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All in the mind

Improve your job prospects or simply learn for pleasure with the University of Wollongong Dubai’s new short courses

By Adam Zacharias

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Published: Wed 31 Aug 2011, 9:52 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:01 AM

“Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in study. Be a student so long as you still have something to learn, and this will mean all your life.”

(U.S. financier Henry L. Doherty, 1870-1939)

To help professionals compete in today’s challenging job market, the University of Wollongong Dubai Professional Institute is launching a series of short courses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Beginning in early October, the courses include ‘Business Communication’, ‘Arabic Conversation for Beginners’, ‘Women and Leadership’, ‘Social Media for Business’, ‘How to be Healthy and Eat Right’ and ‘Psychology for Successful Managers’.

To learn more, we spoke with Raymi van der Spek, the university’s Executive Director of Administration & Strategic Development.

Was there a specific demographic you had in mind when you launched the short courses?

We’re not thinking young or old demographics, but rather anyone who is interested in learning about a new area and for whatever reason. UOWD students represent 100 nationalities, and we expect a similar multicultural representation in the Professional Institute. For someone who is in marketing and thinking about HR, our courses can give them an idea about what working in HR might be like. Or someone who has always wondered about Islamic banking - how it works, and would it be a good thing to specialise in. We offer a chance to learn, to try, and to experience without committing a lot of money or time. Other courses, like ‘Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art’, provide an introduction for people who would like to learn about something new, for themselves, not for their job or career.

Do course attendees receive a qualification or certificate?

Attendees of any course who go to all the sessions receive a certificate. The Professional Institute courses are not for credit and have no requirements, no tests, papers and so on. Several courses which are marked with an asterisk on the list can be used to fulfil foundation requirements for entry into bachelor programmes.

Who is teaching the courses?

Instructors are members of the UOWD faculty or staff with expertise in the area, or industry professionals.

Are you hoping to expand the list of short courses in future years?

The list of courses will be changing all the time according to demand and opportunities to offer something when an expert instructor is available.

What prompted the inclusion of the ‘How to be Healthy and Eat Right’ course?

An industry expert offered to teach a course in health and nutrition. It turned out we have a staff member who earned a master’s degree in that area. They agreed to teach the course together.

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