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Informative Article | Social Science | Oman | Volume 8 Issue 1, January 2019
Social Responsibility: A Challenge Facing Universities in the Middle East
Omer El-Garrai | Zafar Mehdi
Abstract: The objective of this study is to figure out why the universities in the Middle East in general and in the Gulf, countries have been unable to apply programs of social responsibility properly. It is true that social responsibility has been applied recently by universities in Europe and North America while corporations have practiced it earlier. Yet living in a world which has magnificently been connected by means of communications and transport, any delay of transferring useful ideas is unjustified. Universities in the Middle East began to emphasize the role of the university in the community. But it has still being traditional and related to material aid to needy people or offering free lectures to raise the general awareness of the community. However, the fast political changes, civil wars, extreme Islamic fanatic groups and the threat of distortion and terrorism need specific standard of social responsibility. The Arab countries do not need the traditional services that any university can offer helping the needy people in the local community. They rather need comprehensive programs capable of initiating real change in the construction of the collective mind in the Arab community. Social responsibility needs to use civic education as a means of social change. Civic education is a cultural operation that enriches awareness with new ideas that evolve round the nature of citizenship and its foundation of political and civil rights. Civic education can be achieved through social nurturing in formal and informal social institutions. The main challenge that this study will investigate is the combination between social responsibility and civic education and utilizing the concept of civic education in practical achievement of social responsibility. Other minor challenges include allocation of resources to serve social responsibility; awareness of the university family consists of professors, officials, workers, and students and problems of cooperation and coordination with some communities. In order for the study to investigate and analyze this issue the theoretical concepts of civic education are clearly illustrated, and data will be collected from actual experience of three universities in different countries in the Arab Region. The research will follow a qualitative method that depends on analysis of wide range of theoretical conceptual framework as well as information from actual experiences of universities in the region on the issue of social responsibility. In the conclusion the study will illustrate the results and suggest practical ways of applying civic education in the process of social responsibility carried by the university.
Keywords: social responsibility, Universities, Arab countries
Edition: Volume 8 Issue 1, January 2019,
Pages: 1606 - 1608