Yemeni Students Encouraged to Study in Britain [Archives:1998/15/Culture]

April 13 1998

Dr. Richard Long works in the International Office of Newcastle University, Britain. He teaches Middle Eastern history. Dr. Long visits the Middle East two or three times a year. This time he decided to visit Yemen. His visit program took him to 3 different schools, the Science and Technology University, and Sanaa university.
Q: What is the purpose of your visit?
A: I visit schools where I talk to people who may be interested in coming to Britain because in Newcastle we have dozens of students from various places in the world. Most of them are post graduate people. I am looking for the possibility of post graduate agreements and cooperation between Newcastle University and Yemen.
Q: Are you trying to encourage them to study in Newcastle University?
A: That is one of the things. There is a possibility for us to offer many facilities to Yemeni students. We have a famous archeology department and our architecture department was voted in a national assessment as the third of its kind in the whole country. We also have a very good language center where translation abilities can be developed.
So, I have come to look into the possibility of reaching an agreement with Yemeni universities to do some form of joint work and split Ph.D. degrees. We have a degree that seems to be of special interest to part time M.Ed. for the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. For teachers in schools, it takes two years to get the degree and our staff come four times a year for two years to teach the students research.
Q: Do you intend to visit any of Yemen’s 7 other universities?
A: I had no idea that there are seven universities in Yemen. I would like to visit some other places and of course the place I like most, the Mareb dam, to see the famous historical spot.

Q: Are there any Yemeni students at New Castle University?
A: I am not sure, but I think they are mostly in engineering particularly in water and dam construction. We had medical students too. At the Science and Technology University, there were two students who came back to teach in Yemen.
So the research shows that there are a lot of activities between Yemen and our university. We get a lot of Arab students particularly from Kuwait, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Egypt.
Q: Have you visited other parts of the Arab world?
A: Well, my degree is in Arabic and Persian so I have worked extensively in the Arab world, starting in Baghdad which I left in 1966. Then I worked for the British Council for 20 years. Among other things, I opened the British Council office in Abu Dhabi. I was also in Jordan and several other Arab countries.