SWC Graduate & 7 Faculty Members Win 2014 Nikai Awards for Innovation & Excellence

5 years

A student from the HCT-Sharjah Women’s College (SWC) who combined top grades with a strong community spirit has been awarded the Nikai Student Award for academic excellence for the 2013/2014 academic year, presented at the Higher Colleges of Technology’s 27th Annual Conference which was held recently at the HCT-Dubai Men’s College.

The winning student was Munira Mohamed Abdelhameed Al Hammadi, who graduated from the Sharjah Women’s College (SWC) in June 2014 with a HD/BAS of Human Resources degree, attaining a GPA of 3.94. Munira not only met the high standards of academic excellence, as set out in the Awards criteria, but also distinguished herself through her many contributions to the community and the college.

Munira’s leadership competencies, positive disposition and excellent achievements make her a valuable representative of the HCT-Sharjah Colleges. She was joined on stage by seven faculty members from Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah who won the 2013/14 Nikai Faculty Awards for Innovation in Teaching.

The Nikai Awards were presented to the winners by HCT Chancellor, HE Mohammad Omran Al Shamsi, HCT Vice Chancellor, Dr. Tayeb Kamali and Nikai Group Chairman Paras Shahdadpuri and reflect academic excellence and a passion for community involvement.

The Nikai Awards are proudly sponsored annually by the Nikai Group which supports innovation in education, by students and faculty members, who demonstrate great aptitude, creativity, innovation and dedication to their studies and fields of endeavour at the HCT. The awards are highlights of the HCT calendar and see the winners receive significant cash prizes, electronic equipment and a commemorative certificate.

The Nikai Student Award recognises an outstanding HCT graduating student who has made noteworthy contributions to activities outside the academic curriculum, excelled in their programmes, their extracurricular activities and have generally epitomized the HCT student body.

Munira Al Hammadi’s achievements included several contributions to the community including international experience of volunteering in Habitat for Humanity projects in India, significant contribution to student life and college activities through representing the HCT in the Model United Nations Club and Education Without Borders 2013 conference. She also won awards such as Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Scholars programme in 2012 and the Doha Debate.

The Nikai Faculty Awards were given for each of the two semesters in 2013/14, and are awarded to innovative programmes, projects or initiatives which enhance student learning and skills. The award criteria includes innovation in teaching and the criteria considered were Quality; Creativity and timeliness; Efficiency and cost effectiveness; Sharability and replication; and Sustainability.

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The Nikai Faculty Award for Semester 1 was awarded to a team of five faculty members from the HCT- Dubai Women’s College, consisting of Jinesh Ahamed, Suna Nakhare, Firoz Khan, Munther Al Hassan and Gita Mooliyil.

The team was recognised for its Al Noor Wireless Project, which brought about community-based innovations through the application of HCT’s educational philosophy of Learning by Doing.  This project provided students with the opportunity, as part of their studies, to apply the knowledge and skills learned in a sequence of courses in a real-world context. The design of the learning experiences integrated key learning outcomes from each course of study in order to provide a much-needed service to the community at the Al Noor Training Centre for Children of Special Needs.

The Nikai Faculty Award for Semester 2 winners were Ian Martin and Jane Chalton from the HCT-Ras Al Khaimah Women’s College for their innovation of Teaching English through Robot Design. This project integrated pedagogy, interdisciplinary studies and clever, innovative use of low-cost resources that led to a significant impact on student learning, motivation and engagement in learning English. The learning created a highly authentic learning environment that stimulated and enhanced language learning with Engineering students, while it was easily sharable and sustainable. In addition, the teachers using the innovation demonstrated very clearly in their learning design and assessment tasks, undertaken by the students, how this creative project addressed all eight HCT Graduate Outcomes.

Nikai Group of Companies and its Chairman Paras Shahdadpuri said the company was honoured and privileged to sponsor the awards for excellence in education over the past years, as it contributed to the advancement of innovative and dedicated work by HCT students and faculty members.

Mr Shahdadpuri added that the corporation’s partnership with HCT was aimed at playing a pivotal role in enlightening, educating and motivating the students, faculty and professionals across the HCT colleges.

HCT Vice Chancellor Dr Tayeb Kamali thanked the Nikai Group for its long and generous association with the excellence in innovation awards. “It is through close partnerships like this one with the Nikai Group that the Higher Colleges of Technology is able to provide such high standards for the education and development of its students and faculty, as well as to nurture and assist innovation,” Dr Kamali said.

“We pride ourselves on producing graduates of the highest calibre who will make valuable contributions to their communities and to our nation, as well as relevant, education-focused innovations that will enhance our teaching and learning approaches. The Nikai Awards certainly assist us in these aims, for which are very grateful,” Dr Kamali added.