University shares its academic philosophy & experiences with Arab academic community during online seminar
02 May 2020 – Highlighting its commitment to sharing its expertise and experiences in smart learning once again, the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has hosted an online Arabic seminar in cooperation with, and under the patronage of the Association of Arab Universities (AARU). During the webinar, HBMSU reviewed its technological capabilities, cumulative experiences, and its educational philosophy based on technology, innovation, creativity and scientific research. This approach of HBMSU significantly drives the advancement of the educational system in accordance with the requirements of the future, and in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the University.
The webinar served as a strategic platform for introducing faculty members of Arab universities, which are also members of the Association of Arab Universities (AARU), to the salient features of the HBMSU's mission to establish a culture of smart learning and distance learning as an effective tool for investing in youth to raise them as future leaders.
The webinar, titled ‘HBMSU's Smart Learning Applications,’ witnessed huge participation with more than 500 attendees from the academic community in the Arab region, led by Professor Dr. Amr Salama, Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities (AARU). The participants hailed the pivotal role of HBMUS as the first hub and a pioneer in smart learning in the Arab region. Participants also praised the University’s valuable initiatives to unite and direct efforts towards equipping universities with necessary tools needed to adopt the smart learning approach and keep pace with the rapid changes in the field of higher education, especially in light of the current challenges.
The webinar’s participants further affirmed their confidence in the Association of Arab Universities (AARU) that supports the adoption of innovative ideas in the region, led by an ambitious strategy to provide the best services and promote quality and efficiency of higher education. These efforts are also aimed at opening to new horizons for Arab researchers to become leading contributors to the global research movement.
In his welcoming speech, Dr. Amr Salama, Secretary-General of AARU, thanked HBMSU, appreciating its continued success in creating a stimulating environment for developing creativity and innovation skills, community participation, developing intellectual culture and strengthening effective communication between various stakeholders in the sector, including teachers, management, parents and society.
Dr. Salama emphasized the importance of smart learning, which has become an essential pillar of education that will define future jobs and the requirements of the labor market. It is an important aspect of modern job roles that did not exist before, especially considering predictions that cloud technologies will create 18 million jobs in future along with other Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.
Dr. Amr added: “Today, eyes are turning to communication and information technologies that provide a rich and attractive new learning experience, regardless of time and space, providing viable solutions to address the challenges posed by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted all aspects of our lives, including education. Although distance learning in the Arab world is still limited, we have witnessed a remarkable development in recent years with the establishment of institutions such as the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) in Dubai, the Syrian Virtual University (SVU), and the Virtual University of Tunis (UVT).”
Prof. Amr concluded: “We hail the important role of the UAE’s Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University in leading a pioneering experience in the Arab world in setting specific high-level standards for measuring and evaluating the outcome of distance learning programs and following up on the supervision and quality control of these programs to obtain academic accreditation. HBMSU has also been making valuable contributions to enhancing the recognition of graduate degrees for electronic universities. Furthermore, I am pleased to reveal the latest update regarding the “Association of Arab Universities for E-Learning platform”, which was established in partnership with the British Academy for E-Learning, to serve the Arab academic community to face the repercussions of the global crisis resulting from outbreak of COVID-19.”
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, expressed the University's pride as a member of the Association of Arab Universities, commending on its vital role in strengthening coordination between the various academic institutions under its umbrella, and supporting the efforts of higher education institutions to overcome the challenges faced by the Arab world’s education sector and to promote the quality of higher education.
“We value the efforts of the Association of Arab Universities in strengthening joint Arab action and activating the frameworks of fruitful cooperation and solid partnership between the various academic institutions. These efforts are in line with HBMSU’s core values.” he said.
“Since its inception based on the vision of H.H Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; and the directives of H.H Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU; our University has followed a unique and different path away from the traditional in higher education, and has taken on the responsibility of leading the excellence, quality and innovation in order to re-shape the future of higher education and education system in general. Therefore, we were inspired by the strategies and plans that led us to innovate smart education applications that resonate positively with Arab and international education societies,' he added.
Al Awar noted: 'The University has successfully become a pioneer in smart learning, which has emerged as one of the main pillars of developing a superior, efficient and flexible educational system that can effectively respond to unprecedented challenges such as the current COVID-19 crisis.' He further added that the online seminar was held in partnership with the Arab academic community as part of HBMSU's commitment to enrich knowledge and drive leadership and innovation in education and academic research regionally and globally, and in line with HBMSU’s continuous efforts to share its unique experience in transforming future universities into knowledge hubs capable of developing generations of knowledge, technology and science, and thereby creating a better tomorrow.
Dr. Al Awar concluded: “We are going forward with the launch of specific initiatives that enable us to spread and share our high expertise in the service of the path of developing teaching and learning in the Arab world based on the spirit of initiative, creativity and innovation, and provide lifelong learning opportunities for all, thereby enhancing the Arab region’s role in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 that consider quality and equitable education as the key foundation to make a positive and tangible difference in the lives of people. Undoubtedly, we will continue our endeavors to enhance our partnership with the Association of Arab Universities to drive the adoption of smart learning tools in Arab universities, and keep pace with the rapid changes taking place in the educational sector at all levels.”
The online seminar commenced with a welcome remark by Prof. Amr Ezzat Salama, Secretary General of AARU, followed by panel discussions moderated by Dr. Moustafa Hassan, Vice Chancellor for International Cooperation at HBMSU. During the seminar, participants explored key factors behind the successful implementation of smart learning and how it can be applied seamlessly in universities, citing HBMSU as a successful example.
Some of the key topics discussed include the establishment of a smart education environment that encourages learners; re-designing the courses to suit e-learning; and ways to use the available online educational sources, as well as adopting evaluation and feedback mechanisms in e-learning, among other relevant fields.