Saudi Quality Issues with Australian Universities
* Saudi minister’s criticisms spark row
* Warns about “low level” Aussie universities
* Academics press for immediate retraction
SAUDI Arabia has sparked a diplomatic incident after bluntly suggesting that Australian universities outside the elite sandstones weren’t good enough to train its future academics.
On the advice of the Saudi Cultural Mission in Canberra, the Saudi Minister for Higher Education Khaled bin Mohammed al-Ankary has directed its universities to limit international scholarships for trainee academics to those studying at Australia’s so-called Group of Eight, which includes the Australian National University and the universities of Melbourne and Sydney.
The correspondence has been passed to Australian universities by concerned Saudi students.
Universities Australia has expressed its “deep concern” at the Saudi stance and asked the mission to retract the “negative connotations”.
The mission has since clarified to students that the policy is a preference to have more higher degree research students studying at Group of Eight universities, but that students won’t be required to move out of those not in the group.
Someone needs to explain to both Saudi Arabia, and Australian commentators what post graduate education and research quality is about. Post graduate study and research can be done anywhere, including off campus, from any institution or location, unless one needs access to technical resources e.g. laboratories for sciences. Many post grad students do not understand that they have to study independently, research and produce original work, not be told what to do, regurgitate nor merely parrot (and copy) via course work academics’ own ideas and utterances. It is about original research, if not, just do an under graduate degree.