UQ and the Middle East & North Africa

Partnering for change

UQ is collaborating with institutions throughout the Middle East and North Africa to find solutions to humanitarian, security, economic, political, and social challenges – many of which have global implications.

Fast facts



347

MENA students enrolled at UQ


376

MENA-UQ co-publications


67

academic staff born in MENA


6

research project collaborations


683

alumni in MENA


10

agreements with 7 official partners

Research

Co-publications

In the past 5 years, UQ has produced more than 980 co-publications with researchers in the Middle East and North Africa, largely in the areas of genetics and heredity, biochemistry and molecular biology, microbiology, ecology, and electrical engineering. Our top co-publishing partners include King Saud University (Saudi Arabia), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), Tel Aviv University (Israel), Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Iran), King Abdulaziz University (Saudi Arabia), and the University of Qatar.

Research collaborations

In the past 5 years, UQ has collaborated with 10 Middle Eastern and North African institutions on 20 UQ research projects worth more than AUD 23.3 million. UQ has collaborated with the University of Qatar, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), Kuwait University, and Hacettepe University (Turkey), covering diverse research areas including foetal development medicine, nursing, medical bacteriology, fluid mechanics, nanomaterials, mineral processing, and plasma physics.

Research funding

UQ has received more than AUD 1.9 million from 7 Middle Eastern and North African organisations in the past 5 years, including the University of Qatar, Bromine Compounds (Israel), King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia), and the United Nations Development Program in Jordan. This funding has supported 11 research projects.

Research about the Middle East and North Africa

In the past 5 years, UQ researchers have been involved in at least 6 research projects about the region, covering topics such as agriculture, archaeology, and the Syrian refugee crisis. Significant funding bodies include Australian Institute Nuclear Science and Engineering, Australian Research Council, Meat & Livestock Australia, and Hacettepe University (Turkey).

Collaboration in action

UQ partners with Saudi Arabia to fight superbugs

UQ Centre for Clinical Research Professor David Paterson (pictured) and Honorary Fellow Dr Hosam Zowawi is collaborating with microbiologists at King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia) to explore antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The research is focussed on identifying the link between superbugs found in environmental settings to those associated with clinical infections. Acinetobacter baumannii, a bacteria associated with hospital-acquired infections, has been found in Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, and Bahrain. The results of this study will assist hospitals to minimise the risk of spreading superbugs between patients and across international borders.

Improving the health of mothers and babies

UQ's Perinatal Research Centre has a long history of engagement with Qatar University (QU). Supported by the Qatar National Research Fund, Perinatal Research Centre Director Professor Paul Colditz and QU Professor Boualem Boashash work together as part of the UQ-based Signal Processing Research and Consultancy Group (SPRC). With the goal of improving health outcomes for mothers and babies, the Group undertakes research in time-frequency signal processing with biomedical applications, with a focus on neonatal seizure treatment and prevention, and foetal movement detection. Professor Boashash is a Professorial Research Fellow with the UQ Centre for Clinical Research, an Adjunct Professor with the Perinatal Research Centre.

Building a sustainable mining industry in Turkey

UQ's Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) has partnered with the Hacettepe University (HU) International Mining Centre in Ankara to ensure the safe, secure, and sustainable future of Turkey's mining and energy industries. Through innovative education and training courses – and collaboration between government and industry – the Centre focuses on building a future workforce that is socially and environmentally conscious. HU's relationship with SMI's Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC) stretches back to the 1990s, and HU Professor Hakan Benzer regularly visits UQ as part of the Australian Minerals Industry Research Association (AMIRA) P9 project.

Middle Eastern and North African students at UQ

In the past 5 years, 880 students from the Middle East and North Africa have been enrolled in UQ degrees. PhD studies, the Master of Magnetic Resonance Technology, and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) are popular program choices.

Student societies at UQ provide great opportunities to share interests and build community. They include the Arab Students Association, the Omani Society, the Persian Society, and a wide range of faith groups.

Video: Saudi PhD student Betoul Baz discusses her experience studying the genetics of skin wound healing at the UQ Centre for Clinical Research.

Celebrating Middle Eastern cultures

The permanent exhibition 'Egypt: Land of the Pharaohs' opened at the RD Milns Antiquities Museum in 2015. Archaeology honours students have studied artefacts in the collection and, after dating fragments of coptic tunic, found the clothing was produced early in the 7th century – 200-400 years earlier than previously thought. 

