HCT Meets Challenges of 4IR with UAE-first Virtual Reality Training Platform
The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) has delved into Virtual Reality to train its faculty, staff and students, with the launch of a VR-based training and educational module for Environment Health & Safety (EH&S) - the first of its kind in UAE higher education institutions.
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President & CEO, said the world is currently facing many challenges arising from the 4th Industrial Revolution, necessitating investment in modern, cutting-edge technologies to empower institutions and human capital resources to successfully address these challenges.
“HCT is leveraging the technologies of the 4th Industrial Revolution to assist with this aspect of learning, by creating an immersive experience for all HCT staff, students and faculty,” Dr. Al Shamsi said.
He added HCT is committed to implementing its development plans in alignment with the UAE’s Government Excellence Model, which encompasses innovation, pro-activeness and agility. “The virtual training platform represents a model for educational and training initiatives aimed at enhancing Environment, Health and Safety in the Higher Colleges of Technology,” he said.
“It is the first of its kind to boost learning with life-like virtual reality training simulators in order to enable trainees to assimilate information and apply skills, as well as to enhance the experiences of the HCT community in general, whether through on-campus or distance training,” Dr. Al Shamsi said.
Dr. Al Shamsi pointed out that the VR platform will reinforce HCT’s strategic endeavors in Risk and Crisis Management, and increase employees’ readiness to deal with any emergency cases or accidents.
“The aim of this immersive tool is to improve the EH &S training experience through a series of systematic learning outcomes. The VR experience also sets risk-based approaches in a virtual setting, to reduce potential accidents within different environments,” Dr. Al Shamsi said.
Engineer Abdulla Al Mheiri, HCT Vice President for Shared Services, said the VR-based educational and training modules aim to develop the employees’ and students’ knowledge and experience in Environment, Health and Safety, through a series of learning outcomes, including Emergency Management, Risk Management, Adverse Weather and Sustainability.
He added that trainees will gain hands-on learning through real-life scenarios in different simulated environments, such as offices, classrooms, and laboratories. “They will receive training on how to deal with these various scenarios, where the learning experience will vary between learning, quizzes and applied work using virtual reality,” he said.
Eng. Almheiri said the VR platform will assist HCT to identify relevant trends and support its strategic plans related to risk management, which will assist HCT to strengthen its technological infrastructure; invest in advanced technologies to boost the learning and training processes; and cultivate a culture of innovation.
He added that HCT will expand the VR training project, and provide interactive platforms, across all 16 campuses in order to provide training opportunities for employees.