Business education critical for economy, says minister

DUBAI — A global economic downturn has called into question many of the principals and institutions that govern today’s globalised world, said Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research.


Muaz Shabandri

Published: Sun 5 Dec 2010, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:17 AM

“Our prosperity in the future rests in the hands of our professionals and our goal in the UAE is to prepare business students to be active leaders with high standards of ethical behaviour. This really demands innovative thinking that will help us understand new ways to conduct business and finance,” added Shaikh Nahyan.

The minister’s comments came in his keynote address at the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD) conference hosted by University of Dubai (UD).

Highlighting the need to support business education, Shaikh Nahyan said that it is critical to appreciate the role of management education in supporting the success of business in our region. “The economic conditions in the past two years have highlighted the importance of the work of colleges and universities as suppliers of ideas, talent and leadership that are needed in all aspects of our life.”

Hosting the conference in Dubai for the first time, the EFMD highlighted its plans to build on regional partnerships.

“The mission of the EMFD is to work as a catalyst to improve management education and development in the Middle East,” said Eric Cornuel, Director-General of EFMD.

“Empowering students with high-level business concepts without exposing them to fundamental skills needed to operate in a business environment can impair the idea behind business education,” added Eric.

“It is important to learn history, geography and philosophy of other countries to understand and appreciate the multi-cultural environment in a globalised business economy. People should be able to improvise their solutions to keep pace with a fast-changing business environment. Students from the UD and senior academicians attended the two-day conference which discussed trends in management education.

“There is an urgent need to teach management students how to keep abreast of the latest advances in their field, to sharpen their skills, to improve the quality of faculty research in the MENA region, and to inculcate problem-solving skills needed in the workplace,” said Dr Omar Hefni, President of the UD.

“We hope that the deliberations of the conference will go a long way in creating a sustainable management education platform on par with international standards,” added Dr Omar.

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