Foreign Schools in the Gulf Need More of a Local Push

In Qatar’s Education City, Audis and Range Rovers fill the student parking lots leaving any reminders of the vast desert far behind. Unlike the schools of India and China, the common areas of Education City look as though they have been plucked from U.S. campuses with a large complex that spans over 5 square miles and houses 8 Western Universities, one of them for Georgetown. Education City was founded in 2001 by the government of Qatar. Some analysts say that the universities which are serving student bodies that are dominated by foreigners, seem like bubbles cut off from Gulf culture and society.” Many professors are worried that such a type of education “will create generations of Emiratis or Qataris who are very well educated but are disconnected from their country’s history, culture and language.”

The high cost of education usually associated with such name brand schools as the ones found in Education City are not an issue for local citizens. The government of Qatar grants the majority of its citizens full scholarships regardless of financial need while foreign students pay costs similar to the corresponding U.S. schools. “We do realize that the whole operation in Education City is funded by Qatar, so we want to maintain our standards without dropping to a low percentage of Qataris or having no link to society,” said Gerd Nonneman, dean of Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar. The objective is clear: More Qataris in Qatari Schools ! Hopefully, though, there will also be a continued influx of international students so that any discussion and debate on campus will be global rather than local.

The Cartagena Incident: Affirming U.S. success

by Michael R. Czinkota and Ireene Leoncio *

During the past days emotions have been running high about the U.S. Secret Service alliance with ladies of the night in Colombia. An ‘incident’ has mushroomed into a self-inflicted ‘policy debacle’. Some policy makers, in describing this apparent scurge of mankind, appeared to recommend firing everyone who ever had lust in their hearts. The Senate majority leader’s solution is to hire many more women for the Service. Others suggest that protocols and training for protective details need to be tightened; even the possible use of the ‘honey trap’ strategy is suggested by some. A merchant seaman with great experience writes in an editorial that the lesson learned should be to ‘always pay your bill’! President Obama, who was the object of all the protection, used the annual White House correspondents dinner to crack jokes about the affair. I find all the public anxiety vastly misplaced, and the event’s effect on the U.S. reputation misinterpreted […]

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Professor Michael R. Czinkota teaches International Business at Georgetown University in Washington D.C. He can be reached at michaelczinkota.com. Ireene Leoncio is a graduate student from the Philippines at Georgetown University and serves as President of the Graduate International Student Association.

The Janus Face of International Marketing – Part 3

Winner takes all. One key Western marketing dimension is the glory of victory in competition. Such an adherence to victory often means that, akin to Atilla’s hordes of yesteryear, there is no mercy for the vanquished. Not everywhere are such approaches supported, desired or accepted. Often, the goal becomes for the victor to mend fences, reinvigorate a feeling of togetherness and provide a cause for standing together. In many societies it is expected that one not take advantage of what could be done, but rather consensually do what ought to be done. Such context makes it far less acceptable to practice what we have called “vampire marketing,” where the airline or hotel extracts blood-sucking prices for additional services or products from its captive audience after the major purchase decision has been made. Perhaps Western marketers can learn valuable lessons from this context and consequently make themselves more valuable to their customers.

Who is on the pedestal? Particularly in the United States, we think of the individual as the key component of society. But such a perspective is not uniformly taken around the world. For example, in socialist or tribal societies it is typically the group that receives preference over the individual. Society can also be seen as the key shaper of the individual. Or perhaps the family is accorded top billing. In such cases, just imagine how different emphases in making financial decisions can be re-interpreted in various settings. What may be corruption and bribery to some may turn out to be filial devotion to others. With the strict administration of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and the new, more stringent U.K. anti-bribery law about to take effect, there may be harsh consequences to businesses and individuals who are not attentive to the laws governing that contradiction.