Monday 2 April 2012

DIAC- Education forum

Dr Badr Abu Alula was the main focus

A research conducted  about Youth in the gulf. 
70 themes came out
Mainly technological advances
Will I get jobs is a dominant landscape -
girls want to contribute to the economy
Young people don't feel well equipped to the work force.
The companies don't feel the young are equipped to enter the workforce. They should set on a table and decide what is needed by the society

How can higher education contribute to the innovation 
Financial sustainability.  Can the institutions be sustainable for the long run. 

Education can be a driving force to society, in australia the export in education is one fourth of GDP.

Abuoella what do we mean by community. 92% of the labour are expats. The largest two emirates (dubai and abu dhabi) contribute to the largest importer of labour due to the buildings and expansion.  The number of students in licensed institutions increased by 27% . In total 110000 students, two third in the private sector.  60% of this number is in 6 institutions 
Male female 70-30
Increase in graduate  programme increased to 16 compared to two five years ago.  The fields of programme 50 % in business area. 4 years ago it was 39% . Engineering is 20% . 
25000 jobs are required in abu dhabi by 2020.  As it wants to be industrial.  They need National students in particular but there is imbalance. More students take law, but few  in basic sciences. Knowledge economy courses like information library science, we have only two programmes. CAA requires institutions to have advisory panels and community engagement so they discuss what is needed, like which programmes. 

Raed Awalma -middlesex
25% of international branch campuses in the world are operating in the Dubai. The main reason is the diversity of the student body. 
Shortcomings, low research, low collaborations between universities, companies and governments in research for example . We must bring students to dubai to study. 

CEO of Wollongong 
Global issues, lots of changes, first the economic downturn, 
Quality of the educational system is a focus.
Uae trends  (we must look at the report he is talking about)
We must start to find strategic priority, and have programmes to sustain the strategic priority. Produce innovation culture. Key issue is to attract good quality staff to help make this happen. 

Low level of english in schools is a hindrance to advances too. Culture . Eg look at area that are needed, like hospitality and nursing, no national go to these two fields.  Also the low investment means its easy to start chalk and talk programmes, but not easy to do a health or an engineering programme. Vocational programmes are not understood either by the students or by the industry. 

No career guidance in schools. No programmes for gifted kids. Lack of institutional mechanisms for dialogue. There is policy, and private sector wary of academia, and the students are sandwiched in between. 

Ksa is facing more problems. The goverment allowed private sectors to start their own institutes to match what they do  so car industry's are running automotive programmes. Sabic and others (find out)

We need data to do benchmarking. No data for the labour market is available.
The role of the private sector in defining the characteristics of the labour needed to fit the jobs. 

More UAE students go to private schools, as the parents recognise that english language is not done well in public schools. What is happening to public schools. Also more UAE students going to private universities? Why? Because the parents recognise the shortfalls of public universities. Should the goverment then insist on the private universities to start the needed programmes and pay the private institutions to run them?  

21st century skills (this was the point that I raised, check my blog about then GCES)

Sheikh Zayed academy for girls. What they learnt 9 years ago didn't fit the colleges which were there at that time.?? 

Insistence on PD budget for teachers. 

Howard reed was here too.  He graduated 5000 women and they all own the 21st century skills???  But Collaborations is missing in the UAE between schools, universites, government and business sector. 

Arabic language - qatar introduced arabic at qatar university . Abuolela says whats the point as we don't have the resources in arabic. 

Have the universities took care of graduate outcomes? Are they tracking their alumni?

Raed, we must challenge the education system. We must do collaboration, and we must find out if the teachers that we hire believes in what he or she does and is equipped for it

Abuoluela dubai is the UAE's education Hub. We have to sustain ourselves to be on the lead, emphasis the importance of data and information. We must do benchmarking . But not ranking as it could move either way depending on the criteria.  We need collaborations between the universities here, like joint programmes, joint research and so on. 

So far everybody talks but no one does anything. What shall I do? I think if each one of us felt responsible we can do a lot to change the education system, it's the backbone of the country and we cannot ignore it. 

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