UAE must invest in science and technology - Gulfbase

Stock market experts say Arab countries' tech investments no bigger than 0.3% of GDP
UAE must invest in science and technology - Gulfbase
The Arab world depends on the government and public sector for Scientific research funding.
By Staff writer
Wed 01 Dec 2010 12:40 PM

The head of Arab Science and Technology said that unless the UAE focuses on investment in scientific research and technology, its oil reserves would deplete in the next 40 to 70 years, according to GulfBase.

The website reported that Dr Abdullah Abdul Aziz Al Najar said investments made by Arab countries in scientific research doesn’t exceed 0.3 percent of its GDP, compared to the 2.5 percent spent by  many Western countries.

He also told the site that 100 million jobs are needed in the region by 2030.

"The university education system should be revamped with a focus on subjects as per the needs of the job market in addition to instilling the importance of scientific research in young minds,” Najar told GulfBase. “Also there is a decline in the number of students doing post-graduate courses and applied sciences, and this is disturbing.”

Meanwhile, the site reported that the GCC increased its education spending to $35bn in 2009, from $28bn in 2007, with educational institutes increasing by 12.5 percent between 2001 and 2005. However, Najar said, only private and foreign universities increased their presence, he says.

Scientific research in Europe and the US rely on the private sector for financing, while the Arab World depends on the government and public sector. Najar told GulfBase there needed to be a rotation of funding.

“Research” he said, “is the only way to achieve economic development and social welfare.”

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