90 Days and Counting: EDU-ALLIANCE, LLC

As many of you know, I will be leaving Ankabut when my contract expires at the end of September. It’s been a great four years, but it’s time to do something new. As I have told many of my friends and colleagues I wanted to do something that would use all the skills and knowledge I have gained over the past 40 years.

I, along with a current senior higher education administrator in the UAE since 1993, are forming an education management-consulting firm called Edu-Alliance, LLC here in Abu Dhabi.

The questions most asked are; what is this firm going to and who are potential clients?  Edu-Alliance’s mission is to help develop national capacity in the areas of education, training, and human development in the Middle East (GCC) and North Africa (MENA) region by creating effective and sustainable alliances between organizations in the region with the best-in-class international organizations and experts.

 Our focus will be helping clients achieve success in:

  • Higher education strategic partnerships
  • Mentoring
  • Marketing
  • Executive, faculty and staff recruitment
  • Institution-wide strategy
  • Technology

We will provide an exceptional network and alliances for emerging UAE, GCC and MENA institutions. We will provide value added services to international organizations in establishing win-win partnerships with regional institutions involved in capacity development.

Our combined higher education experience in working in the region also gives us the knowledge to successfully design effective mentoring and retention plans for citizens of this region who are employed in universities, colleges, schools and corporate sector from entry-level to executive levels.

In early August we will launch the website and finalize taking space in Masdar City just outside of Abu Dhabi.  We will formally launch Edu-Alliance by the end of September.

It’s exciting times but still much to do. We are identifying potential experts who will be consultants based on the project and expertise our clients need. If you are interested in being a part of our team, just email me at my personal email at deanhoke@gmail.com and make sure to send a letter and CV telling me of your interest and background.  We will get back with you to discuss acting as a consultant further .  Also, if you are an organization that wants to know more how Edu-Alliance can best serve you please contact me at the same address or call me at +971-50-641-0237.

The other item we are finalizing is the logo. We have cut it down to two and I am asking you as well as others, which do you think best identifies Edu-Alliance: Option 1 or Option 2.  Post your vote in the comments section of this posting of Hoke’s Notes. My partner and I will make the final decision in the next two weeks. I will announce in Hoke’s Notes the winner and a date of the launching of the site.

I will continue to write this summer on the higher education activities in the UAE and the region over the summer. There is significant change occurring and the upcoming year for the education community will be very interesting. I look forward to hearing from you.

OPTION 1                                          OPTION 2

OEdu-Alliancelogo-1Edu-Alliance Option1



Happy Birthday Al-Fanar Independent Education News for the Arab World


In April 2012 David Wheeler formerly Managing Editor, Global Edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education asked if I would be interested in attending a workshop and giving my input in the potential launch of a journal/paper.  The basic idea was to hear from the participants their views on a potential new publication with the tentative name of the Arab Journal of Higher Education. The Workshop was organized and sponsored by the Alexandria Trust and was held in in Cairo May 12-14.

Forty eight of us including many Arab academics and western expats who worked in the region were in attendance during the two and half days. It was a passionate group who had varied and strong views about what a new publication should be, but unanimous in the view a higher education publication which focused on the Arab world was needed.  Al-Fanar as it’s now called states its mission is to, “publish independent news and analysis and serve as a platform for dialogue among institutions within and beyond the Arab world.”

One year ago Al-Fanar began publishing its online paper in English and in Arabic. It has slowly but surely progressed and has been gaining a loyal audience.

On the 11th of January, 2014 Al-Fanar ran a series of articles on the compensation packages of professors in the Public-university in 12 Arab countries.

ü  A Survey of Public-University Professors’ Pay

ü  Employment in the Gulf: Not Always What it Seems

ü  The Economic Struggle of Public-University Professors

ü  Graphic and FAQs: Arab Public-University Salaries

The series brought to light the economic status of higher education professors through the region. In Graphics and FAQs Arab Public-University Salaries they stated:

This survey is the first regional survey of the compensation of Arab public-university professors. The vast majority of Arab youth are educated at public universities, and so the professors at them are responsible for shaping the next generation. But in many countries, they have little or no economic motivation to take up this important profession. While money isn’t the only motivation, it is an important one, and compensation can show the priorities of governments and societies. This survey is not necessarily an argument for more spending on higher education–economic data indicates that education spending in many Arab countries is strong, but does not always seem to effectively produce qualified graduates.

The series broke new ground showing the economic challenges of being a professor in the Arab world. The stories were well written, presented data not well known to the higher education community, and will be a bench mark on compensation for future studies.

I was excited when David Wheeler told me of his plans in 2011 while I was visited him in DC and honored to be one of the people asked to attend the Workshop in May 2012.  With Al-Fanar just finishing its first year of publication it’s apparent to me they have succeeded as an independent news platform for higher education in the Arab World.

If you have not subscribed for this free publication I would recommend you do so. Go to Al-Fanar Media and click subscribe.

Happy Birthday and keep up the good work.

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