Date : 19-21 September 2006 Venue : Kuwait City - Kuwait

The Third Islamic Conference of Ministers of Higher Education and Scientific Research was held in Kuwait City, State of Kuwait, on 19-21 November 2006. Dr. Savas Alpay, Director General represented the Centre thereat.

The Conference Agenda included the review of various reports and studies, namely a Study on the Ways to Enhance Scientific and Technological Cooperation among the Countries of the Islamic World, a project on the Islamic Ethical Network on Science and Technology, a project on the Implementation Mechanisms of the Strategy for Development of Biotechnology in the Islamic Countries, the Draft Action Plan on the Prevention of Migration of Scientific Competencies from the countries of the Islamic World and the Draft Strategy on the Promotion of University Education in the Islamic World.

The Centre contributed to the Conference two studies titled “Science and Technology in the OIC Member Countries” and “Ranking of Universities Worldwide and Its Implications for Universities in the OIC Member Countries”. The first paper presents a brief assessment of science and technology (S&T) indicators for the OIC member countries in comparison to the rest of the world by using the available data collected from the relevant international sources and concludes that the contribution of the OIC member countries to science and technology in the modern world is minimal considering their high potential, rich cultural heritage and long and vast scholarly tradition. It also puts forward some policy actions to attain further progress in this important field, including encouraging research and development programmes, improving educational institutions and facilitating academic interaction and exchange of knowledge among academic institutions in the member countries. The second attempts to identify the current competitive positions of universities in the OIC member countries in comparison to world-class universities (top 500). It discusses some possible ways and means to improve the competitiveness of universities in the OIC countries and policies that could be adopted by those countries towards the goal of including at least 20 universities in the list of world-class universities in the coming years. The study also presents rankings of universities in the OIC countries according to different criteria.

At the Closing Session, the Ministers adopted the Final Report which includes a number of important recommendations on the ways and means of enhancing scientific and technological cooperation among Islamic countries.