Complex Made Simple

MENA education must start producing international teachers

Education Investment MENA conference in Dubai highlights challenges, opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors and education businesses

The forecasted shortage of international teachers has emphasised the need for Middle East and North African countries to start producing high quality educators rather than only receiving them from more developed nations, an expert has said.

Andy Homden, Founder of Consilium Education, an educational consulting company, cited research by the International Schools Consulting Group which found the number of students in international schools passed four million in May 2015, leading to increasing pressures for Middle East educators on the traditional sources of teacher supply.

Speaking ahead of his participation in the Education Investment MENA conference, running from 15-19 November at the Ritz Carlton DIFC, he commented: “MENA countries which have made the judgement that it is in their national interest to encourage the growth of international education funded by private capital, must also become significant providers of international school teachers, rather than just receivers.

“Governments and educational investors need to work together to make this possible. Visa regulations affecting the education sector will need to be scrutinised and if necessary, reformed. Additionally, investors need suitable incentives not only to educate children in the K-12 sector, but also to train their teachers.”

Thinking and working innovatively within the education sector is a major theme of the Education Investment MENA conference this year, with a number of leading international speakers discussing and analysing the importance of transforming current education models in the region.

Shawn Nason, Chief Innovation Officer and Innovation Evangelist at Xavier University, will deliver his presentation, Managing the Tensions between Innovation and the Traditions of Higher Education, on the second day of the conference (17 November).

He said: “The call to innovate within education is so strong today due to the minimal change within the higher education business model over the past several hundred years. We need to identify new sources of non-traditional revenue streams, new lines of business, and potentially a whole new business model to face these challenges.”

In partnership with HUMANSOFT, the five day event explores opportunities for education businesses to expand across the Middle East, North Africa and wider emerging markets. Attended by regulators, investors, entrepreneurs, educators and solution providers, the event will progress dialogue around how to deliver localised 21st century learning for emerging markets.

HUMANSOFT is a global company investing in and promoting well researched, innovative, technology-driven ventures related to Learning, Human Resources Management and Health Services.

Opening on Sunday 15 November with a one-day Summit – Establishing a Presence in MENA, the two-day Education Investment MENA Forum will run from 16-17 November, followed by a series of seminars and site visits on 18 and 19 November.

Dr Wafi Dawood, Chief of Strategy and Excellence at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai will deliver the keynote address on the first day of the Forum (16 November): Scaling Innovation Across the Arab World, to identify the creation of collaborative open frameworks which enable educational improvement, reform and reinvention in the region.

Recognised international expert in educational transformation, Graham Brown-Martin will follow by presenting his seminar, Distilling Global Trends in Innovative Education Delivery, which will feature examples of innovative education delivery from around the world and question how to better engage private capital to deliver sustainable and meaningful new models of education in emerging markets.

Education Investment MENA is held in partnership with HUMANSOFT and supported by Gold sponsors Ryan International Group of Institutions, SABIS®, Parthenon-EY and GlobalEdu, and Silver sponsors, Clyde & Co, Colliers International, Cognition Education and ACS International Schools.