Dr. Savaş Alpay, Director General of SESRIC, delivered a keynote presentation on ‘Research and Scientific Developments in OIC Member Countries’ at the Muslim Universities Vice-Chancellors’/Presidents’ Forum jointly organised by the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia and the National Higher Education Research Institute (IPPTN) of University Sains Malaysia on 19-20 October 2010 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Director General highlighted some important facts related to the research studies by SESRIC and presented an overview of current trends and developments in the OIC Member Countries in the fields of education, scientific research, and science & technology, focusing on scientific publications and university rankings as two major indicators of performance at higher education and scientific research.
Furthermore, Dr. Alpay, went on explaining the key determining factors of this performance and showing where the OIC Member Countries stand vis-à-vis the world with respect to these factors. He also provided an overall analysis of student-teacher ratio at tertiary schools, enrolment rate at tertiary schools, and public expenditure for tertiary education as three factors being crucial for better education at universities and advanced scientific research.
Dr. Alpay concluded his presentation by underlining some broad policy implications where he emphasised the need for more public and private resources allocated to higher education, by which the public expenditure on increasing the number of schools and teachers would be much higher in member countries. He stressed upon the idea of promoting academic research through improving living standards for scientists in order to reduce the OIC countries’ brain drain to the West, as well as providing grants and minimizing teaching loads.
Dr. Alpay also stated that in order to stimulate R&D, it is important that governments develop a plan on reaching in the foreseeable future the 1% target of R&D share in GDP, set by the OIC Ten-Year Programme of Action in 2005 as adopted by the Heads of States and Governments. Governments, he added, should also encourage research joint ventures among companies in OIC Member Countries and take advantage of R&D spillovers by learning about other countries’ new technologies and improving them, and by importing technological goods and services from their trade partners. Dr. Alpay concluded his presentation by saying that encouraging private sector to increase R&D expenditures through tax concessions or R&D subsidies was another policy that the OIC member countries should consider.
The Forum was held upon the adjournment of the 5th Islamic Conference of Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research organised by the Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) and brought together vice-chancellors, presidents and rectors of the Muslim Universities in the member countries of the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC).
The theme of the Forum was ‘Charting New Directions for Muslim Universities: Must We Subscribe to Western Ideological and Philosophical Constructs?’. To this end, the main objective of the Forum was to encourage discussion and debate and develop an effective future plan based on creative ways and new conceptual approaches that are not to be dominated by western culture and mindset, as well as to establish essential working collaborations among universities of OIC member countries, and form short and long-term strategic action plans to further advance higher education.
To access the relevant SESRIC reports please click on the following links:
Research and Scientific Development in OIC Countries (English)
Education and Scientific Development in OIC Member Countries (English) (Arabic) (French)