Great attention was given to both the public and higher education sectors during the annual meetings of the government of the United Arab Emirates chaired by H.E Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and H.H Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
During these meetings, four initiatives related to Emirati schools were discussed, aimed at setting a series of standards determining the requirements for graduation from schools and the most essential possibilities to ensure success of the educational system in UAE in fulfilling the needs of the job market, in addition to the future outlook of education along with unification and regulation of such efforts.
The “Harmonization of educational systems for private education in the UAE with the Emirati school system” initiative is concerned with setting up mechanisms and standards to determine the requirements for graduation from private education schools, to achieve the required attributes of the Emirati school graduate. This is in addition to the development of licensing standards for educational institutions and those employed therein, to elevate the quality of educational services provided, and approve the attributes of UAE graduates from the National Qualifications Authority in order to unify expectations and quality of educational outcomes with strengthening UAE’s competitiveness on an international level.
The “conformity of the educational system to the requirements of future job market” initiative is a mechanism for cooperation between different authorities. It will be put in place to determine the required specializations, to prepare a framework clarifying the integration between professional and academic paths, and the development of the academic guidance system to assist students and parents in selecting the most appropriate specialization for them in accordance with the needs of the job market. The most important possibilities for the success of the educational system in UAE is to fulfil the needs of the job market in an economy of knowledge. This constitutes the plan for labours which helps the Ministry of Education to determine the number of required graduates in different specializations and fields, and the set of skills required from them.
The “Integrated Learning Data Centre” will enhance the presence of a highly effective data centre at the Ministry of Education which will link the most crucial data related to education and teachers from different bodies, whereby mechanisms for determining, collecting and analysing targeted data for the regulation of important information to support decision-makers and contribute to future forecasting and preparation of future plans and scenarios have been put in place.
The annual meetings of the government of Dubai also proposed 3 initiatives related to the higher education sector that are centred on national standards for quality assurance of higher education programs, in addition to the launch of a central system to house data related to higher education institutions in the UAE, and provision of competitive funding for national research.
The “National standards for quality assurance of higher education programs and institutions” initiative will be responsible for proposing the method to develop a unified national standards systems to achieve a high quality educational system, to include licensing of higher education institutions and approval of its academic programs, and to assess and categorize higher education and scientific research institutions, in addition to inspection of the concerned higher education institutions.
Through the “National unified & central data system for higher education institutions” initiative, a national unified and central system comprising of all data related to federal, local and private higher education and scientific research institutions will be created to monitor the performance of this sector.
The “Competitive funding for national research” initiative will provide the necessary funding for research within national focus sectors and encourage cooperation between higher education institutions and the private sector.
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