The Engineering Technology & Science Division at the Al Ain Men’s campus (AAM) welcomed industry leaders to the campus on March 14, for Industry Advisory Committee meeting, to map out the future path of the Engineering courses.
Led by the campus Director, Dr. Yahya Al Anssari, the meeting was attended by the following industry representatives:
- Abu Dhabi Sewerage Services – Eng. Mr. Abdulrahman Al Kaabi
- TRANSCO – Mr. Ahmed Al Shamsi and Mr. Salem Al Shamsi (AAM Alumni)
- VeBes O & M – Mr. Mohammed Saeed (AAM Alumni and Mr. Amin Metry
- Department of Transport – Mr. Ali Al Nuaimi (AAM Alumni)
They were also joined by current AAM faculty, students and Alumini.
The IAC was formed to enable industrial stakeholders to have an opportunity to provide latest trends and challenges to enhance the engineering program that meets the needs of industry.
Dr. Yahya said: “The partnership with the local industry plays a vital role for future enhancement and collaboration. Our programs and students will have the opportunity to understand the latest trends in the industry.”
Dr. Nisar Qureshi, Engineering Chair, gave a presentation on the course structures for Engineering as HCT moves towards its new remit of providing exit routes for diploma and degree level graduates.
He explained how HCT wants our graduates to be highly employable and ready to hit the ground running, offering knowledge and skills to their employers that make them the most attractive graduates in the market. The programme provides graduates to fill roles at technician level after a diploma qualification. There is a demand in industry, particularly the private sector where currently only 5% of Emirati nationals are employed to provide local graduates with the right qualifications.
Employers present at the meeting agreed that HCT graduates are the most employable among current UAE graduates showing aptitude and knowledge for the workplace.
They also agreed that the work placement could further support skills for the workplace and that strengthening the partnership between the placement company and the engineering faculty in supervising student placements could facilitate this. The work placement can also enable students to bring back real world challenges and ideas from industry for a final year design project to be done over two semesters. This would not only strengthen the student understanding of real engineering problems but also develop stronger links between the college and industry.
The participants also discussed that some of the more specific courses such as the health and safety and industrial plant maintenance for instance, could better prepare students to become more effective in the workplace.
Future activities that were discussed, included inviting more experts from industry into the campus to give lectures and enhance learning. There is also the opportunity to explore the possibility of offering short courses for industry based at the campus and also to look at upskilling employees in the companies to return to education to get a degree level qualification in order to enhance their opportunities to get promotion and go into supervisory and management roles.