UAE has a leading and pioneering higher education system in the region, says UAE academician

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Photo: File
Photo: File

Published: Wed 17 Nov 2021, 12:09 PM

Last updated: Wed 17 Nov 2021, 12:10 PM

The UAE is one of the most important centres of higher education in the region, able to meet the requirements of the “Fourth Industrial Revolution and Artificial Intelligence”, said a top UAE academician.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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In his key note speech at a conference on the ‘Open Scholarships in a Post-Pandemic World’, Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to the UAE President and Chancellor of the UAE University said the strength of the UAE higher education system lies in its diversity.

“We have institutions with roots in all corners of the world. We have technical, specialist, vocational, liberal arts, and research-intensive institutions,” he said.

“Some are public, some private, some big and some small. Many are the result of international partnership and inward international investments”.

The conference was the 24th international conference on Networked Digital Library of Electronic Theses and Dissertations, held by the UAE University's pavilion at Expo 2020 in Dubai, in the presence of Juma Al Majid, founder of the Juma Al Majid Center for Culture and Heritage, and several higher education leaders, academics, researchers, librarian specialists and students.


The conference aimed at addressing the issue of promoting open scholarship to make sure that researchers can locate and access graduate dissertations and thesis.

“Libraries and the work of librarians and archivists have been central to my life and career. Reading has been my passion, and an essential source of energy, ideas, and connection to the world around me,” said Nusseibeh.

“Postgraduate students are our early career researchers. Their dissertations and theses are often their most inventive, innovative, and creative works. The first works of early career researchers are the seeds of their future field of specialization. It is new and original work, which is valuable to get hold of, and must be used if these young people are to make their names in the academic world”.

However, he was concerned that, “despite the excitement and vigor of early career research, most journal and book editors want to publish the works of established, highly cited academics. Therefore young researchers find it difficult publish. In turn, the fact that their work is not published means that our established researchers have difficulty accessing it and using it.”.

The academic expert stressed that, “Publication is an activity that demands resources of many kinds. Researchers need financial resources to fund publication, and in many parts of the world these resources do not exist. Or the researcher’s university may not enjoy position in the European, North American, or Australian centres of higher education.”

He added, “In addition, researchers might not work in English, the predominant language of academic publication. And so because of the lack of resources of these kinds, the work of early career researchers may not be published. It will remain hidden from global view.”

Nusseibeh noted that this was a vicious circle that, “We must break. If not, the valuable work of early career researchers is rendered fugitive. Of fleeting concern to examiners it quickly disappears out of conversation and is hidden away in library stacks. We must break this vicious circle and enable the world to have direct access to the valuable work of young researchers – the inventive, daring, imaginative results of their painstaking endeavors”.

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