Dubai: The UAE Government Annual meetings on Wednesday saw the launch of the National Strategy for Higher Education 2030, put forward by the Ministry of Education.
The strategy sets out to build and achieve the highest scientific and professional education standards to serve the UAE’s future generations.
The strategy seeks to equip a new generation of Emiratis to face the challenges of the future and to ensure sustainable happiness and a better life for citizens as the UAE continues on its path to diversification, growth and development.
“Education is a national priority for the leadership in the UAE, and has evolved through many stages over the last several years. Today, through the Higher Education Strategy 2030, we introduce a new model of education that empowers our students with the knowledge to face the future,” said Hussain Ebrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education.
He added, “Developing an innovative education system and enhancing students’ skills are at the core of our strategy. We seek to engage the private sector in this process and continuously adapt our system, through research and studies, to develop curricula that will contribute to the UAE’s competitiveness globally.”
“The education sector is receiving great attention from our leaders. The UAE Government places education at the top of its priorities and is keen to provide our children with the necessary scientific and academic skills and knowledge to achieve UAE’s vision in reaching a first-rate education system to drive excellence across all sectors,” said Dr Ahmad Abdullah Humaid Bel Houl Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education.
Dr Al Falasi added that the UAE seeks to benefit from successful global experiences and to build partnerships and with leading experts in order to provide a unique model, which would enable future generations to propose innovative solutions and ideas that serve the community.
The National Strategy for Higher Education 2030 emphasises the need to provide future generations with the necessary technical and practical skills to drive the economy in both public and private sectors. It also aims to prepare a generation of Emirati professionals to sustain growth in vital sectors such as knowledge, economy, entrepreneurship and the overall development of the UAE’s labour market.
The UAE Government set four main pillars to achieve this strategy. They are:
Quality: Applying high-quality accreditation standards and providing incentives for institutions and distinguished teaching staff to enhance competitiveness and increase global rankings.
Efficiency: Achieving optimal productivity in higher education institutions, and increasing the student completion rate. Effective funding mechanisms will also be put in place to ensure proper implementation of the strategy.
Innovation: Creating an educational environment that fosters scientific research and provides competitive funding in order to increase research outputs that contribute to the advancement of a knowledge-based economy.
Harmonisation: Preparing a generation of qualified graduates to compete in the labour market in both the public and private sectors by building partnerships with the private sector in key areas such as curriculum design and training.
The strategy also identified 33 key initiatives to support the implementation phase. These include the National Quality Framework initiative, which aims to develop assessment-based standards capable of taking into account the different local needs while applying an effective quality control system. The Transparent Classification of Outputs initiative seeks to establish clear classification mechanisms that apply to all institutions and to publish quality reports to ensure transparency. The launch of the Private Sector Council sets up a new body to regulate the manpower needs of UAE businesses and specify qualifications to work in the higher education system, and to focus on supporting research and development.
The strategic initiatives will also introduce the Expanded Professional Experience to provide a variety of career training programmes to students such as on-campus work, job shadowing, joint ventures and vocational training. The Investment in Knowledge initiative is designed to increase the number of PhD students by increasing support for postgraduate funding and creating incentives to pursue higher education by ensuring attractive job opportunities. This goes in line with the Competitive Research Funding initiative, which will create a platform to provide funding for research in vital sectors and stimulate the collaboration between higher education institutions and the private sector.