Standardisation/Adaptation of the Curriculum – Relevance of ‘Western’ Business Textbooks for the MENA
International Journal of Business & Emerging Markets, Vol. 7, No. 4, pp. 380-395, 2015
16 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2015 Last revised: 30 Apr 2016
Date Written: September 2, 2015
Research has suggested that the United Arab Emirates is very competitive in the global higher education market. This raises questions as to whether its competitive advantage should be emphasised at the local, as opposed to global content in the instruction curriculum. In other words should the curriculum adhere to global standards or should it be fully adapted to fit the local context? The purpose of this study is to highlight a strand of the debate from the purview of textbooks used in the instruction. While the need to standardise texts in physical sciences may be a no-brainer, the persuasiveness for local content in the social sciences and humanities is quite strong. The results of this study are mixed – while some favour standardised texts, others argue for adaptation to the regional context. Proponents of the latter position, in our view, seem to have given the green light for multinational publishers to pursue regional adaptations.
Keywords: Adaptation versus standardisation; western textbooks; MENA business schools; multinational publishers.
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