New project to help UAE universities deliver online degree programmes by 2022
Dubai - A two-year public-private partnership will help varsities devise and deliver e-learning programmes.
More online university programmes will be available in the UAE by 2022, thanks to a new initiative of the Ministry of Education (MoE), in partnership with the Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education.
The MoE and the foundation on Tuesday launched the University Consortium for Quality Online Learning (UCQOL), which will help a number of UAE universities develop accredited online programmes in two years.
Varsities taking part in the programme will be getting various forms of support, including training and assessments. The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education will help them throughout the process, from designing online degree programmes to delivering them.
The UCQOL will also serve as a UAE-based professional learning community, where ideas and expertise about e-learning will be exchanged.
The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged universities' capabilities to provide education through smart platforms. Now, it has become a necessity to "add new dimensions to university education", including expanding the base of accredited e-learning programmes offered by national universities, said Dr Muhammad Al Mualla, undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Academic Affairs of Higher Education.
In 2019, the ministry's Commission for Academic Accreditation released a clear and robust framework and standards for accrediting online degree programnes in the country.
Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said: "We are excited to launch a three-way partnership in the UAE because of a joint commitment with the ministry and leading universities to making high-quality accredited online education part of the landscape of UAE higher education. I am confident that this project (UCQOL) will have far-reaching outcomes not just in the UAE, but across the region."
The MoE and the foundation plan to co-host a workshop for participating universities this month to outline the operational details of the project.