The National Qualifications Authority (NQA), on Tuesday, June 30th, 2015, at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, signed an agreement to align qualifications framework levels with the UK qualifications, credit hours, and higher education qualifications systems. The signing ceremony was attended by His Excellency Philip Parham, the British Ambassador to the UAE, and Mr. Marc Jessel, Director of the British Council in the UAE. By signing this agreement, the NQA has completed the alignment project, thus representing the beginning of going global and developing the national qualifications system to match the best international systems in this respect. The agreement follows the recommendations of the joint technical team, composed of the UAE and British sides, which included the study and analysis of learning outcomes contained in the three systems and the names of qualifications in each of them, in addition to the education and training systems in each of the UAE and the UK. HE Dr. Thani Al Muhairi, Director General of NQA, said that the education sector enjoys a prominent place under the auspices of leadership and the interest it takes in it, given the role played by the sector to bring about the desired growth of various sectors in line with the UAE Vision 2021. Al Muhairi noted that this alignment project is the first of its kind in the region, and it will be the beginning of the project to achieve the alignment with the European qualifications system to be the first country outside the framework of the EU countries to do so. He added that this feat reflects the status occupied by the UAE on the international map in general, and the status of the UAE education and training sector in particular. This alignment agreement will lead to the recognition of vocational and professional qualifications acquired by a number of UAE citizens from the British educational and vocational training institutions, which have not been so far accredited, provided that such qualifications and programs are accredited in the country of origin, such as England or Scotland, and within one of the aligned systems. The opportunity will be given for many citizens to continue to learn or get vocational and professional work commensurate with their qualifications, in addition to granting citizens the opportunity to continue professional learning in the UK and other countries after the completion of the process of achieving mutual recognition of professional qualifications. This leading experience will put the UAE in the ranks of developed countries in the field of aligning the education outputs with labor market requirements, and at the same time, it contributes to the development of educational and academic reality and supplying the labor market with talented cadres capable of filling positions and carrying out tasks to the fullest.
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