing part of the joint action affairs. Accordingly, many secretariats were formed for colleges such as the Secretariat of the Committee of the Deans of Medicine, Education, Science, Engineering, in addition to the committees of support deanships such as the committee of deans of community service and continued education centers, admission and registration, libraries, student affairs, etc. These secretariats were distributed to universities according to the sphere of specialization. These secretariats successfully perform their duties as they have achieved a great deal of coordination and cooperation in various fields such as:
• Teaching methodologies
• Exchange of expertise and potentials
• Joint scientific research
• Scientific conferences and workshops
• Performance development of teaching staff
• Establishing a database "Gulf Research Portal" which is a project that serves scientific research and academic action in the field of higher education at Member States level
• Distant teaching
• Modern applications of technology.
• Creating an award for the excellence in designing and improving electronic curricula.
• Award of excellence and innovation in taking care of special-need students' rights.
• Award of GCC Secretariat for engineering colleges students.
• Organizing a special workshop entitled "Preparation of executive articles for the criteria of international agreement on rights of special needs students in higher education universities and institutions of the GCC States".
These committees have developed five-year plans that include several joint programs and projects. The secretariats of these committees submit annual reports, through the GCC Secretariat General, to the Committee of the Presidents and Directors of Universities and Higher Education Institutions in the Member States.