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In light of this, having more than one competency enables our youth to embrace change and utilise skills acquired through such short-term courses. Today’s world needs multifaceted youth eager to learn and willing to undertake integrated majors. Careers are becoming increasingly multi-disciplinary. People wear multiple hats and straddle multiple responsibilities. Employers are more open to flexible timings as long as deliverables are achieved and targets are met. In light of this, having more than one competency enables our youth to embrace change and utilise skills acquired through such short-term courses. The government’s initiative of permitting young adults to undergo internships is also an excellent step to prepare school students in their career quest. By learning beyond the prescribed school books, not only do students earn points in their university applications by broadening their personal profiles, they actually acquire skills and talents that will help them at university and later on in their careers. The courses they pursue will hold them in good stead in the working world. It will also enable them to make judicious career choices and thereby reduce dropout rates. Students today are willing to explore options and take up careers that are not confined to the tried and tested, such as medicine, engineering or accounting. Creative careers such as digital media, advertising, fashion design, music, film making and catering are common nowadays among the youth. No doubt some parents are apprehensive when their children opt for such specialisations, as they are conditioned to think that those careers may not ensure a regular salary. Computer programs such as AutoCAD, Google Sketchup (Drawing in 3D) and Python help students to explore computer-related programmes. Those who wish to pursue architecture, digital media or interior design for example, will be able to enhance their spatial orientation and hone their design capability by undertaking such courses. It will also help them develop their design portfolios for admission into prestigious institutions. Apart from this, the new Eon entrepreneurial school offers courses in virtual reality and augmented rea-lity for facilitating product visualisation, game creation, multimedia design, and broadcast media. “The problem solving mentality of Project Based Learning will help students be more innovative in their thinking and lead to students starting their own businesses upon finishing at the EON Entrepreneur School” states their portal. These classes are to be held at Dubai Men’s College and will be free. Another ‘happening’ course is Data Analytics. One does not need to be a Science major to take up this programme. When students invest time, money and effort in courses they are interested in, they learn to balance a demanding academic load with their interests. This enables them to improve their time management skills and they learn to prioritise. Going beyond their comfort zone also exposes them to real world situations, improves their social skills and boosts self-confidence. UAE being a multicultural society, a course in a place like Dubai Community Theatre and Art Centre (Ductac), for example, will enable the student to interact and learn from people of various social and cultural milieu. They learn to be open to different perspectives and such integration develops cultural competencies and prepares them for the increasingly globalised world. The interactions that take place at such venues where like-minded people congregate enhances the student’s exposure and opens up possibilities that were not considered before.
The first focused Fashion Business Management and Fashion Design College set to start operations on January 9. Students now can easily relate to disagreements with families on picking careers that are not traditional. Given the UAE’s fast-paced growth and the government’s vision of promoting innovation as a drive for the future, the government has been opening new fields and programmes to train students as well as public and private sector professionals to unite their efforts in contributing to a better future. The Dubai Future Academy, for example, was launched last month as part of the Dubai Future Foundation’s initiatives to increase awareness of more than 500 public and private sector officials about strategic sectors of the future and subjects related to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2016 issued by the World Economic Forum, the UAE was ranked first regionally and 16th globally, maintaining its lead among the top 20 competitive economies in the world.As the report surveys the economies of 138 countries rated through 12 basic indexes among which Higher Education and Training occupies the fifth pillar, it shows that the index displays the importance of training in any country, according to Laura Alina Radu, executive consultant of LARCIE that manages social and business etiquette and professional image consulting. Radu noted that in today’s fast-changing world, different disciplines overlap in any field, requiring the learning of a wide set of skills. “When taking different extracurricular courses, students expand their horizons and develop social skills. Learning social and business etiquette, for example, helps them avoid embarrassing moments in social situations and at the workplace, and helps grow their confidence and opens their eyes to the importance of body language,” said Radu Lately, the UAE saw the opening of the first focused Fashion Business Management and Fashion Design College to receive local accreditation from the Ministry of Education – Higher Education Affairs, set to start operations on January 9. The College of Fashion and Design (CFD) will provide diploma and bachelor’s