The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) will showcase to prospective students, employees and the community why it has become the largest, and one of the most sought-after, higher education institutions in the UAE when it participates in the three-day 2014 Najah Exhibition, which starts tomorrow at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi and runs until October 30.
The HCT, with approximately 22,000 male and female National students, will highlight its core pillars of operation including its career-focused teaching and learning philosophy, widespread integration of technology, adoption of mobile learning, its strong National recruitment and employment opportunities, and its commitment to the education philosophy of Learning by Doing.
The HCT is one of more than 160 exhibitors at the annual career fair, education and training exhibition. It will display, and provide information about, its broad range of courses, services and opportunities on offer at its 17 campuses around the UAE.
A number of current HCT students will be on hand to talk about their courses and experiences with college life.
“National students considering their post-secondary options will be able to see how practical and career-relevant our courses are, by speaking to current HCT students and seeing first-hand some student projects which have helped them gain employment after graduation,” Dr Muhadditha Al Hashimi, HCT Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs at HCT, said.
“Students at the 17 HCT campuses have a choice of about 2000 courses they can study in a variety of Faculties which are relevant to the UAE economy. This means that the students can study in a field of interest to them and obtain the knowledge and skills that are relevant to employment and are to very high standards,” she added.
“HCT students learn in modern, safe and comfortable technology-focused campuses, situated in locations to suit the students, and which are conducive to maximising their educational experiences through a Learning by Doing approach,” Dr Al Hashimi said.
She added that with a strong emphasis on creating a learning environment based on e-Textbooks and mobile learning HCT students primarily only need to have a laptop or tablet device for their classes.
“HCT has introduced over 150,000 e-Textbooks across its system, while the applied nature of courses provides students with hands-on and technology-based learning experiences. Students are also given the opportunities to learn about their own and other cultures, and gain international experience by engaging in overseas study and training tours,” Dr Al Hashimi said.
Many HCT students are able to get sponsorships and scholarships from various government departments and businesses and industry stakeholders. As part of their courses all HCT students undertake experiential learning in the workplace. Over the last three years the HCT has partnered with approximately 1,300 employers to provide work experience or internships to its students.
In the past 26 years HCT has awarded close to 70,000 qualifications to its graduates, making it the largest National workforce provider from any one institution in the UAE. And being able to boast graduate employment rates of between 80-90% shows that the skills and knowledge HCT students are learning at the colleges are being sought-after by employers in all relevant fields.
Dr Tarifa Ajaif Al Zaabi, Higher Colleges of Technology’s Executive Dean of Student Services, said that its presence at the Najah Exhibition “highlights HCT’s ongoing success as we maintain an ongoing commitment to our core strengths of offering business and industry relevant applied courses; using innovative, cutting-edge technologies with a Learning by Doing approach; and enabling our graduates to enter the workforce and make meaningful contributions”.
“We are very pleased to again be able to showcase all the wonderful achievements that are possible for our students, graduates and employees at the Higher Colleges of Technology. As a leading education institution in the UAE it is important for the Higher Colleges to have a presence at Najah, where we can share our journey on the road ahead as we continue to move forward, grow, expand and learn,” Dr Al Zaabi added.
A highlight of the HCT’s stand (M20) will be displays of student projects and course work; many of them award winners, which are vital components of all HCT students’ studies and complement HCT’s Learning by Doing philosophy. The projects, which often incorporate mobile learning technologies, demonstrate how HCT students are able to put into practice the knowledge they learn in the classrooms. That knowledge is then directly transferable to the workplace.
Dr Al Zaabi said the students’ projects highlight what makes HCT a unique entity in the UAE’s higher education field. “The variety of our students’ projects emphasises what is at the core of the Higher Colleges of Technology and what makes us different from other institutions; that is everything we teach, and the students learn, is centred on the principle of Learning by Doing,” Dr Al Zaabi said.
“As a result we are able to provide highly qualified graduates who are able to meet the needs of our nation’s economy because our courses, and the skills we teach, are specifically relevant to the workforce,” she added.
Khulood Al Mualla, HCT Chief Human Resources Officer, said that HCT’s presence at Najah 2014 will allow it to showcase HCT’s National recruitment and employment initiatives, which have seen almost 150 Emiratis employed in a variety of roles throughout the HCT system in the past 12 months.
HCT will also feature its [email protected] project where it aims to employ 170 UAE Nationals as trainee teachers who will be trained and employed in the various academic disciplines throughout the HCT system. In just a few months the HCT has reached almost half of that target, with more trainees being appointed.
“We will be able to demonstrate the variety of employment opportunities for highly skilled local educators and experts, as the HCT offers excellent opportunities for UAE nationals to pursue fulfilling careers while contributing to the growth and development of the UAE,” Ms Al Mualla said.