Exceptional achievements during COVID-19 crisis cap the university's leadership
University's successes reflect its unique capabilities to ensure continuity of education using modern methodologies that anticipate change in the future
January 17, 2021 - H.E. Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), expressed his appreciation to all academic and administrative members of the university for their exceptional efforts during this COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought radical changes worldwide. He praised their valuable contributions and efforts to transform unprecedented challenges into new opportunities to help promote the quality of smart learning and establish the culture of distance learning. The HBMSU Chancellor also commended them for their commitment during the global health crisis, attributing the university's recent pioneering achievements to their teamwork, hard work, and dedication to share their experiences and implement the best practices to ensure continuity of education.
Al Awar handed the employees certificates of appreciation and commemorative gold coins to show HBMSU's appreciation for their proactive efforts, which boosted the university's leadership bid, in line with the wise directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and President of HBMSU. Furthermore, Al Awar took pride in the achievements of the university, which remains to be at the forefront of supporting the UAE in the face of unprecedented global conditions. The university has committed to helping reinforce the country's positive and distinctive regional and global imprint by providing equitable, quality and inclusive education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all.
According to Al Awar, the year 2020 was marked by global challenges, especially in light of the pandemic that has forced the global community to shift to completely new systems at all levels, especially working and learning. He noted that last year was a critical stage for educational and academic institutions and universities to begin their shift to the e-learning model, which proves to be an effective response to emergency global crises.
Al Awar added: ‘Despite all the global difficulties and challenges, we remain proud of our leading achievements that have helped in bringing success to the UAE as one of the top countries with the best COVID-19 response measures. Our accomplishments during this trying period are proof of our unique ability to ensure education continuity by deploying an advanced technological infrastructure. One of these efforts is the ‘UAE Teaches the World' initiative launched to enhance the global teachers' ability to provide distance learning. It was one of our many internationally recognized milestones during this global crisis. Under the initiative, we offered two courses, ‘Be an Online Tutor in 24 Hours' and ‘Design an Online Course in 24 Hours,' in five languages. We witnessed a remarkable participation. A total of 345,000 teachers from more than 100 countries around the world registered for the program, which in turn had helped establish the UAE's position as a leading driver of distance learning, which is one of the most reliable platforms to share and enrich knowledge in the 21st century.”
Al Awar further stated: “The concerted efforts between our academic and administrative members led to major accomplishments, most notably the joining of the HBMSU and UNESCO's Global Education Coalition, which is the first of its kind in an Arab university, working along with key global organizations and educational institutions, as well as with technology giants such as Google, Facebook and Huawei, to support the global education system. Another notable achievement is us becoming the region's first university to adopt the 'Blended Delivery Model'. Our other feats include our strategic partnership with UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE); the 'Remote Working and Productivity' training e-course launched in cooperation with the Dubai Government Human Resources Department (DGHRD); the adoption of the EduGame system designed to equip our learners with future skills; and the migration of all our systems and applications to the leading cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services, which is an unprecedented regional achievement.”
He continued: “Moreover, despite the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, HBMSU has successfully managed to virtually graduate the 4th batch of ‘Emirati Programmer' learners; launch its entrepreneurship program; hold major events such as ‘Innovation Arabia 13 Conference and Exhibition;' and introduce the Master of Science in Innovation and Change Management, a smart learning program delivered in cooperation with Alexandria University and certified in Egypt. The university has also been actively engaged in the provision of top-notch training and education programs to enhance the practical experience in the healthcare sector as part of HBMSU's partnership with Fakeeh University Hospital.”
“All our extraordinary achievements during the pandemic are nothing but the result of our tireless work over the past two decades to reflect the proactive vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to bring about transformative change in the traditional education system which has become unable to keep pace with the needs of the digital age. This includes the shift to distance learning systems which form a key feature in the future of learning.
As the UAE continues to move towards the path of smart learning and digital transformation to enhance its readiness to emergencies and disasters, we are committed to continue employing, adopting, and harnessing smart technology in education and leverage our pioneering experiences to enable regional and international learning communities gain access to effective tools that will help them make a seamless shift to smart learning and distance learning models. This is in accordance with the wise leadership's directives to double our efforts in preparation for the future,” Al Awar concluded.