Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, the 9th National Education Conference was held at Al Ain Women’s College on April 11, 2012.
The conference, entitled “Adding Value to Education in the UAE”, attracted more than 400 delegates from the education system in the United Arab Emirates.
The keynote speaker for the conference was Dame Geraldine Keegan, DBE, OBE, an educator who was honoured by the UK for her services to education including a significant success in improving poorly-performing schools in her native Northern Ireland.
Her speech was followed by a range of featured presenters (including final year Education students) who addressed the question of how to ensure that educators keep “adding value to education in the United Arab Emirates” by presenting a variety of topics and arguments that needed to be considered in the evolution of the education system in the UAE.
As H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology stated in his opening address at the 24th HCT Annual Conference: “The Higher Colleges of Technology form an institution that is successful because it always gives its highest priority to its students and its engagement with the community. Our first and foremost goal is to provide an excellent education to our students. We must set our academic standards and expectations at the highest international levels and challenge our students to excel.”
The conference underscored the need for the education community of the United Arab Emirates to take stock of where it has come from, what changes have been brought to the education system and how we can ‘add value’ to the next stages of its development.