Standardisation/adaptation of the curriculum - relevance of 'Western' business textbooks for the MENA

Kamel Fantazy, Nnamdi O. Madichie

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-395
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Business and Emerging Markets
Issue number4
Early online date13 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Curriculum adaptation
  • Curriculum standardisation
  • Western textbooks
  • MENA countries
  • Middle East
  • North Africa
  • Business schools
  • Multinational publishers
  • United Arab Emirates
  • UAE
  • Higher education
  • Local content
  • Regional adaptations


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