Welcome to the website for the AArU and ARELEN’s Leadership Development Programmes for leaders and aspiring leaders of universities in membership of the Association of Arab Universities (AArU).

 Leadership skills are increasingly necessary to enable universities to be successful. Universities are facing many challenges which are the result of general trends in international higher education and broader technological and societal changes in our own countries, especially in recent times and most recently the effects of the pandemic. University leaders and aspiring leaders require sound strategic leadership and management skills in order to enable their universities to respond effectively to an ever-growing demand for higher education, demand for different knowledge and new skills and the need to modernise and further improve the quality of teaching and research and to serve society. To respond to these challenges with limited resources, universities have to become more efficient and effective in their operations. This requires transformational leadership and the development of other skills to build competencies for current and future leaders.

 Two programmes are available: one for university top leaders (presidents and rectors) and the other for aspiring leaders, typically aimed at the level of deans and above. Two free courses can be chosen in areas such as High-Performance Leadership, Sustainable Development, Equality and Diversity, Artificial Intelligence and Analysis of Business Problems. Courses are available in Arabic for both the leaders and aspiring leaders programmes.

 1,000 places on these programmes have kindly been made available free of charge by Coursera as part of a long-term partnership with AArU and its leadership development unit ARELEN. Rectors are invited to join this programme and to nominate up to 5 ‘aspiring leaders’ from their university to do so. Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

 The closing date for applications is 19th September 2021.

The programmes will be taken over a period of 3 months starting on the 21st September and ending on the 19th December 2021.

All learners will receive certificates upon completion of each course at no additional cost from organisations such as IBM and highly esteemed Universities like the University of Michigan, Rice University, University of Colorado, Yonsei University and Erasmus University Rotterdam, depending on the courses selected. All learners who complete two courses will receive a certificate issued by the AArU and ARELEN.

 AArU will request feedback from participants about their experience and will work with Coursera to develop a high impact and scalable model that will allow more staff in Arab universities to continue to develop their leadership skills.

 I invite all presidents and rectors to take part in this leadership programme and to nominate up to 5 of their ‘aspiring leaders’ to join the aspiring leaders programme. I believe that this will both develop leadership capacity in your university and enable the design of leadership development programmes that are right for the Region and will enable it to play its part in the global higher education landscape.

 Professor Amr Ezzat Salama

Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities and President of ARELEN​