Abu Dhabi, January 12, 2020: The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) hosted its Bi-Annual Forum on January 9, 2020, under the theme “Celebrating Success – Lead Change Agents”, celebrating the success of ten of its strategic achievements made over the past four years.
The forum marked the start of HCT’s spring 2019-2020 semester and was attended by 1,200 HCT faculty and staff.
The latest HCT achievement has been the launching of the pilot stage of HCT’s “Kawader” employment portal, with the aim of boosting graduates’ employability.
Other outstanding achievements, which were highlighted during the forum, included:
- The incubation of 25 startups within the innovative economic zones under the HCT 4.0 pillar “Graduate Companies”
- The awarding of international professional certificates
- The national accreditation of HCT programs by the CAA
- The re-orientation of graduates for employment in the private sector and
- Boosting Emiratization within HCT
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President and CEO, shed light on the ten key achievements made under the HCT 4.0 strategic plan, which is comprised of three pillars – “Technical Leaders”, Education for All – No Emirati Left Behind” and “Graduate Companies”.
Dr. Al Shamsi noted that the HCT 4.0 strategic plan is strongly aligned to the UAE’s national strategy of “Towards the Next 50”, which will guide HCT in its continuous endeavors to achieve further successes in line with the ambitions of the UAE leadership and the nation’s future vision. He expressed great pride in HCT receiving national accreditation from the CAA for all 71 applied academic programs, as well as partnering with 22 professional awarding bodies worldwide, resulting in 3,720 HCT students receiving international professional certificates through HCT’s Hybrid Education model. He added that the percentage of HCT graduates being reoriented to employment in the private sector has improved from 26% to 57%.
In other success stories, Dr. Al Shamsi highlighted HCT pioneering its SANAD and HADEF programs to boost Emiratization of graduates and faculty, resulting in 47 Emirati HADEF students successfully completing the program requirements and 132 graduates being recruited in HCT faculty positions. Furthermore, the HCT recruited 103 Emirati administrative staff, which improved the Emiratization rate among administrative staff to over 61%.
Dr. Al Shamsi spoke about the inauguration of innovative economic free zones in the HCT’s Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah campuses, which resulted in the incubation of 25 student startups and projects. The free zones also hosted training camps for student entrepreneurs, in order to ensure the development and funding of their projects and graduate companies.
With respect to the digital transformation of HCT campuses, Dr. Al Shamsi informed the audience that HCT won the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Leading Change, and introduced the first digital teacher certification in the region, to be awarded to HCT faculty.
Dr. Al Shamsi further praised the HCT for being the first higher education institution in the region to win the ROSPA golden award 2019, granted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in the UK for implementation of the best health and safety standards. He also highlighted the HCT success in establishing the Global Applied Education Network (GAEN), with nine international, applied higher education institutions.
Dr. Alex Zahavich, HCT Chief Academic Officer, spoke about success sustainability and continuity at HCT, emphasizing the importance of focusing on technological updates and continuous up-skilling, in addition to deepening the awareness of the HCT goals and outputs in students, staff, parents and strategic partners.
Dr. Zahavich added that communication must be expanded between students and faculty, particularly as HCT’s role extends beyond graduation and employability, to revolve around graduating companies and entrepreneurs, empowering graduates to create their own opportunities.
Another highlight of the forum was a panel discussion session on the future plans to capitalize on past successes and new achievements under the HCT 4.0 strategic plan, so as to fully support HCT’s strategic goals and pillars.
The forum was concluded with a Rewards and Incentives recognition ceremony for HCT employees, which included the categories of “Outstanding Employee”, “Exceptional Employee”, “Unknown Soldier”, Creative Employee”, and “Community Work”.