the most important 21st century skill: Abdullah bin Zayed -- H.H. Sheikh
Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International
Cooperation and Chairman of the Education and Human Resources Council, stated
that education was and still is a priority for the UAE, and learning is the
most important skill in the 21st century.
this statement during his speech at the "Exchange Students Forum
2018" that was held by the Ministry of Education today at the Abu Dhabi
National Exhibition Centre, ADNEC.
Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher
Education and Advanced Skills; Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, Minister of
State for Youth Affairs; Sarah bin Yousef Al Amiri,Minister of State; Dr. Ali
Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Education and Knowledge Department; and a group
of senior educators attended the event.
is the most important skill for people in the 21st century, as every person
should have the instinct for learning, as a person who does not learn in this
age over the course of a day is a person who does not belong in this time. It
is your right to not get a degree, but it is not your right to not learn,"
Sheikh Abdullah said.
added, "I recall university days. Back then, I would wonder: when will I
graduate and be done with these responsibilities? Studying, sitting exams,
attendance, absences. After I graduated and started working, I realized that
those were the most wonderful days of my life. I also came to realise that the
strenuous efforts fellow students and I had to exert are in no way comparable
to the responsibilities and tasks life brought upon us afterwards."
noted, "I stand here certain that countless questions are roaming your
minds, as each and every one of you naturally wonders: where will I work? How
much will I earn? Where will my first job lead me?"
are only a few among many such important questions. However, I want you all to
note one crucial point: you have graduated from university. But you have many
lessons to learn from life, for life itself has much to teach.Wherever you end
up working, know that learning is the greatest skill one can master in the 21st
century. I call it the "learning instinct" because in this day and
age, a person who does not keep learning around the clock does not belong to this
era,'' he reiterated.
Abdullah indicated, "You can go through life without a degree, but you
cannot do so without learning. My dear sisters and brothers, we live in an era
when one who fails to learn at least one skill per year is failing oneself and
failing one’s country. All our country wants is for you to stand out, in life,
to learn, develop and compete with your counterparts from around the world. You
do not belong to the third world, as some people may think.Today, you live in a
modern and developed country that will reach planet Mars in three years."
Abdullah said, "So I ask you: Do you know why we CAN reach Mars, with
God’s blessings? For the generation before you believed that education is the
solution to all problems, and it is education that makes great nations and
lifts them among others like stars that shine in the universe. This is why
education was, and still is, one of our top priorities in the UAE."
mentioned, "Our late father Sheikh Zayed, may God have mercy on him, used
to say: "I want all the children of the Gulf to learn, and I want them to
build their own countries themselves, using their knowledge. this is why we
send our students to all parts of the world, to learn. Upon their return to
their country, I would have accomplished my dearest wish and hope, to elevate
the stature of the Gulf and its land."
Abdullah added, "I am certain that if he were to see you, he would be
extremely proud. To the new students among you who are about to set off on a
journey to complete their studies. Enjoy every day" because you are about
to experience the most beautiful days of your life, and the greatest diversity
life has to offer. You will succeed and you may fail, you may rejoice or feel
sad, and everything you encounter throughout these years will be a lesson other
than those you will learn at university. Often times, we learn from such
lessons more than we would from books."
reaffirmed, "I hope you mingle with others, learn about their cultures,
history and customs. Do not limit yourselves to your own community: go out and
discover life, because the maturity of a woman or a man is only measured by the
quality of people they mingle with throughout their lives.
urged them to always remember the words of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin
Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the
UAE Armed Forces, when he addressed our youth and told them: please use the
words "Nahna Ayal Zayed" "We are Zayed’s children’ in the right
place, at the right time, and for good purpose.'' He indicated, "For all
things you do shall be tagged so: the Emirati did so, the Emirati said so and
so. Therefore, I wish you, my sisters and brothers, to remember at all times
that you represent the UAE, your grandfathers, your grandmothers, your fathers
and your mothers who have toiled to bring your country to this great stature.
addressing parents Sheikh Abdullah said, " Firstly, you have sown a good
seed, and today you must be proud of what you reap. Secondly, do not fear for your
sons and daughters, for you have taught them well and we thank you for that,
and now their role is to complete the journey themselves, and I am sure that
you will be proud of them once and again."
concluded his speech by congratulating the graduates and honoured the 208
graduating exchange students who have finished their university studies, 56
specialised in either engineering and technology, 31 in medicine and life
sciences, and nine in natural sciences. The number of graduates in the social
and administrative sciences and arts reached 105, with seven in arts and human
students graduated from the world's prominent universities that included
University of Columbia, US, Imperial College London,University of Oxford, UK,
and Tokyo University of Technology.
remarks on the occasion, Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said that
the educational system in the country adopts the best methods and practices to
achieve the desired goals of various policies and diversified educational
added, " The higher education is an integrated system through which we
look forward to developing competencies of our national human resources by
sending them to prestigious international universities."
Ahmad bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher
Education and Advanced Skills, said, "Our student who are studying abroad,
along with those studying inside the UAE, are the country's wealth and bet for
the future. They have an active role in building bridges of constructive
cooperation between the UAE and the world, thus contributing to representing
the UAE and the region in the best way . Our students are the main engine of
development in the country. They will lead the next phase of building the
future up to achieve UAE Centennial 2071.'' The number of new students who are
studying abroad is 316 students, including 202 are males and 114 females. 190
students will study engineering technology, 38 medicine and biology, 20 in
natural sciences, 39 in social, administration and arts sciences and 29 in arts
The students will study
in a number of the highest institutions of higher learning in a group of
countries in the world where the universities of America and Canada will
receive 135 students,121 in the United Kingdom and 26 in East Asia while
European universities will welcome 14 students.