Curriculum Development for quality assurance in the MENA region

Focusing on Employability and Entrepreneurship in the Middle East

Our latest and final publication on our curriculum development project of the First Women-Only Industrial Design Program in Saudi Arabia has now been published.

The chapter provides a first-hand account, discussion, and reflection on our experience of coming in as outside “experts” from Australia to develop courses for universities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

In the chapter, we provide a comparative analysis of two cases illustrating and discussing cross-cultural collaborations for curriculum development for an Industrial Design (ID) program and an interdisciplinary design program in the Middle East, namely the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Quality assurance

The chapter aims to provide a better understanding of Quality Assurance processes and the purpose of curriculum development for employability and entrepreneurship in the MENA region. To meet this aim, we describe the planning processes for the development of the new curricula and the evolution of the programs.

We reflect on the differences and similarities of Quality Assurance frameworks, and their interpretation and use by the universities in the KSA, the UAE, and Australia.

We compare the processes and outcomes around specialization versus inter- and transdisciplinarity, as well as around employability in traditional industry versus education for entrepreneurship and future jobs.

We observed significant differences between the two recipient MENA countries, and between them and Australia. These are related to the understanding and foci of the graduate attributes; the understanding and implementation of course development processes; and the responsibility of provision and oversight of QA oversight in each country.

In closing the chapter, we share important learnings through our reflections.

Oerlemans, K.Montana-Hoyos, C.A. and Stracke, E. (2023), “Learning from Curriculum Development for Employability and Entrepreneurship in the Middle East”, Saeed, S.T. and Sherwani, K.H. (Ed.) Quality Assurance in Higher Education in the Middle East: Practices and Perspectives (Innovations in Higher Education Teaching and Learning, Vol. 54), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 85-99.

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