ABU DHABI, September 30, 2019: The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), the UAE’s largest applied higher education institution, will collaborate with its Finnish counterparts to promote student exchange and encourage Finnish students to pursue higher education in the UAE, after it signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of Universities of Applied Education in Finland.
The HCT will work closely with the Association of Universities of Applied Education, which comprises 25 universities, to enhance mutual cooperation in support of educational and cultural exchange between the two countries. This is in alignment with the international initiative “Study in the UAE”, launched by the UAE Ministry of Education.
Under the MOU, the Association of Universities of Applied Education will join the Global Applied Education Network (GAEN), which was established by the Higher Colleges of Technology in 2018 with nine international educational institutions from Canada, Australia, U.K., Ireland, Mexico, and USA, for the future development of applied education in the region.
The MoU was signed by Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President & CEO, with Tapio Varmola, President of the Association of Universities of Applied Education in Finland, in the attendance of HE Noura Mohammed Juma, UAE Ambassador to Finland, during the HCT’s participation in the European Association for International Education conference in Helsinki, Finland.
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi said he was pleased with this cooperation between HCT and the Finnish Association of Universities of Applied Education, and the Association joining GAEN. The arrangement will play a key role in facilitating student exchange, by encouraging HCT students to enroll in courses or undergo training in any of the 25 Finnish Applied Education institutions. The HCT students will be able to claim credit for courses studied in Finland, towards their overall GPA. Finnish students will also be encouraged to study at HCT in order to learn the features of higher education in the UAE.
Dr. Al Shamsi said he hoped the collaboration would support the attainment of the HCT 4.0 strategic goals, by preparing youth to become technical leaders and equipping them with international knowledge and skills, so as to empower them to build a better future for their country.
The HCT President and CEO added that faculty exchange will also be made possible in the areas of research and joint projects, so as to enhance the development of best practices in applied education in the region.
Tapio Varmola, President of the Association of Universities of Applied Education in Finland, expressed his pleasure with the cooperation with HCT and joining the Global Applied Education Network (GAEN). He affirmed that the Association welcomes the transfer of applied education expertise and knowledge exchange with sister higher education institutions, namely in the areas of student and faculty exchange and research.
Mr. Varmola added that studies show that 90% of private school students in the Gulf region are searching for university education abroad, with most students choosing US and UK universities.