At the onset of Yemen’s current transformation process, students emerged out of the country’s post-secondary institutions as a contending voice challenging status quo politics that produced unbearable conditions of corruption, unemployment, and disenfranchisement for 30 years. The revolutionary moment was eventually disrupted along partisan, sectarian, and tribal negotiations, often mediated by regional and international power players.
To understand the underpinnings of this disruption, it is critical to underline the paradoxical role of the Yemeni higher education system in producing active yet docile citizens as well as playing a significant role in solidifying trends of socio-political instability and uncertainty in the country.
Towards that end, the chapter captures the contours of this paradox by investigating three policy-oriented dimensions in current higher education establishments, i.e. admission policy, teaching methodology, and campus politicization. The significance of this work lies in its critique of the failure of the Yemeni higher education system in producing conditions for students to claim agency and consolidate a front that transcends current counter-revolutionary sociopolitical forces.