Arab universities and institutions of higher education, while part of the international system, have their own cultural characteristics. They belong to their own region but they recognize the international dimension of learning and teaching. Western culture perhaps best represents modernity. It is also the dominant culture at present, yet it is not the only one. Cultural plurality is therefore a fact of life in the global community and a fact we must learn to understand. Development is a process and product of change but is has to be relevant to the culture and meaningful to the people, thus in its pursuit of modernity the Arab world must build up its own notion of development, associated with a relevant educational system. Higher education, more than other sectors, is able and responsible for assisting the community to be modern, while preserving and developing culture and generating resources to make a higher standard of living possible. In the light of a concept of cultural development that involves improved employment opportunities and a better quality of life, higher education policies must be translated into programs and action relating to all aspects of human life. A systematic model, is suggested, with higher education, training and development projects interacting throughout the Arab states. © 1992.
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