As part of the Education Without Borders conference’s World Forum, held at the Armani Hotel in Dubai recently, Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) and Pearson, an international company with market-leading businesses in education, business information and consumer publishing, have signed an MoU to further boost science and technology in Pan Arab society.
His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE‘s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of Higher Colleges of Technology and H.E. Dame Marjorie Scardino, Chief Executive Officer, Pearson, signed the MoU.
Pearson and HCT will form a strategic partnership to implement a holistic program to combine a digital placement test, diagnostic assessment and remediation tools, learning analytics and reporting, teacher professional development, and all the required technical infrastructure and integrations. The solution will be implemented for HCT, and be made replicable for, and marketed to, additional institutions across the region.
Dr Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology said it was very pleasing to work closely with Pearson, a reputed international company, to develop the next generation of future leaders for the nation.
“This is an example of the strong collaborations between the HCT and industry partners to fulfil its mandate of offering career-oriented academic and training programs to meet the specific needs of the local industry and therefore keep pace with the changing needs of the community,” Dr Kamali said.
“This agreement will provide the highest quality education opportunities for young people throughout the UAE, so that they can become valuable members of their communities.”
The HCT has a mandate to develop the educational capacity and human resources of the UAE and has extensive experience in the UAE and MENA regions in establishing forums and platforms across various disciplines to serve specific not-for-profit, commercial and industry sectors, while Pearson has 37,000 people in more than 60 countries, helping children and adults to learn, business people to make informed decisions and enthralling readers of all ages.
Christine Ozden, President, Pearson Education, Middle East, Africa & Caribbean, Pearson added: “Pearson is the world’s leading education company. From pre-school to high school, early learning to professional certification, our curriculum materials, multimedia learning tools and testing programmes help to educate over 100 million people worldwide – more than any other private enterprise. We are happy to sign this agreement with an organization with a long-term vision like HCT. This agreement will go a long way towards creating an environment that encourages towards creating an environment that encourages students to easily and effectively transition from high school to further and higher education.”
As per the MoU, HCT and Pearson will work jointly to develop and implement a holistic program to bridge secondary learning to higher education. This works at developing a digital Foundation Year resources repository, within a learning content management system, and includes both a Teacher Professional Development Portal to support faculty development in the region and a Student Orientation and Study Skills Portal to help orient students towards their individual institution.”
Ozden added: “There have been intensive and iterative business discussions to create a deeper value proposition between Pearson and HCT. The areas of discussion have focussed on a successful transition from high school into higher education.”
Dr Tayeb Kamali said the content and tools of the program will be customised to fit the Arab World context. Pearson and HCT will co-create the solution to make the vision of an integrated program a reality, with the solution to be jointly implemented in a series of steps with certain immediate benefits.
“Through cooperation with partners such as Pearson the HCT is able to introduce new programs and courses which allow it to meet the economic, educational, technological, social and cultural needs of the nation. It will also allow its students to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to ensure they are active contributors to the nation and its growth,” Dr Kamali said.
Since its inception, HCT has focused on meeting the needs of the local economy and community, while at the same time meeting international benchmarks and accreditation standards. In this process, HCT has established active and dynamic links, collaborations and relationships with all major companies and organizations in the UAE and with many of the world’s leading universities and organizations.