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The perspectives of male academic staff and postgraduate students on the effects of globalisation on higher education and cultural identity: a case study at a college of education in Saudi Arabia

Alsewiket, A. A. (2018) The perspectives of male academic staff and postgraduate students on the effects of globalisation on higher education and cultural identity: a case study at a college of education in Saudi Arabia. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

The philosophy and policy of higher education in Saudi Arabia, since its establishment, have been based on the teachings and ethics of Islam and on the accompanying Islamic values and culture. Higher education thus plays a major role in developing a doctrine of loyalty to God (Allah) and in providing students with Islamic cultural foundations, with the aim of preparing citizens who are scientifically and intellectually qualified to participate in serving their nation. However, globalisation has led to a shift in the goals of higher education and has raised many challenges for universities in the country. How can Saudi Arabia reform and develop its higher education system, achieve economic prosperity and become a global competitor-all while maintaining its traditional role in preserving the country's core cultural values, founded on Islamic principles? This study explores the changing role of higher education in Saudi Arabia, in relation to globalisation and cultural identity, through the perspectives of academic staff and postgraduate students at the College of Education at an 'Academic University ' in Saudi Arabia. The study adopted the interpretive paradigm with an embedded mixed methods design. A case study of one higher education institution was undertaken, and three methods were used to collect data: a survey (n= 140), interviews (n= 15) and documentary review. The study revealed that globalisation has posed many challenges for higher education in Saudi Arabia. It appears that the traditional purposes of higher education institutions have shifted, to some extent. For instance, serving the labour market seems to have become the essence of higher education goals. Responding to issues of globalisation-such as competition and ranking amongst global universities-is now being considered for higher education institutions in Saudi Arabia. Globalisation also seems to have had significant effects on the cultural identity of Saudi society, as can be seen through the increased spread of the English language, which has negatively affected the use of Arabic. Globalisation has played a key role in spreading the Western lifestyle within Saudi society, and within the younger generation in particular. This may be seen as a threat to the society's cultural identity.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Floyd, A., Goodwyn, A. and Jones, K.
Thesis/Report Department:Institute of Education
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Institute of Education
ID Code:80631

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