Under the patronage and attendance of his Excellency “Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan”, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Chairman of the Coordinating Council for Higher Education, the “Second Forum on Higher Education Policies and Scientific Research”, entitled “The National Agenda for Scientific Research and Innovation” was held. His Excellency “Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan” stressed that this Forum comes in accordance with the directives of his Highness Sheikh “Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan”, President of State, which defined the UAE's Higher Policy for Science, Technology and Innovation, so this Forum will discuss the policy framework for higher education and scientific research, which was charted through dialogue and communication between the Ministry and all government and private higher education institutions, in an update on the implementation of the recommendations of the first Forum held in October 2014, to emphasize the strategy drivers to achieve leadership in higher education and scientific research, to support the higher education sector by focusing on the importance of matching the output of higher education and the UAE labor market needs to support the national agenda of the UAE. The Forum has two sessions; the first will present the Higher Education and Scientific Research Policy Framework, and will also present a presentation on global best practices in the field of scientific research and innovation by Professor "Joseph Shields" from “Ohio University", the second includes four workshops, that will discuss strategy drivers to build a culture of research and innovation in institutions of higher education and scientific research, and building and strengthening the capacities of the teaching bodies in the field of scientific research and innovation, and building an effective partnership between higher education institutions and economic sectors to support social and economic development in the State, and scientific research and innovation challenges and constraints faced, and the mechanisms available to address them. Strategy drivers for higher education and scientific research Eight strategies to be discussed by the Forum: 1) Ensure student access to excellent higher education through increasing enrolment and scholarship opportunities and improving student counseling. 2) Promote leadership in the area of research and development through setting a national agenda for research and development and engage in more applied research, increasing research grants and establish R&D centers and labs within public and private universities, setting research performance indicators and improve the standing of UAE institutions in international rankings. 3) Ensure the sustainability of quality assurance system through strengthening internal quality assurance functions within public and private universities, enhancing the role of academic and vocational accreditation, and continuously improvement the standards, and ensuring alignment of higher education outcomes with the National Qualifications Framework (EQF). 4) Strengthen partnerships with industry through forming joint advisory councils with public and private sectors and establish industry-fund to support R&D, creating a labor market database accessible to all institutions of higher education, and increasing co-operation and internship opportunities and encourage more applied research. 5) Promote continuous education and smart learning through enhancing e-infrastructure and smart learning programs, supporting co-operative efforts between public and private universities in developing smart and continuous learning opportunities, and adopting e-learning initiatives and establish regulations to ensure the quality of their outputs. 6) Strengthen community service and social responsibility through building partnerships with the local community and support small and medium enterprises, and implementing studies that serve current and future needs for social and economic development. 7) Make optimal use of financial resources through encouraging co-operation and joint investment by institutions of higher education in development projects and high-cost academic programs, providing incentives for institutions to create additional revenue streams and self-financing projects, and reviewing and continually develop the public universities funding model to ensure sufficient support for growth and quality. 8) Enhance international co-operation through encouraging local universities to obtain international accreditation and increase enrolment of international students, establishing partnerships with the world’s leading universities and increase student exchange programs, and increasing UAE participation in international conferences and forums. Dr. “Mansour Al Awar”, Chancellor of “Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University", hailed the efforts of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in developing clear and objective frameworks for scientific and research policies, in order to redraw the features of the future of higher education and scientific research, in line with the requirements of the twenty-first century. Dr. “Al Awar” expressed his deep appreciation to his Excellency Sheikh “Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan”, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, for choosing “Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University" to host the events of the “Second Forum on Higher Education Policies and Scientific Research”, with the participation of scientists, researchers, academics and dignitaries at the national and international levels. Dr. “Al Awar” said: "organizing the Second Forum on Higher Education Policies” comes in conjunction with the launch of "UAE's Higher Policy for Science, Technology and Innovation "adopted by his Highness Sheikh “Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan”, President of the State a few days ago, this policy that supports 100 national initiative in the various vital sectors, with investments worth 300 billion Dirhams, which is a clear indication of the depth of his Highness’ interest in science, technology and innovation, as the cornerstone of progress and advancement. And we strive through the Forum to develop a framework for higher education policies and the promotion of scientific research, and offering new innovations, consistent with the general policy, and in line with the wise leadership’s aspirations in launching into a brighter and more prosperous future for the nation and the citizen".
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