degrees. According to the college’s president and CEO, Prof Abhilasha Singh, higher education providers should take note to address the gaps in various industries. “We have witnessed a huge influx of graduates from conventional academic programmes. The paradigm is now shifting to the niche market, and that’s where we should work to provide programmes that satisfy various new fields,” said Singh. She referred to the Mena 2016 Design Education Outlook Report that revealed the need of an estimated 30,000 design graduates in the region by 2019. The college, she said, will work to grow local talents to meet the growth expected in the textile field in the coming years, without the need to import skills from outside the region. Singh noted: “Programmes should be specialised to meet the passion of the young generation. Since markets demand soft skills – communication skills and critical thinking – educational programmes and trainings should work on not only introducing new fields, but also empowering students by introdu-cing them to different perspectives of those fields and encourage them to employ creativity.” She also added that such courses will address the gap seen in the number of UAE nationals emp-loyed in the private sector. “Since the UAE youth prefer government jobs and these are getting filled up, training programs will encourage them to become entrepreneurs and help meet their country’s vision of the future through their own businesses,” said Singh. Professor Raed Awamleh, Dean of Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government which recently introduced three master’s degree programmes to serve the needs of government entities, said the country’s focus on establishing new programmes stems from the need for a trained workforce who will support its initiatives. “The future requires human skills and qualified people to push the country’s vision forward, and the best way to achieve this goal is to train the young generation who will be tomorrow’s leaders,” said Awamleh. Due to the lack of necessary programmes, Awamleh said, the government is starting to adopt the cause.
The programs launched are expected to equip leaders that are shaping the future to efficiently undertake their roles To support UAE leadership vision of the future, the Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) launched three new master’s degree programs to serve the needs of government entities. Under the theme ‘The Future Government,’ the academic programs launched are Master in Innovation Management (MIM) and Master of Public Policy (MPP) that includes five specialisations: Education, Health, Sustainable Development, Social Policy, and Science and Technology. The Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) will be taught in Arabic to support the government’s focus on enhancing the Arabic language and identity in the country. Speaking during the announcement, His Excellency Dr Ali Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President of MBRSG, said the programs were established in line with Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 and after talks with government entities on their needs to move towards the future. The fields were added to fit the school’s objectives that specialize in public policy in the Arab world. “The new government formed in February 2016 was a proactive step that the world looks up to. Therefore, it needed advanced programs to focus on legislation and on developing and evaluating policies of various sectors including health, education, sustainable development and social policy to contribute to an effective government,” said Al Marri. He added that the programs launched are expected to equip leaders that are shaping the future with the required skills and knowledge to efficiently undertake their roles. “Cooperation between academic institutions and government entities is very important to solved the challenges facing the government of the future,” said Al Marri. Registration is now open for students of all nationalities on the condition of obtaining a Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of three years experience of government service. Students who apply for an Executive masters must have a minimum of six years of experience in government service. According to Professor Raed Awamleh, Dean of MBRSG, doors will also be open to those who have work experience in NGOs or private and international organizations that deal with public policies. He added that a Dh10,000 scholarship will be offered to Emirati nationals, and Dh10,000 grant will be given to employees in federal and local governments. If an institution wishes to sponsor its employees, an extra Dh10,000 grant will be given to five of its students. “Our studies showed a clear need for these programs in the future within the government. We believe it will enhance not only individual careers but also add value to the UAE government that focuses on themes like innovation and Arabic language,” said Awamleh. Classes at prices of Dh120,000 for the master’s program and Dh140,000 for the Executive masters program will commence twice a year, starting from March. The second batch will start in September. Students can finish the programs, which are available in full and part time fitting to a capactity of 30 students, in one or two years as per their convenience. On the sidelines of the press conference, the school also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future to provide full annual scholarships for its distinguished employees to participate in the school’s academic programs. There are also current talks with the ministry to offer scholarships in specific specializations such as health and education. The MBRSG introduced its Master of Public Administration in 2005, to which it added the three new programs.