Why is UAE’s telecom regulator funding universities?
* TRA signed two new agreements worth more than AED42 million with Dubai University
* AED35m to establish an engineering college
* 12 scholarships worth AED7.1m
To the surprise of many, the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has entered into agreements to fund universities in the country. The signing of agreements with Dubai University and American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) took place on the opening day of Middle East’s largest technology show, Gitex Technology Week, on Sunday (October 16).
The TRA has announced the signing of two new agreements worth more than AED42 million with Dubai University.
TRA says the funding, through its financing entity ICT Fund, is part of its efforts to empower national human resources to support the economic sectors in the country with distinctive qualified professionals.
New engineering college in Dubai
The first agreement is aimed at establishing an engineering college in Dubai University, covering key specialties such as ICT engineering and electronic engineering with a value of AED35m.
The second agreement is to provide 12 scholarships worth AED7.1m, in addition to scholarships from a previously signed agreement in 2015 with Dubai University, through the “Betha” programme, which is one of TRA’s initiatives to promote the role and position of the national education sector.
The authority has agreed to offer AED3.4m to fund AURAK’s information and innovation centre and to build a new laboratory.
Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, TRA’s director general, said the agreements were in line with the regulator’s social responsibility in terms of building an Emirati generation that is able to keep pace with the large global changes.
“Following the directives of the country’s wise leadership, the TRA has placed innovation as one of the top priorities among its programmes by providing educational scholarships and harnessing the innovation spirit among students, such as the TRA innovation camp. ICT is a major factor in innovation. The TRA considers itself as an essential partner of the education sector in promoting creativity and developing technologies out of their innovations,” HE Al Mansoori said.
Omar Mohammed AL Mahmoud, acting CEO, ICT Fund, said the authority is aiming to offer scholarships worth AED1.2 billion to 1,000 Emirati students until the end of 2018.