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Conference „Higher Education in the Wake of the Arab Spring: Reflections from Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Tunisia and Germany“

22.04.2015 - 23.04.2015

The Center for Middle Eastern and North African Politics, Freie Universität Berlin and the EuroMed program, Cairo University cordially invite:


„Higher Education in the Wake of the Arab Spring: Reflections             from Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Tunisia and Germany“

The closing conference of the DAAD funded project „Challenges and Transformations in the Wake of the Arab Spring: Change and Persistence“ addresses the current political and social transformations in the Arab World and their implications for higher education and social sciences in the region. The conference brings together researchers from Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Tunisia, Libya and Germany from different disciplinary backgrounds (political sciences, economy, sociology, law).


April 22nd

16.00-18.00: “Arab Uprisings and Academic Scholarship: Hegemony, Marginalization and Resistance”; Plenary Speech by Prof. Sari Hanafi

American University Beirut, Lebanon 

The Plenary Speech by Prof. Sari Hanafi is focused on the way academic publications have perceived the Arab uprisings and the ways in which we portray them in scientific discourse, taking into account the social forces that come into play in the production of knowledge.


10.00-12.00  “Three years of Challenges and Transformations”

Academics from Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Tunisia and Germany reflect on successes and challenges of cooperation in higher education in times of crisis. Speakers are Prof. Cilja Harders (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany), Prof. Ola el Khawaga (Cairo University, Egypt), Dr. Serena Sandri (German-Jordanian University, Jordan), Maren Uhle (Freie Universität Berlin, Germany) and Ghadi Lutfi (German-Jordanian University, Jordan).

13.30-15.30 “Productive Universities: Educating Citizens and/or Entrepreneurs?”

Prof. Abla el Khawaga, Dr. Sonia Garma and Dr. Serena Sandri reflect on the concern of meeting labor market needs and broader aims of education such as innovation in research or educating citizens.

Prof. Abla el Khawaga (Cairo University, Egypt): Social Inequality and Higher Education in Egypt

Dr. Sonia Garma (University of Carthago, Tunisia): What Education for Which Job?

Dr. Serena Sandri (German-Jordanian University, Jordan): The Need for Entrepreneurial Education in Jordan

  April 23rd

10.00-12.00 “Partners in Transformation? The Case of Aid and Education”

The panel discusses questions about the limits of “transformation partnerships” in an asymmetric world and how to balance between the spirit of partnership and the obvious power asymmetries in development cooperation.

Dr. Heinrich Kreft (Ambassador for International Academic Cooperaton and Dialog among Civilizations, German Foreign Ministry 2010-2014): Transformation Partnerships with the Arab World – revisited

Hamid Zoheiri (tbc): Aid and Education in a EuroMed perspective (tentative)

Dr. Florian Kohstall (Cairo Office of Freie Universität Berlin, Egypt): Role of German Funding in Higher Education – The Case of Egypt

13.00-15.00 “Conflict and Transformations on Campus”

Prof. Amal Obeidi , Prof. Abdessatar Mouelhi and Dr. Jan Völkel reflect on the difficulties of pursuing academic education in times of violent crisis and slow reform.

Prof. Amal Obeidi (University of Benghazi, Libya): Higher Education in Conflict Zones – The Case of Libya

Prof. Abdessatar Mouelhi (University of Carthago, Tunisia): Higher Education and Political Transformation – The Case of Tunisia

Dr. Jan Völkel (DAAD lecturer at Cairo University, Egypt): Ivory Tower under Siege – Teaching Euro-Mediterranean Studies in post-2011 Egypt

15.30-17.30 “Translating Transformations” 

Dr. Ahmed Abd Rabou, Ilka Eickhof, Lilian Seffer and Karim El-Shared discuss the problems of translating contents, concepts and ideas in powerfully loaded situations.

Dr. Ahmed Abd Rabou (American University Cairo and Cairo University, Egypt): Politics Outside and Inside the Classroom

Ilka Eickhof (Netherlands-Flemish Institute of the University of Leiden, Egypt): Translating Concepts - Exchange in the Seminar (tentative)

Karim El-Shared (Cairo University): Chaos After the Arab Spring: Political or Religious?

For registration, please write to Ms. Lina Najmi:

Zeit & Ort

22.04.2015 - 23.04.2015

Freie Universität Berlin, Seminar Center, room L 116 Silberlaube (ground floor) Otto-von-Simson-Str. 26 14195 Berlin