Human Development, Education and Arab Societies

Friday, 18 March 2005 - Sunday, 20 March 2005

The 2005 Ditchley Conference ‘Human Development, Education and Arab Societies’ was held on 18th-20th March. The key-note statement, which gave direction and purpose to the Conference, was a lecture by HH Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned on “Globalising Education and Educating the Globe: The Case for Human Development and Education in Arab Societies”.

The primary purpose of the 2005 Ditchley Conference, which followed the lecture by Her Highness, was to recommend possible and practical solutions.

Forty participants, from a variety of backgrounds and experience, met to discuss a series of questions including: in what sense is education global as opposed to regional or national or local? Is education made better or worse by international involvement, and should such involvement focus on national or international agendas? At the regional level, are there educational issues particular to human development in Arab societies, and what can these societies gain from and contribute to global dialogue? At the national level, how can education be best served by the governments and the other principal non-governmental components or Arab societies? And what are the relationships in the process of human development between education and social, political and economic advancement?

This Conference provided useful clarification and re-affirmation of the essential contribution education can make to the process of human development, at a variety of geographical scales, and in a diversity of political, social and economic circumstances.