Higher education strategy seeks to develop knowledge economy

ABU DHABI — The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research announced yesterday that its strategic framework for 2008-2010 will focus on striking a balance between education and the job market requirements to bolster the country’s sustainable development objectives.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Tue 31 Jul 2007, 9:10 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:24 AM

Unveiling details of the ministry’s strategic plan, Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, said the ministry will give priority to updating education programmes at UAE universities to reflect international best practices, matching global standards.

Shaikh Nahyan said, “The UAE universities and higher education institutions have a responsibility for creating and disseminating knowledge. We are keen to enhance the capabilities of our universities and research centres and maximise their contribution in building the country’s knowledge economy.”

He said that they were looking forward to achieving greater synergy with other ministries to fulfil key education objectives laid out in the government’s strategic plan.

The minister referred to ‘Al Ghad Schools’ (Schools of Tomorrow) as an example of successful cooperation between the two ministries. The project, to be implemented from the 2007-2008 academic year, will cover 50 schools. It is designed to eliminate the one-year ‘initiation programme’ the high school graduates have to undergo before enrolling for higher education.

The Ministry of Higher Education will apply quality management principles to all UAE universities and colleges as an essential prerequisite for successful human development schemes.

Stressing the importance of scientific research, Shaikh Nahyan said, “The ministry’s strategy has placed a special emphasis on research to enhance the UAE’s regional and international status as a knowledge dissemination centre.”

The Ministry of Higher Education is also planning to build a comprehensive database to facilitate sound decision-making, especially for international scholarships as well as to assess the local job market requirements.

It also aims to achieve an increase in the enrolment of male students in UAE universities.

Other plans include increasing support to the academic accreditation authority which supervises private universities and colleges.

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