Over 2200 New Students Join HCT’s Spring Semester of Hybrid Education Amid COVID-19 Safety Precautions
A total of 2,277 new students were given an ideal introduction to student life at the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) when they joined the 16 HCT campuses throughout the UAE, for the start of the 2022 spring semester.
The campuses organized a unified orientation program for the new students where they learned about the programs, majors, courses, student activities and services provided in each of HCT's campuses. The newly joined students bring the total number of new students to 5,976, enrolled in the 2021-2022 academic year, since September 2021.
A feature of classes for the spring semester was HCT’s "Hybrid Education" model, which combines remote and on-campus learning, and which takes into account restrictions and student attendance limitations arising from COVID-19.
Professor Abdullatif AlShamsi, HCT President & CEO, said HCT’s "Hybrid Education" model was ideal for the current scenario as it focuses on applied learning, where priority is given to on-campus student attendance for applied studies, entrepreneurial and research activities and assessments, while theoretical courses are offered online through digital education, utilizing HCT’s state-of-the-art technologies.
In addition, he said the model’s flexibility gives campuses the ability to respond effectively to the challenges of COVID-19, including student attendance rates, in accordance with the directives of the UAE’s relevant authorities, which ensure students’ health and safety. Students were kept fully appraised of all developments for online or in-person attendances, he said.
Prof. AlShamsi added that HCT continues its commitment to adhering to all precautionary measures adopted by the country, particularly with regard to campus entry requirements, noting that HCT continually encourage students, faculty and staff to take two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the booster doses. He said that 97% students and 96% employees at the HCT are fully vaccinated (two doses), and 1589 out of 1943 employees and nearly 13,000 students have received the third booster dose.
HCT’s vaccination numbers are updated on a real-time basis within the framework of a COVID-19 traceability Integrated software system, implemented under a partnership between HCT and the Al HOSN App team.
Mr. Ahmed AlMulla, HCT Director of Student Engagement & Success, said the campuses have several scenarios for adapting its attendance systems, in response to any COVID-19 updates. For example, in the week of January 16, 2022 student attendance rates were reduced to 20% capacity, while the following week students were studying 100% online.
He added that HCT’s EH& S team is constantly updating attendance rates for students and employees, in conjunction with the relevant health authorities and the Ministry of Education, so as to maintain a safe learning and work environment.