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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Dubai — Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) works according to the ambitious plans that have been inspired and guided by the directives of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU, to promote the culture of smart learning and distance learning in order to transform from conventional educational methods, and upgrade and develop higher education as one of the main drivers of any nation's growth and development.
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSUe at HBMSU, said that the university is committed to lead the UAE’s mission to provide integrated education for all using the most advanced technologies and smart innovations.
In an interview, he states that "we are committed to enhancing our fruitful collaboration with the Ministry of Education in order to enable teaching professionals from around the world to take the initiative in establishing and leading smart education and distance learning, by launching more training programs that are capable of redefining the future of education, and empowering and qualifying young talents to drive growth and development."
Dr. Al Awar underlined the university's commitment to provide an integrated package of qualification and training programs tailored to prepare teachers and academic professionals for transformation toward the smart education model within a record time of less than 24 hours.
"Having established smart education as one of the main pillars of the UAE's educational system, our primary focus right now is to share our experience and expertise with the Arab world and the rest of the world. We will continue to utilize our resources and capabilities to serve the efforts to support smart-knowledge transfer to the educational system with the aim of making a real difference in people's lives. We look forward to developing technological systems supporting smart education, as well as creating programs and tools that enhance the educational sector via unique smart systems, so that HBMSU continues to serve as a hub for creative minds to drive advancements in the field of education," he pointed out.
Excerpts of the interview follow:
1) What are the features of "Be an online tutor in 24 hours" and "Design an online course in 24 hours" courses?
Offered online in Arabic and English for free, the newly introduced training courses are designed based on an interactive approach that combines Hands-On, learning by doing, targeting the teaching community including teachers, university professors and training experts. Titled "Be an online tutor in 24 hours," the first course focuses on several themes including an overview of online education technologies, online learning management tools, communication tools, and production and content creating tools. The other course, "Design an online lesson in 24 hours" focuses on the skills needed to design online educational courses and the designing and planning of online lessons using advanced educational tools. Our courses are concluded with awarded certificates given to those who successfully complete them. After this, applicants can join Faculty Certificate in Smart Learning: Certified Online Faculty course, which certifies teaching professionals’ ability to adapt to the fast-paced developments that are reshaping education worldwide.
2) Do you provide any distance learning academic certificates?
HBMSU's School of e-Education provides top-notch academic programs that are designed to meet the growing demand for high-quality education in the Arab world. The first educational institution of its kind in the region, the School of e-Education enables professionals and researchers to master modern educational technologies and various aspects of e-learning content development, including implementation, delivery and assessment. The School of e-Education's programs are tailored to address the pressing needs in the market by providing a diversified portfolio of programs including Master of Science in Interactive Educational Technologies, Master of Arts in Online Education Leadership and Management, Master of Arts in Online Curriculum and Instruction, and Doctor of Philosophy (Educational Leadership).
3) How has HBMSU demonstrated its forward-looking vision for 18 years ago?
Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University was launched more than 18 years ago thanks to a wise decision by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It was founded based on a forward-looking vision that aims to redefine higher education and make it the mainstay of investing in future by enabling and preparing the youth to achieve the highest levels of excellence. I had the honor of being entrusted by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed to initiate the establishment process under the direct supervision of H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, who is the Chairman of HBMSU's Board of Governors. Over the past years, we have succeeded in establishing HBMSU’s leadership as a pioneering smart education institution in the UAE and the Arab world, and as a unique model to transform future universities into knowledge hubs and raise a generation capable of leading the fields of technology, science and innovation and driving development.
In light of the spread of the coronavirus in the whole world this year, HBMSU is demonstrating its unique capabilities, as everyone began to see the true meaning of what H.H. was able to envision in the year 2002 at the time of HBMSU’s establishment, by saying “leadership is the ability to make decisions, and successful leadership is the ability to make successful decisions.” Today, under the wise leadership of Sheikh Hamdan, HBMSU is moving ahead on the path of excellence and leadership, employing and harnessing its advanced capabilities in supporting the efforts aimed at ensuring the continuity of education by utilizing technological innovation. We are now benefiting from our 18-year long experience to support online learning endeavors and provide quality education to all, by qualifying and training teaching and education professionals online for free, thereby enabling them to conduct distance education initiatives efficiently and effectively. These efforts have contributed to a remarkable global demand for our new online training courses. We are committed to continuing what we have begun, and work towards the realization of the exceptional vision that made HBMSU a key player and a driving force in the transformation of higher education in the Arab countries and the world.
4) What is HBMSU's role in supporting the UAE's efforts to implement the distance learning initiative?
We pride ourselves on being one of the first entities to respond to the distance learning initiative, a move that reflects the UAE's proactive strategy and keenness to adopt the latest educational methods and technologies. Being a pioneer in smart education in the Arab world, HBMSU remains committed to launching pioneering educational programs to enrich the knowledge and skills of teaching professionals, thereby facilitating the management and operation of smart education and distance learning platforms in line with our partnership with the Ministry of Education. HBMSU will always utilize its extensive academic expertise and state-of-the-art technologies to serve our community and support the UAE's initiatives.
Inspired by the vision of Sheikh Hamdan to build an innovative educational system and empower our young talents to achieve excellence, we continue to redefine the future of education and learning, and transform learners from knowledge receivers into innovators, decision makers, knowledge ambassadors and future leaders.
5) What about your recent fruitful cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Education?
Our fruitful cooperation with the Ministry of Education forms part of our joint endeavors to support the UAE's efforts in implementing the distance learning initiative. To achieve this, we have launched two new courses titled ‘Be an online tutor in 24 hours’ and ‘Design an online course in 24 hours,’ which are available for free in both English and Arabic. The courses have attracted tremendous response so far as more than 97,000 teaching professionals from more than 60 countries registered and 6,300 discussion sessions were held, with more than 83,000 certificates being awarded so far. The most important achievement of our partnership is the global positive impact of our e-courses, which are the first of their kind in up skilling teaching staff to perform their roles to the fullest by providing quality distance education, and to ensure its sustainability by following international best practices and keeping pace with the rapid developments.
The total number of certificates awarded exceed 83,000 so far, and we continue to place our cumulative experience at the disposal of the wise leadership, as well as sharing our successful experience with the Ministry of Education to enable the international teaching and learning community to obtain the necessary tools to easily and efficiently adapt to the smart education and distance learning model. This has proven to be the solid foundation to build a new generation equipped with innovation, scientific skills, knowledge and technological prowess.
6) Can members of the Saudi faculty join the new online courses?
Yes, of course. Our new online courses are being offered free of charge to teaching professionals from all over the world, including those from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We welcome the joining of faculty from Saudi Arabia as this supports the development of the local education system in line with the goals of Saudi Vision 2030. We are happy to see wide participation of applicants from all over the world, particularly from KSA, which was ranked third with 1,523 certificates, after the UAE and Kuwait with 63,355 and 1657 certificates respectively. The growing figures reflect widespread trust among Arab and international teaching communities in our futuristic programs, including our newly introduced online courses, which will continue to contribute to smart-knowledge transfer to educational systems in order to keep pace with digital transformation trends. — SG
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