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Higher Colleges of Technology and IBM sign Landmark Agreement for Advanced E-Education in UAE

United Arab Emirates: Saturday, September 13 - 2003 @ 13:17

By exploiting their complementary expertise, these two leading organizations will develop and implement new learning methods using a combination of computer-based training, networked information resources, e-learning techniques and mobile computing systems. IBM will become a preferred supplier to HCT for computer systems and software, as well as provide consultancy and expertise in e-education programmes.

HCT, which has campuses for men and women in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras al Khaimah, Fujeira and Al Ain, offers courses in engineering, technology and business. It is a long-term pioneer of e-education in the Middle East, with an advanced technology-based learning program where students and faculty are equipped with IBM ThinkPad notebook computers, using them to access a host of learning and information systems.

“At the Higher Colleges of Technology, we have a strong culture of utilizing the latest computing technologies in delivering our education and training programs, and of constantly improving how we equip our students with the skills they need to succeed in their future professional lives,” said Dr. Jim Horton, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology. “We believe that this strategic partnership with IBM gives us enormous resources to strengthen our position as the leading technical education institutions in the region, helping us stay at the forefront of e-education and progressive teaching methods.”

Samer Shaar, General Manager of IBM Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan commented, “We are extremely proud to make this announcement today. We’ve had a long and fruitful relationship with HCT and its various campuses, equipping them with some great technologies. HCT is now inviting us to take this relationship a step further, where we can bring some of IBM’s immense global resources to the table, and where we can add the best practices, technologies and methods developed over many years to the Middle East education environment. We look forward to working with HCT, producing the scientists, engineers and business people of tomorrow.”

IBM, through its IBM Global Campus programs, has developed unparalleled expertise in creating a comprehensive foundation of products, services, and support to enable academic institutions to improve university functions using IBM’s software and hardware products, and its learning and information sharing systems.

The main elements of the Memorandum of Understanding include cooperation with IBM Research, where HCT will collaborate with IBM Research in developing new e-learning techniques and solutions, specifically human-centric research projects into what makes e-learning engaging, effective, and viable. IBM Research is the pure and applied sciences division of IBM employing more than 3,000 scientists and engineers worldwide.

A second major element is forming a network of strategic relationships with other universities active in e-learning, regionally and globally. IBM has active relationships with many higher education institutions that are at various stages of implementing e-learning projects, where IBM acts as a supplier of technology, advisor and strategic partner. IBM will assist in the establishment of relationships between HCT and some of the institutions with which IBM collaborates.

IBM will also offer HCT guest lectures and courses offered by IBM’s technical staff. The company will also advise HCT on directions and content of University Degree Programs, which could ultimately lead to HCT students being accredited with IBM certification in certain fields.

HCT is already a strong partner in the Thinkpad University Program, a comprehensive program through which IBM enables universities to deploy the latest mobile computing technology for faculty and students, providing smooth integration into the learning environment. As it strengthens its activities within the program, HCT becomes member of the IBM Thinkpad University community that will ensure HCT receive support and access to a worldwide community willing to share “best practices” and “lessons learned”. Just recently, IBM and the Dubai Women’s College (an HCT campus) signed an agreement to supply a further 1,000 IBM ThinkPads as part of its e-education programme.

HCT will also become part of the IBM Scholars Program, where faculty members will have free access to a wide range of IBM products (particularly development tools and advanced enterprise software) for instructional, learning and non-commercial research.

As part of its commitment to community development, IBM will offer five internships per year in one of its regional offices to give promising students real-life skills and experience.

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Saturday, September 13- 2003 @ 13:17 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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