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The Focal Strategies

This strategy document is the culmination of a number of focal strategies in areas which are strategically critical for HCT to succeed, as we transition into a Higher Education Institution fit for the 21st Century and which will play a major role in the UAE and globally as the Fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds. The focal strategies are as follows:

  • Education-To-Employment
  • Education Technology
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Applied Research
  • Industry Engagement
  • Human Capital

These are the major areas where significant change is occurring externally in the global Higher Education sector or as a result of government strategic direction. However, none of these strategies should be viewed in isolation of the others, as a key thrust of this institutional strategy is to ensure that the synergies across all the focal strategies are properly highlighted whilst ensuring that all focal strategies are aligned to the institutional strategy.

This HCT 4.0 strategy is an evolution from HCT 2.0 which prioritized 100% graduate employability, developing students into well-rounded adults with strong work-readiness skills, creating opportunities innovation both in the classroom and across the organization among many other objectives, all within a Hybrid Education Model with a strong academic focus.

HCT 4.0 is all of the above in addition to the following priorities:

  • Sole emphasis on the private sector for graduate employment
  • The broadening of the Hybrid Education Model to include accelerated and professional tracks, in addition to the academic track
  • The establishment of Entrepreneurship as a legitimate route for graduating students
  • The establishment of an Innovation ecosystem

The details of HCT 4.0 can be found in the associated focal strategy documents that accompany this institutional strategy document.

Aims & Aspirations

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  • Applied Research is a catalyst and leading contributor to UAE’s community and
    economic development through the creation of positive community impacts, production
    of world-class research that brings market innovative ventures and focus on the
    national innovation agenda
  • Make HCT a hub for collaboration with industry to provide for innovative approaches,
    frameworks, and environments to develop solutions
  • Applied Research will be a catalyst to technology-based innovation through
    converting technology into business incubating opportunities and graduating
    sustainable companies
  • Connect research activities with teaching to enhance student experience and
    success

Aims & Aspirations

In alignment with the HCT Vision Statement – ‘The Higher Colleges of Technology is the
leading applied Higher Education Institution in empowering generations to contribute to
the shaping of the future of the UAE.’, the aims and aspirations of this Education
Technology strategy are as follows:

  • Empower students and the HCT community with state of the art secure, intelligent
    learning and digital systems to enable anytime/anywhere/on demand learning by
    embracing different digital teaching and learning models which align with HCT’s
    vision
  • Research, evaluate and adopt innovative technologies which are adaptable to future
    higher education landscapes through continuous exposure to cutting-edge education
    technologies and engagement in innovation processes
  • High HCT digital systems readiness with cyber threat intelligence by ensuring a safe
    and secure technological environment that places HCT at the forefront of information
    security in Higher Education
  • Make available intelligent systems to support data-driven decision making, advanced
    analytics and AI to prepare HCT students and the HCT community for the challenges
    posed by the 4th industrial revolution
  • Enable organizational learning to retain and share key information within and beyond
    the HCT community by eliciting and making critical knowledge available to improve
    institutional effectiveness and responsiveness

Aims & Aspirations

In alignment with the HCT Vision Statement – ‘The Higher Colleges of Technology is the
leading applied Higher Education Institution in empowering generations to contribute to
the shaping of the future of the UAE.’, the aims and aspirations of this
Education-To-Employment strategy is:

“To establish a comprehensive HCT “Education-to-employment” ecosystem providing flexible
and various learner-centered career-oriented pathways. Such an environment will enable
learners to pursue their education in a flexible, personalized manner, capturing and
cumulating in verified parcels of learning and developing their overall and specific
competences addressing up-to-date industry requirements”.
HCT 4.0 is all of the above in addition to the following priorities:

  • HCT to become a leading and globally ranked applied Higher Education Institution by
    offering various credentials that are relevant and aligned with
    industry/professional bodies and leading to employment/entrepreneurship
  • HCT prepares students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution through the restructuring
    of academic and professional tracks to give learners a range of opportunities for
    both life-long and life-wide learning and skills development
  • HCT embraces industry input to shape student experiences and learning by developing
    mechanisms to embed collaborative, real-world projects with industry partners into
    the curriculum
  • HCT seeks to ensure that students can contribute positively to the UAE Knowledge
    based economy through its applied and professional competency-based education which
    focus on employability skills

HCT collaborates with government ministries, such as MoHRE, to create opportunities for
graduates in the Private Sector e.g. through the Tawteen Club and automated connections
with Emiratization Gate.

