Wednesday 28, October 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: Two Emirati PhD learners from the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) have presented their research papers to the international academic community and international researchers during the Doctoral Consortium session organized at the 26th International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE) World Conference. The event was hosted by the University of South Africa in Sun City, South Africa. It witnessed the participation of more than 900 university learners, academics, decision makers and international experts in the fields of distance education and e-learning from 67 countries.

Hanadi Al Suwaidi and Fahad Al Saadi were chosen to represent HBMSU and participate in the important session, after their success in passing the rigorous evaluation process which learners from all over the world have applied for. Al Suwaidi’s paper, ‘Establishing a Vocational Education Culture in the UAE,’ which is considered to be the first of its kind research in the country, showcased the introduction of reflective practices and collaborative learning in vocational education institutions to increase the employability of graduates in the country. Meanwhile, Al Saadi’s paper, entitled ‘Quality Dimensions and Parameters of e-Learning in the Higher Education Field in the UAE,’ explored the dimensions and measurements of e-service quality in e-learning –enabled higher education in the UAE.

The Doctoral Consortium session aims to support PhD learners’ research efforts, and to provide an ideal platform where learners receive targeted guidance and purposeful observations from prominent international experts. The session also aims to build a group of young researchers in specific areas.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, HBMSU Chancellor, said, “Since its establishment, HBMSU has succeeded in becoming the leader in the efforts to launch and deploy new smart learning concepts in the Arab world. Our participation at the ICDE World Conference reflects our commitment to enrich knowledge, encourage scientific research, and cement the concept of innovation and excellence in the UAE and the Arab World. We continually strive to provide a learning environment that nurtures a highly-qualified generation and is able to support the UAE’s shift towards becoming one of the most innovative countries in the world—falling in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU, to embody the goals of the National Innovation Strategy.”

“The presentations made by HBMSU PhD learners in ICDE Doctoral Consortium reflect the quality, proficiency and excellence of our programs, which are based on the integration of latest technologies, effective scientific research and innovative learning techniques. We look forward to placing top priority on the enormous research capabilities and innovative resources in the Arab World and in our nation in particular. The UAE has been making giant leaps into implementing the optimal investment in Emirati human capital and utilize it in the best way to boost the local economy into the highest levels of innovation and excellence, while also promoting comprehensive and sustainable development,” Dr. Al Awar added.

“We are proud of the exceptional researches prepared by Hanadi Al Suwaidi and Fahad Al Saadi, which deserves to be in the spotlight during a highly recognized international event like ICDE. The HBMSU affirms its commitment in providing the convenient support and encouragement for them and all of our learners to continuously strive for excellence in scientific research and to participate in designing effective strategies to achieve the ambitious goals of the global UNESCO Education 2030 agenda, which is aimed at providing education to every person by 2030 and beyond,” Dr. Al Awar concluded.

In addition to organizing the Doctoral Consortium, which is a key event that attracts leading PhD learners in the field of open education and e-learning, open education resources, massive open online courses, and technology-aided learning education, the ICDE World Conference also featured several academic presentations. The event provided a specialized platform for PhD learners to present their research studies before an international audience composed of leading academic experts and researchers.

The 26th IDCE World Conference was held under the theme ‘Growing Capacities for Sustainable Distance e-Learning Provision’ and was hosted by the University of South Africa. The event focused on boosting direct networking to simplify knowledge transfer, exchange of best practices, support of innovative ideas and suggest policies and strategies that serve the UN’s sustainable development goals that include the implementation of its plan, ‘Education 2030: Towards Inclusive and Equitable Quality Education and Lifelong Learning for all.’