Higher Colleges of Technology's new 5-year education vision forges greater pathways for Emirati workforce development
The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) unveiled its bold vision to transform the UAE's applied education landscape, with a dedicated focus on providing job market-ready, post-secondary education opportunities, during a press conference at the HCT Dubai Men's campus.
The innovative 2023-2028 strategic vision, aligned to the UAE's National Future Foresight, will see the nation’s largest applied Higher Education Institution equip students with future-ready skills and capabilities, through the implementation of dual pillars of Inclusivity and Employment, while directly meeting job market needs.
This new direction beckons an exciting pathway for UAE National work development opportunities, integrating hands-on experiential learning, on-the-job apprenticeships and academic qualifications and is at the core of HCT’s mandate of graduating exceptional professionals who adeptly meet the demands of the industrial sector and business enterprises.
Dr. Faisal Alayyan, HCT President & CEO, said: “The introduction of HCT's new educational direction marks a remarkable leap forward in charting a transformative journey for Emirati students, empowering them with the essential skills and knowledge to flourish in the dynamic landscape of work and innovation. With this visionary approach, we are not only shaping a brighter future but also nurturing our students to become catalysts of growth and trailblazers of profound change within the nation and beyond.”
The "Shaping the Future" strategic vision outlines HCT's comprehensive roadmap, centred around an applied education model that harmonises with the UAE leadership's vision of nurturing Emirati human capital around four main model pillars – Inclusiveness, Sustainability, Employment and Integration. With a resolute focus on equipping students with exceptional skills and adaptability, the strategy endeavours to fortify the UAE's competitive edge and foster a sustainable economy by empowering individuals to thrive amidst rapid changes and transformations.
HCT unveiled its dynamic work-study model, forged from partnerships between Academia and Industry, ensuring HCT graduates possess in-demand, industry-relevant skills. Accordingly, the institution is committed to enhancing the quality of educational services, aligning them with international performance and evaluation standards. Ultimately, the aim is to cultivate exceptional national human capital, armed with the qualitative skills and capabilities demanded by future job opportunities and vital sectors of the UAE's key industries.
New Educational Paths:
The HCT strategic vision will feature a paramount focus on "applied learning" to elevate educational goals and vocational training programs. It will spearhead the introduction of innovative programs that seamlessly align with the dynamic demands of the job market while upholding international standards for applied education. The commencement of this innovative approach is scheduled for the academic year of 2023/2024, reflecting HCT's unwavering commitment to shaping the future of education and empowering students with invaluable skills for success.
Under the new model, HCT will open new student registrations in the 2023-2024 academic year for five core programs - Health Sciences, Business, Engineering & Science Technology, Computer Information Sciences, and Education. Additionally, HCT will offer applicants educational opportunities tailored to their unique abilities and interests, through the implementation of three distinct learning paths, each with its own admission criteria, corresponding to different student levels. This will enable and empower all High School leavers, of whatever scholastic level, to seek enrollment in the HCT.
This approach is projected to accommodate an impressive number of over 8,000 students, reflecting a remarkable 31 per cent increase compared to the previous academic year.
Commenting on the admissions and students, Dr. Khalid Alhammadi, HCT System Registrar & Executive Director of the Sharjah Campuses, commented, “Our HCT strategic vision is centered around applied learning, advancing educational goals and vocational training to meet the evolving needs of the market. Starting in 2023/2024, we are introducing innovative programs aligned with industry demands, empowering students with the essential skills for success. Registration is now open for our core programs in Health Sciences, Business, Engineering & Science Technology, Computer Information Sciences, and Education. With tailored opportunities based on abilities and interests, High School leavers at all levels can embark on one of our three distinct learning paths. Our unwavering commitment to excellence and innovation equips students to thrive in a changing world. We eagerly anticipate the positive impact on our students and the broader community.”
New HCT campus in Abu Dhabi:
HCT is proud to unveil its new campus in Baniyas, Abu Dhabi, scheduled to be operational in the upcoming academic year, 2023/2024. Situated across an expansive 220,000 square meters, the campus will welcome over 10,000 students. It features dedicated buildings for students, including separate facilities for males and females, alongside the main administration building, central services, and an auditorium with a seating capacity exceeding 1,200. Equipped with cutting-edge classrooms, advanced laboratories, and a diverse range of facilities and services, the campus adheres to contemporary design and sustainability standards.
Ms. Sumaya Abdulaziz Al Hosani, HCT Vice President of Strategy and Future, said, "With our new dynamic work-study model, forged through strong academia-industry partnerships, we're raising the bar for educational excellence. By aligning with international standards, we're equipping graduates for future job opportunities in vital sectors of UAE's industries. The unveiling of our new campus in Baniyas, Abu Dhabi, marks another milestone in our commitment to delivering high-quality education. We're excited about the positive impact these advancements will have on our students, the community, and the nation as a whole."
The success of the new strategy model hinges primarily on the collaborative efforts of strategic partners across the educational, workforce, and industry sectors. In line with this, HCT has forged valuable partnerships with 11 esteemed strategic collaborators, including Tawazun Council, Emirates Health Establishment, AW Rostamani, Hameem Technologies, GEMS Education, Chalhoub Group, ADNOC, UAE FA, Alfardan Exchange, G42 Healthcare, and Al Futtaim Group. These strategic alliances have a shared objective of elevating the quality and pertinence of HCT's programs while fostering synergies with industry frontrunners.
Through these strategic partnerships, HCT endeavors to elevate the quality and relevance of its programs, ensuring they consistently meet industry demands. These collaborative endeavors foster a vibrant ecosystem where academia and industry seamlessly merge, facilitating meaningful exchanges and mutually beneficial initiatives. Notably, these partnerships create invaluable opportunities for HCT students to secure rewarding and fulfilling placements, equipping them with practical experience and a distinct advantage in the competitive job market.
In addition to job opportunities, these alliances aim to organise an extensive array of training programs, workshops and professional certifications for students. Over a span of five years, the partnership endeavours to provide approximately 4,000 job opportunities, while concurrently offering over 4,200 training and workshop opportunities. This holistic approach nurtures a well-rounded educational experience, empowering students with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills to excel in their chosen fields.
Ms. Hind Al Mualla, HCT Vice President of Employability & Knowledge Economy, said: "We are thrilled to announce the official inauguration of our strategic vision, marked by a series of collaborative partnerships with our esteemed strategic partners. Through these collaboration agreements with 11 governmental and private entities across various sectors, including healthcare, education, energy, services, retail, security, and financial services, we are embarking on an exciting journey of mutual growth and innovation. Together, we will create a vibrant ecosystem where academia and industry converge, cultivating the next generation of leaders and contributing to the growth and development of our society.”