UAE: Short vocational education programme announced for underperforming students

The college has also robustly been building partnerships that nurture students' training and employment opportunities, through work experiences


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Tue 25 Jun 2024, 6:28 PM

Last updated: Wed 26 Jun 2024, 11:09 PM

A Dubai college has introduced a new 'career accelerator track' specifically designed for students who may not have excelled academically in school and prefer to pursue vocational training.

The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) ‘Shaping the Future’ model helps enhance students’ educational opportunities, according to their abilities, interests, and the job market needs.

The college has also robustly been building partnerships that nurture students' training and employment opportunities, through work experiences.

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Its existing ‘Apprenticeship Programme’, has already benefited 6,180 Diploma and Bachelor students.

Celebrating the one-year anniversary of its transformative education model, at a press conference held at the HCT-Dubai Academic City Campus on Tuesday, Sumaya Abdulaziz Al Hosani said, “The career accelerator track which will be launched from the new academic year is especially meant for high school students who are unable to achieve higher levels in EmSAT and they wish to join the workforce quickly and don’t want to study for long.”

“So, for example high school students who didn’t get higher ranks or do not fulfil the requirements for other pathways will be enrolled in these programmes. This will help them bridge the gap between their skills and what is needed for the workforce. On the other hand it’s also meant for existing students say, who based on their academic attainment and (lower) grades can opt for an ‘exit’ with a certificate for vocational courses,” she added.

Professional certificates’ linked to career accelerators

The HCT enrolled more than 7,000 male and female students in the 2023-24 academic year after re-engineering its educational approach to offer 12 new vocational diploma programmes.

In addition, Dr Alayyan noted that HCT enjoyed a 75 per cent graduate employment rate for that period, due to significant collaborations with private and public sector entities.

Dr Alayyan said, “HCT launched our new educational model in 2023 to answer the new demand of the job market. We also announced plans to offer three study tracks for students, where the vocational diploma programme was added to the applied bachelor's programme, which created new opportunities for hundreds of students according to their abilities and interests. Today, HCT is preparing to add the third track – ‘professional certificates’ linked to career accelerators, which will increase students' options according to job market requirements.”

Enhancing capabilities

He explained the college’s responsibility to their students do not end at graduation, as the employment process for graduates is a key strategic goal that the college works on.

“Last year, we signed collaboration and partnership agreements with organizations from the public and private sectors to offer training and employment opportunities for students and graduates. We also signed a strategic partnership with Nafis to attract students to study health sciences and work in private health sector institutions,” he added.

Shedding light on ‘apprenticeship’, Al Hosani explained that HCT’s strategy seeks to enhance capabilities and talents and promote Emirati excellence that aspires to leadership and globalisation.

“Our programmes are offered based on a realistic study of the labour market in light of the electronic link between the campuses and both the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the Ministry of Education, to know the current and future job requirements, especially since we are dealing with an open, changing, and competitive vocational market. Along with offering new programmes, it is essential to review and develop existing programmes to ensure the availability of diverse options for students,” she added.


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