HCT charts future success with inaugural industry Advisory Council meeting

March 29, 2014 3:25 pm

The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) is embarking on a detailed strategy to chart its future direction and continued success by hosting its inaugural Industry Advisory Council meeting this week.

The event, which saw Presidents, CEOs and top executives from 58 of the UAE’s leading companies and government entities covering all major business and industry sectors attend the HCT-Abu Dhabi Men’s College, was hosted by H.E. Mohammad Omran Al Shamsi,Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology.

The corporations and entities represent the sectors of Oil & Gas, Media, Communications, Insurance, Hospitals and Health Care, Government, Mubadala, Large Conglomerate Groups and Banking.

A hallmark of HCT’s teaching and learning model is to offer young Emirati men and women throughout the UAE a wide range of work-oriented programmes that are developed in close collaboration with industry, government, business and community stakeholders.

To ensure that its programmes are aligned to both current and emerging needs of the UAE’s economy, HCT has formed an Industry Advisory Council (IAC), comprised of top executives of leading companies and organisations from around the nation.

The first IAC will work for a term of three years and provide HCT with strategic high-level advice on the following issues:
• Academic programme offerings
• Graduate outcomes sought by industry stakeholders
• Industry-linked curriculum initiatives such as work experience, internships and graduation projects
• Emerging technologies and practices that should be included in HCT’s curriculum
• Employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for HCT graduates

His Excellency Mohammad Omran Al Shamsi, Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, warmly welcomed all of the participants to the HCT’s inaugural Industry Advisory Council.”It is very pleasing to see over fifty CEOs and other top executives from many different industries and employment sectors here to help chart HCT’s future and its success over the next three years,” His Excellency said.

“You represent critical sectors in which HCT’s offers professional programmes – from energy, manufacturing, technology, telecom, banking, healthcare, aviation, and construction. By making this important commitment to the Higher Colleges of Technology you are showing that you strongly believe in our students and their capabilities to make important contributions to the future success of the United Arab Emirates. We thank you for such a strong and willing dedicated to have HCT students succeed in their future endeavours,” he added.

After being welcomed by the Chancellor, the programme for the IAC meeting included an explanation of HCT Learning by Doing Model byDr. Tayeb Kamali, HCT Vice Chancellor, as well as an overview of HCT’s academic programmes and how they are linked to the core principle of Learning by Doing and also the philosophy that they must be work-relevant courses which meet the needs of the UAE’s economy.

The day also included a presentation by HCT final-year Bachelor student Hamad Dheyabon the Best M-Government Service Award App Competition, where he showcased unique examples of LBD projects from the mGovernment competition. It was very pleasing to hear that Hamad’s team, who created the Biladi portal App, won the first prize from the UAE Ministry of Interior.

The Best M-Government Service Award presentation was followed by a Report on HCT Employer Outreach Business Partnerships by Ms Khulood Al Mualla, HCT Chief Human Resources Officer.The event concluded with the IAC members participating in an enthusiastic and fruitful roundtable discussion entitled Industry& Academia: Opportunities for Collaboration.

The roundtable saw business and industry participants discuss with their HCT counterparts what academic institutions and the private sector can do to ensure that graduates have the skills, capacity and ability to successfully enter the workplace. From those discussions an action plan will be developed to help nurture such graduates.

His Excellency Mohammad Omran Al Shamsi further stated that the ongoing input from the industry executives was vital to the HCT’s creation of highly skilled and trained graduates; and to its contributions to the UAE economy through critical Emiratisation initiatives.

“Throughout its 26-year history the HCT has prided itself on offering programmes which are relevant to the UAE economy and which give HCT graduates the skills to go directly into the workplace in the field of their choice,” His Excellency said.

“HCT continues to serve the needs of business and industry by ensuring our programmes meet those sectors’ needs and by having constant and meaningful partnerships and collaborations with leaders such as those present at this meeting. It has been people like those members here today who have advised HCT over the years on what the ideal graduate has in terms of skills, knowledge, attitude and training.
“As a result of these interactions HCT has become very successful at developing top graduates to date and we want to continue these partnerships and dialogues as we strive to become the UAE’s number-one ranked applied and technical learning institution,” he added.

“We are very proud of the 65,000 qualifications we have awarded to our graduates and we eagerly look forward to creating more Emirati success stories through our associations with all the Industry Advisory Council members,” the Chancellor concluded.

Dr Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, said the IAC meeting was vital for the growth of the Higher Colleges of Technology, which “is committed to designing and delivering programmes of the highest international standards following the ‘Learning by Doing’ philosophy of applied education”.

“This Industry Advisory Council meeting is a wonderful collaboration between academia and industry in the United Arab Emirates and is strong proof that our nation is a leading, innovation-driven economy as a result of fostering initiatives such as this meeting which facilitate closer cooperation between sectors,” Dr Kamali said.

“The Higher Colleges of Technology is focused on providing our students with the best possible educational experiences across a broad range of industry-relevant programmes. By working closely with our distinguished partners in the Advisory Council we will continue to deliver industry-relevant programmes and empower our graduates with the knowledge, skills and confidence to contribute effectively to the nation and its growing economy; to reach their full potential; to making important contributions to their communities; and to ultimately lead them to successful future careers,” he added.