Is the UAE Ready for the Future?
As CEO and President of HCT, I am often asked if the UAE is ready – ready for the future and its technological changes and job challenges.
It’s always my pleasure to reply, in full confidence, that, “Yes, we are ready!”
Eery success or achievement began with an idea. Our leadership has taught us that the word “impossible” does not exist. Due to the rapid, exponential technological developments in the world, the UAE has been compelled to become thinkers and develop future foresight in order to build readiness for change. If we look back even a few years, we can see that “the future” we were talking about a few years ago has become a reality in record time.
When I spoke a few years ago about the expected disappearance of the physical “campus”, I envisioned an educational model that transcends place and time. I imagined the transformation of our traditional learning setting into the “Digital Campus” – a ‘space’ that provides “Uber-like” education, transforming the traditional campus into a technology resource. Thanks to the UAE Government, we have now quickly turned this idea into an action plan, which led to the successful accomplishment of a digital campus on March 1st, in line with the vision and directives of our leadership.
The Digi Campus pilot program was rolled out at the beginning of March. HCT faculty have since been able to use the “Digi Campus” to host over 1 million teaching hours to connect with students virtually through more than 41,000 online, interactive classes.
The UAE government played a leading role in all areas of the digital campus project and was proactive in meeting future challenges head on, with a focus on capacity building through education. The government invested in building the digital system and supported all of the initiatives in this field, reinforcing its belief in the importance of preparing for the future and the vital role of technology in future building.
Due to the national vision, and the limitless support of our leadership, educational institutions have succeeded in building advanced digital systems that are closely in line with the “4th Industrial Revolution”. These systems will be able to flexibly and effectively support the development and continuity of teaching and learning in current global conditions, and in turn assist in building the future of humanity.
Providing online education was not a spur of the moment endeavor, but the product of foresight, dedicated effort and investment in human capital. The success of online learning, which over 90% of users rated favorably via a survey carried out by HCT, proved that investing in human capital development always wins. The readiness of institutions, students and faculty, and the cooperation in implementation, has led to this success.
The key challenge is that online education is not limited to classes and lectures, but rather extends to extra-curricular activities, projects, clubs, sports activities, and others collaborative endeavors. This is just the beginning, and this kind of learning will help us discover new student abilities, skills and interests.
With more than 20,000 students attending our modern, technology oriented male and female campuses throughout the UAE, we already have a strong reputation for embedding innovative teaching and learning methods and technologies. With “Digi Campus” we have now proven that HCT is at the cutting-edge of the UAE’s drive to modernise and diversify the economy towards one that is primarily knowledge-based.
This is the reason why I say with full confidence – that in the UAE we are always ready for what the future will bring.