The need for reform
in disciplines of modern knowledge was first articulated at an international level at the First Conference of Muslim Education
held in Makka in 1970. Since then more conferences have been held to discuss the issue. Schools, universities, and research
institutes have been set up with the twin objectives of removing duality in education systems (modern European vs traditional
Muslim) and to reform disciplines of knowledge by removing cultural biases to make them objective and universal. These efforts
have reached a stage that they require a university of international caliber to spear-head research on epistemology and development
of educational curricula.
2.0 FUNCTIONS OF THE PROPOSED UNIVERSITY
The proposed university
is not a teaching university. It will not have students of its own. It will however undertake three functions: (a) preparation
of curricula, teaching materials, and research programs that will be franchised to local universities or to university colleges
that will function as branch campuses of the mother university (b) quality control of the teaching of the curricula (c) preparing
examinations to assess students (d) award of academic degrees.
3.0 STRUCTURE OF THE UNIVERSITY
The basic philosophy
is to have a small central administration headed by a president. A board of trustees and an academic board will oversee the
policies of the university. The President will preside over a senate made of deans of 5 faculties: social sciences and humanities,
life and health sciences, physical sciences, arts, and Islamic sciences. The full-time deans will work with part-time consultants
who are experts in various sciences to produce, quality control, and examine the curricula of the university.
4.0 REGISTRATION OF THE UNIVERSITY
For the university
to have historical authenticity it can be registered in one of the following cities that have been traditional centers of
learning in Muslim history: Makka, Madina, Dimashq, Baghdad, Istanbul, Bukhara,
Cairo, Fas, Qarawiin, Nishapur, Timbuktu,
and Rayy. For practical purposes the most feasible alternatives are Cairo
and Fas. After registration the university can set up an administrative center in a tourist city with few visa restrictions
to enable easy access by academicians. Cities that fulfil this criterion are: Capetown and Kuala Lumpur.
The running of
the university will surprisingly be cheap because of a thin administrative staff and reliance on consultants. It needs a small
endowment to sustain its basis administration. It can derive extra income from a share of the tuition fees paid by students
at the teaching campuses. It can also generate extra income from consultation services.
6.0 NAME OF THE UNIVERSITYThe name of the university should be chosen carefully to reflect the authenticity of the
Muslim intellectual heritage. The name however must also sound modern enough to have a wider appeal. Names that can be imputed
to sectarian or political tendencies must be avoided.