Aims & Aspirations

In alignment with the HCT Vision Statement – ‘The Higher Colleges of Technology is the
leading applied Higher Education Institution in empowering generations to contribute to
the shaping of the future of the UAE.’, “HCT fosters an entrepreneurial culture in
our students, faculty and staff, contributing to the creation of future generation
of entrepreneurs, and provides hands-on support to startups which transfer to the
society business ideas and research leveraging the partnerships with investors and
industry partners”.
In particular, HCT intends to:

  • infuse an entrepreneurial culture in our students, since the beginning of their
    studies, to create a future generation of entrepreneurs, irrespective of their
    future career path. Even if they will never launch an entrepreneurial venture, they
    will be solid and resilient professional in any future endeavor;
  • progressively shape standard curriculum (core and electives) around entrepreneurial
    themes across all academic divisions;
  • generate technology and solutions to real problems that may be further developed
    into early-stage innovation and technology-based companies, eventually in
    cooperation with industrial partners, other research institution and public sector
    entities;
  • support, through coaching and funding, the development of entrepreneurial
    ventures to enable a more effective transfer of technology and business ideas from
    the lab and the classroom;
  • support innovative startups in the UAE and abroad that create value for the country
    and want to partner with HCT in terms of research and development, co-development of
    IP and creation of careers for HCT graduates;
  • pro-actively strive to launch spin-outs in partnership with primary local and
    international industry partners leveraging jointly performed applied research and
    any other form of cooperation;
  • encourage startups to entertain business relationships with industry
    partners and attract third party investors to HCT startups.

HCT’s Entrepreneurship Strategy will have a positive impact on the UAE economy, on the
structure of its job market, and on the acquisition of fundamental skills by our
students:
Contribution to the UAE’s GDP:

  • Startups and SMEs contribute massively to the GDP of advanced economies
  • Startups and SMEs directly contribute to the job market, providing a strong demand
    for young and highly qualified professionals
  • Startups and SMEs increases economic activity, generating demand for product and
    services across the entire economy with a multiplier effect Shift of employment to
    from government and large corporates to startups and SMEs:
  • The establishment of startups and SMEs results in job creation in multiple sectors
    providing a viable alternative to current job market offerings
  • Jobs created by startups and SMEs are more attractive, rewarding and satisfying to
    younger generations compared to those in the public sector and traditional private
    sector jobs Contribution to economic diversification, innovation, sustainability and
    global competitiveness:
  • Startups and SME are, typically, created in non-legacy sectors of the economy
  • Entrepreneurship and innovation often replace the stagnating growth of legacy
    sectors thus creating a less fragile economy
  • Companies in conventional sectors, normally risk averse, are less prone to adopt
    innovation, while entrepreneurial ventures are systematically fueled by innovation
  • Startups are not limited by legacy technologies and can adopt disruptive business
    models allowing them to compete globally Enrichment of professional skills:
  • Regardless of potential failures, the entrepreneurship journey produces competent,
    confident and resilient young professionals with a strong set of transferrable skill
    that are suited for any professional endeavor

Aims & Aspirations

In alignment with the HCT Vision Statement – ‘The Higher Colleges of Technology is the leading applied Higher Education Institution in empowering generations to contribute to the shaping of the future of the UAE.’, the HR department of HCT aims to “Create and sustain an environment of excellence, customer-focus and engagement with focus on nurturing innovation, self-development, the promotion of diversity and tolerance and enhancement to work-life balance”. To achieve this, the following aspirations are necessary:

  • Human Capital is a catalyst and leading contributor to UAE’s community and economic development through the creation of positive community impacts, production of world-class research that brings market innovative ventures and focus on the national innovation agenda
  • Make HCT a hub for collaboration with industry to provide for innovative approaches, frameworks, and environments to develop solutions
  • Human Capital will be a catalyst to technology-based innovation through converting technology into business incubating opportunities and graduating sustainable companies
  • Connect research activities with teaching to enhance student experience and success

Aims & Aspirations

In alignment with the HCT Vision Statement – ‘The Higher Colleges of Technology is the
leading applied Higher Education Institution in empowering generations to contribute to
the shaping of the future of the UAE.’, the aims and aspirations of this Industry
Engagement strategy are as follows:

  • Facilitate students sponsorship towards employment through agreements with industry
    partners
  • Embed work placement in the private sector through exposing students to its benefits
    so that they can become major leaders in the sector
  • Support the growth and development of Applied Research in tackling real industry
    challenges through the ongoing development of an industry network that leverages on
    HCT’s capabilities
  • Ensure a sustainable industry network through training and regular encouragement of
    industry feedback
  • Collaborate with government ministries, such as MoHRE, to create opportunities for
    graduates in the Private Sectorg. through the Tawteen Club and automated connections
    with Emiratization Gate