ERF is currently engaged in carrying out a number of programs that address questions where knowledge gaps about the Arab countries, Iran and Turkey are apparent.
Education is potentially a powerful force to speed up economic growth, improve income distribution, reduce poverty, facilitate social mobility and improve governance. It is an economically and socially productive investment, with positive implications for increasing life expectancy and reducing fertility and infant mortality rates. However these positive results are not automatic. It takes good quality education that is well distributed among the population alongside functioning labor markets to achieve the desired economic and social objectives.
The above conclusion holds across all levels of education, but more so in the case of tertiary education. This research program, supported by the Ford Foundation, is intended to draw on the higher education financing experience of six MENA countries in terms of adequacy, efficiency and equality aspects, exploring the relationship between the level and pattern of financing higher education and education outcomes. These countries are: Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. The analysis of each country case will involve two parts: Part 1 will document and analyze the current state of higher education financing, while Part 2 will explore alternative strategies for resolving the financing problem. Finally a regional comparative report will be produced and results will be communicated widely.