Well-educated and successful women are the backbone of every prosperous society, which makes it even more important for them to have easy access to education and knowledge.
This is the view of Dr Kathleen O'Connell Hodge, the newly appointed director of the Abu Dhabi Women's College (ADWC), who said she believed that successful women inspire other women to succeed.
"One thing I value most is the importance of well-educated women's contribution to the sustainability of a society," Dr Hodge said. "[Be it] whether they choose to use their knowledge to enhance their communities and families or in the world of work," she added.
Dr Hodge, who joined the Abu Dhabi Women's College five weeks ago, said the UAE's commitment to higher education was admirable. "I am a passionate believer that higher education is the foundation for an enlightened society," she said.
With 700 new students enrolled at the Abu Dhabi Women's College for the new academic year, Hodge has her work cut out for her, both in terms of academic development and her daily duties.
It appears that the new year at ADWC is about change. With the college's new, recently opened campus in Khalifa City, Dr Hodge said she was focused on ensuring programmes at the college encompassed more aspects of general education. "Historically, education at [Higher Colleges of Technology] have been focused on major courses and what we are aiming to do is broaden our education into more general education courses," said Hodge.
"This is important, because it allows students to be well rounded. When they study some of these things [general education courses], in time they will realise the relevance of the information they are getting," she added.
Hodge, a licensed therapist, said she aimed to invest her counselling expertise and many years of experience in education, into her position as director.
"The combinations of psychology, therapy and counselling are all about understanding people, both as individuals and in groups," she said. "Which is also the basis of education, grounded in the knowledge of facts and information applied into society," said Dr Hodge.