WENR, May 2015: Middle East
New University Targets Overseas Workers
A new university aimed at attracting the children of expat workers will open in Jeddah in collaboration with India’s Bangalore-based Bapuji Institute of Science & Technology, according to a recent article in Arab News.
The university is slated to begin operations with 13 colleges, offering programs in business, engineering, information technology and architecture. It will enroll Saudis as well as children of expat workers, of which there are an estimated 10 million in the Kingdom, many from South Asia. A reported 300,000 expat children leave the Kingdom every year for higher education.
– Arab News
April 21, 2015
Saudi-Canada Higher Education Relations Strong
Reporting on the occasion of the 2015 International Exhibition and Conference on Higher Education (IECHE) in Riyadh, Arab News notes that Canada is the second-most popular destination for Saudi students after the United States, with 1,000 students studying for medical degrees there alone. In addition, a number of Canadian colleges have campuses and partnerships in Saudi Arabia
Niagara College and Algonquin College in Ottawa recently opened branch campuses in Taif and Jazan respectively. Niagara College, which has 300 Saudi students enrolled, offers three-year programs in hospitality management, tourism and business; while Algonquin offers a number of vocationally oriented programs. Both work closely with Saudi Arabia’s Technical Vocational Training Corporation, which offers tuition scholarships for a large number of students.
In 2014, Canada hosted the first cohort of Saudi Mitac Globalink Research Interns, a program that sees top-ranked undergraduate applicants complete 12-week internships in Canada under the supervision of science, engineering, math, humanities and social science faculties.
– Arab News
April 15, 2015
United Arab Emirates
New Vocational Education Regulatory Body in Dubai
Students will now have better access to quality vocational learning programs designed to meet the requirements of employers with the establishment of a new regulatory body, education officials in Dubai have said.
The new body, Qualifications and Awards in Dubai (QAD), is being established in a bid to encourage students to enroll in vocational education, which has often been associated with lower skilled and lower paid jobs in the emirate and across the region more broadly.
The QAD will develop qualifications recognized by the National Qualification Authority and the Vocational Education and Training Awards Council. As the Knowledge and Human Development Authority does with international university branch campuses, the QAD will regulate international bodies operating in Dubai and will license instructors, assessors, internal verifiers and external verifiers within Dubai.
Last year, a study by the auditing firm Deloitte highlighted the critical importance of attracting more people into vocational education because of a skills gap in the emirate’s workforce. Only 1 to 3 percent of academic enrollment in the UAE is in vocational education, compared with a global average of 10 percent. The study claimed that the UAE would have a manpower gap of 200,000 by the end of this year, with key industries falling short.
– The National
April 21, 2015
Top Private University Close to Receiving U.S. Accreditation
The largest private university in the United Arab Emirates is seeking U.S. accreditation to raise its standards. Abu Dhabi University (ADU) is under review by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, which visited the campus in November and made recommendations to move ADU towards its required benchmarks.
“This accreditation is important worldwide in terms of recognition,” said Dr Nabil Ibrahim, the university’s chancellor. “For our graduates, they will be recognized in the U.S. if they want to study a graduate degree or even use their degree for work.”
The university, which has 5,000 students and is one of more than 70 private universities operating in the UAE, is reportedly near the end of the accreditation process after just two years, needing only to put WASC recommendations into practice for an end-of-year decision. The university was instructed to hire a director of student affairs and address quality of life for students on campus, as well as allow for a bigger research budget for academics. The director of student affairs has been appointed and the research budget for the coming year doubled to Dh6 million.
“For Abu Dhabi University to move from candidate status to being fully accredited will be quite an achievement and the first recognized [here] by WASC,” said education consultant Dean Hoke, co-founder of Edu Alliance, an education consulting services company.
– The National
April 8, 2015
New Abu Dhabi School Curriculum Reduces Core Subject Requirement, Focuses on STEM
Under a revised secondary school curriculum for public schools, the number of core subjects students must take is being cut from 11 to eight. From August, pupils entering grades 10 and 11 will have to sign up for eight core subjects, almost half of which will be science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
The curriculum was recently announced by the Abu Dhabi Education Council and is meant to expose secondary school pupils to more STEM subjects and prepare them for the demands of university and the needs of the global workforce. The number of periods during the school week will not be reduced.
Pupils will have 21 periods of compulsory math, compulsory physics and two elective STEM subjects. For the remaining 24 periods, a mix of compulsory subjects will be taken in humanities, language and speech communication, health, and one ungraded period in a support and advising class, where students will learn test-taking skills and receive career counselling.
– The National
March 31, 2015