In addition, UQ’s Institute of Modern Languages (IML) offers ArabicFarsi, and Hebrew courses for the wider community. In 2016, Arabic was the 8th most popular foreign language course at IML with more than 100 enrolments.

Image: A 2,400-year old Egyptian mummy mask remains one of the RD Milns Antiquities Museum's most popular attractions.

Student mobility

Partnering with UAE for a sustainable future

UQ's Global Change Institute (GCI) has a formal agreement with Sharjah Research Academy in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). With broad collaboration in the areas of coastal zone management, sustainable water technologies, food systems, and renewable energy innovation, the agreement enables graduate student exchanges as well as joint research projects.

Industry placement in Oman

In December 2016, 2 Faculty of Engineering, Architecture, and Information Technology (EAIT) undergraduate students travelled to Sohar University (SU) where they worked with staff and industry. The placement program was so successful, EAIT is discussing sending future students to SU for a full 6-month placement.

Archaeological digs in Turkey

Associate Professor Andrew Fairbairn from UQ's School of Social Science takes students on field trips to Turkish archaeological sites every year. Associate Professor Fairbairn has regularly spent time in Turkey since joining UQ in 2006. His research focuses on the development of the farming economy, and its influence in the Neolithic Age through to the Iron Age – around 14,000-2,000 years ago.

Alumni

UQ has more than 680 alumni from the Middle East and North Africa, including:

Alumni

Iran

Founder of CarAdvice.com.au (Bachelor of Information Technology, Bachelor of Arts 2006)
Saudi Arabia

Microbiologist and Young Laureates of Rolex recipient (Doctor of Philosophy 2014)

Fast facts

Middle East and North Africa region

Flag of Algeria

Algeria

Students: 0
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 0
Co-publications: 8
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

Flag of Bahrain

Bahrain

Students: 5
Academic staff: 1
Alumni: 20
Co-publications: 7
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 4

Flag of Egypt

Egypt

Students: 14
Academic staff: 6
Alumni: 18
Co-publications: 26
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

Flag of Iran

Iran

Students: 62
Academic staff: 36
Alumni: 115
Co-publications: 47
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 4

Flag of Iraq

Iraq

Students: 10
Academic staff: 6
Alumni: 19
Co-publications: 9
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

Flag of Israel

Israel

Students: 3
Academic staff: 8
Alumni: 23
Co-publications: 65
Project collaborations: 2
Agreements: 2
Trips: 6

Flag of Jordan

Jordan

Students: 6
Academic staff: 1
Alumni: 6
Co-publications: 9
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 1

Flag of Kuwait

Kuwait

Students: 15
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 24
Co-publications: 12
Project collaborations: 1
Agreements: 0
Trips: 2

Flag of Lebanon

Lebanon

Students: 5
Academic staff: 2
Alumni: 4
Co-publications: 19
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

Flag of Libya

Libya

Students: 1
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 2
Co-publications: 2
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

Flag of Morocco

Morocco

Students: 2
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 2
Co-publications: 8
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 3

Flag of Oman

Oman

Students: 44
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 93
Co-publications: 3
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 1
Trips: 3

Flag of Qatar

Qatar

Students: 7
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 16
Co-publications: 35
Project collaborations: 1
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

Flag of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia

Students: 135
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 210
Co-publications: 54
Project collaborations: 1
Agreements: 1
Trips: 2

Flag of Sudan

Sudan

Students: 1
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 5
Co-publications: 1
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

Flag of Syria

Syria

Students: 0
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 1
Co-publications: 0
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

Flag of Tunisia

Tunisia

Students: 0
Academic staff: 1
Alumni: 0
Co-publications: 7
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

Flag of Turkey

Turkey

Students: 15
Academic staff: 5
Alumni: 35
Co-publications: 53
Project collaborations: 1
Agreements: 5
Trips: 5

Flag of United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

Students: 22
Academic staff: 0
Alumni: 89
Co-publications: 11
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 1
Trips: 10

Flag of Yemen

Yemen

Students: 0
Academic staff: 1
Alumni: 1
Co-publications: 0
Project collaborations: 0
Agreements: 0
Trips: 0

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Fast facts based on 2016 full year data.