By ARAB NEWS
RIYADH: Ministers of higher education and scientific research in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries began an extraordinary meeting here Tuesday to explore prospects of expanding cooperation among universities and research centers in the Muslim world.
Opening the conference, Higher Education Minister Khaled Al-Anqari emphasized the role of institutions of higher learning in OIC countries in transforming them into knowledge-based economies.
“We understand the role of higher education in the development and progress of every nation as it provides the necessary administrative and technical experts required by all sectors,” he said.
Al-Anqari emphasized the importance of the conference, saying it would contribute to developing new mechanisms to improve the quality of higher educational institutions in OIC countries.
He said progress in higher education would contribute to accelerating development in Muslim countries. He stressed the need for increasing seats at universities for students and enhancing facilities of research centers. “We should also exchange information obtained by our research centers and think tanks,” he added.
Speaking about the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program, Al-Anqari said more than 120,000 Saudi students are currently studying in leading universities and institutes in 30 countries under the program. “This will help us make use of the scientific progress achieved by those countries,” he added.
Abdul Aziz Al-Tuwaijri, director general of Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), also addressed the conference. He spoke about the OIC’s efforts to improve the standard of universities in Muslim countries by setting out certain standards.
“Muslim countries will not be able to achieve a renaissance without developing a knowledge-based society,” he pointed out.