HCT Explores Impact of 4IR on Current Practices During Online Business Conference
The impact of the technology-driven and transformative 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) on current business practices and outlooks was the focus of the virtual, 4th Industrial Revolution: Transforming Businesses conference, hosted by the Higher Colleges of Technology’s Faculty of Business.
The conference hosted 12 plenary sessions where international and locally-based delegates discussed disruptive business models caused by the impact of 4IR in the fields of Business Analytics, Finance, Logistics, Marketing, Human Resources, Accounting, Tourism, SMEs, Quality Assurance and Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
The conference featured Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President & CEO, Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna, President & CEO of GE Gulf, Dr. Rodica Milena Zaharia, rom Bucharest University of Economic Studies in Romania, Dr. Ayesha Abdulla, HCT Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business, researchers form international universities and HCT faculty.
The conference attracted experts and researchers from Canada, Europe and USA, where over 150 conference papers and 70 presentations were submitted. The conference themes shed light on the significant implications of 4IR and Artificial Intelligence for businesses, as well as the importance of increasing business competitiveness by embracing innovation, creativity and digital transformation.
In his opening address Dr Al Shamsi highlighted five prominent achievements by HCT, undertaken under the HCT 4.0 strategic plan, which focuses on creating a national talent and skill incubator to meet the requirements of 4IR, in alignment with the UAE National Vision.
The five highlighted achievements were:
- 98% of HCT academic programs have professional certifications
- HCT has launched over 40 startups.
- HCT has achieved full CAA national accreditation of all its applied programs
- HCT has achieved great success in its online learning experience and its Digi Campus during the COVID-19 crisis
- HCT has developed a range of proactive post-COVID-19 future scenarios and strategies
Dr. Al Shamsi said that the HCT takes great pride in these achievements, which have made a significant impact, particularly its success in achieving 90% employer satisfaction with HCT graduates, and doubling the employment rate of HCT graduates in the private sector over the past two years.
He added that the HCT has embedded professional certification in its curriculum since the 2016-2017 academic year, through its cooperation with 20 international professional awarding bodies. This has enabled 52% of HCT graduates to obtain professional qualifications in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Dr Al Shamsi highlighted the launching of over 40 startups, as well as winning the CHEA CIQG 2020 international Award for outstanding performance of colleges and universities around the world. As a result, HCT was one of the first six higher education institutions in the world to receive accreditation form the Quality Assurance Agency until 2025.
Dr. Al Shamsi discussed the success of HCT establishing the Global Applied Education Network (GAEN) which consists of nine partners with the aim of establishing a global platform to address employability challenges posed by the 4IR, as well as creating exchange opportunities for students and faculty and research development.
Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna, President & CEO of GE Gulf, said: “The conference on Transforming Businesses by leveraging the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, organized by HCT’s Faculty of Business, underlines the commitment of all key stakeholders in the UAE to drive the national strategy for 4IR.”
“Through the event, we are not only working toward stronger collaborations to unlock the value of diverse businesses through advanced technologies, but also contributing to nurturing a knowledge economy,” Dr. Dalya added.
“4IR presents an opportunity for the nation – and every business sector – to achieve new levels of operational efficiency and productivity. With this event, HCT has connected stakeholders from across all business sectors to create a roadmap for our collective future,” she concluded.
Dr. Alex Zahavich, HCT Chief Academic Officer, said: “We must be mindful of categorizing change when change is a continuum. Things that are discussed about the 4th Industrial Revolution have been evolving for decades. This period of time, while change has been rapid, a common dominator is people, and we can’t forget about people.”
Dr. Ayesha Abdulla, HCT Executive Dean of the Faculty of Business, delivered the closing remarks, stressing the importance of this conference whose main aim is to display the new business models that keep abreast of the 4th Industrial Revolution in several areas and industries.