HCT to introduce new job-focused Applied Diploma courses
- United Arab Emirates: Thursday, March 07 - 2013 at 12:20
- PRESS RELEASE
The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), the United Arab Emirates largest higher education institution, will launch new Applied Diploma courses in September 2013 which emphasise a strong focus on employment for graduates.
The Applied Diploma structure will be a one-year Foundation Program and two years concentrated on the course discipline, which will have a strong learning by doing, job-oriented focus. The new qualifications will also facilitate the articulation into the HCT's Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degrees. That is, the Applied Diploma students can develop credits to enter into HCT BAS degree courses.
Dr. Phil Quirke, HCT Director of Academic Affairs, said the focus of the Applied Diplomas will definitely be on the 'Applied' nature, in response to employers' demands. "They are very much targeted to employment for the students, which means they are marketplace-oriented, industry-focused, practical and hands-on," Dr. Quirke said.
"All of our Applied Diplomas will have a strong focus on HCT's Learning by Doing philosophy, as well as providing articulation into the BAS and having accreditation with regulatory academic bodies," he added. "Importantly, they will give Foundation Program students the chance to get into the Applied Diploma track which will be targeted to employment. They will be a wonderful pathway for those students who either can't enrol in the BAS courses, or who want to enter the workforce or who are working and want to enhance their skills."
The new look qualifications will also enhance student retention from the Foundations Program in the higher education system, by providing more opportunities for students.
"The first programs in Engineering and Education will be rolled out in September, with other HCT academic divisions developing Applied Diplomas as market needs demand. We are meeting the UAE's demand for qualified Emirati engineers, technicians and teaching assistants with this initiative. Subsequent programs will be developed after thorough consultation with employers," Dr. Quirke said.
"We are taking all the strengths of traditional diploma model and combining them with HCT's upgraded curriculum so that they meet the needs of students and the community. They are being articulated into degrees and ensure the students are work-ready."
The first year of the Applied Diplomas will see a major emphasis on Mathematics and English, which would gradually diminish over the three years, as students become more proficient in them. The subject content for the Applied Diplomas would start in year one and increase over the three-year program. Another feature of the new diplomas will be that they will not include any generalist courses. Rather they will all be developed to fit a specific employment niche.
Dr. Quirke added that the because of the Applied Diplomas' marketplace and employability focus, there has been detailed consultation and involvement with employers and industry leaders.
"The concept of the Applied Diplomas has been broadly discussed and canvassed with employer groups and industry partners and there is excitement that HCT will be offering applied, technical Diplomas. We have been told by our many industry partners that these Applied Diplomas are required to meet the need of regional employers and of the UAE's national priorities," Dr. Quirke said.
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