The Academic ‘Patras’ of the Arab World: Creating a Climate of Academic Apartheid

Ramzi N. Nasser
Kamal Abouchedid


This paper discusses factors that are contributing to the rise of what we refer to as an ethos of “academic apartheid” in Arab institutions of higher education. The paper examines the failure of these institutions to overcome their alienation from indigenous epistemology, to emancipate the education they provide from its colonial past, and to move towards the modern information age. The difficult position of Arab academics striving to rediscover, reintegrate and reorganize an epistemological framework to serve the indigenous world is also discussed. Current institutional approaches have deleterious effects on the performance of Arab academics, including arresting the process of transition to development. The paper concludes that Arab academics have a range of choices in determining how to establish a course of corrective action.


postcolonialism and Higher Education; Alienation; Transnational Studies

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