Young Emirati talents from Zayed University (ZU) have impressed the judging panel at the annual Emirates Skills Competition following their astonishing accomplishments at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
The College of Technological Innovation at ZU has reported the excellent performance of its participating students during the Emirates Skills Annual National Contest, which was held during the period April 28-30.
The National Competition is the UAE premier event that celebrates the outstanding Emirati talents in technical and vocational skills inspiring the young generation to get passionate about new trades and embrace technology career pathways.
Annually the competition attracts UAE nationals, both young men and women, to compete in the field of craftsmanship and technology and be evaluated by a technical committee and internationally accredited experts based on the standards and judging criteria of World Skills organization.
The annual skills competition is being held under the patronage of Her Highness Shaikha Fatima Bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, Supreme President of the Family Development Foundation and President of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood.
Professor Reyadh AlMehaideb, Vice President of ZU, has attended the opening ceremony and was impressed by the students’ capabilities. “The students’ inventions are very impressive, especially when it comes to the level of research they have done prior to the competition. They were able to implement what they have learnt from their core subjects in ZU successfully. In addition to the great role of faculty members and instructors who have prompted students to take part in innovation and technology competitions to represent the UAE globally,” he said.
“ZU has always been committed to prepare the national workforce to serve the industrial and technological growth of UAE towards the achievement of Abu Dhabi Economic vision 2030 and UAE vision 2021,” he added.
Around ten female ZU students from the College of Technological Innovation contested against 500 other competitors from different educational institutions in the UAE and six of them won gold, bronze and silver medals.
The two-day contest awarded and recognized winners in three categories: IT Network Systems Administration, Cyber Security and Mobile Applications. Competitors were given around twelve hours to test their projects and complete assigned tasks during the two-day challenge.
Khlood Abdulla Al Shkeili won the gold medal in the IT Network Systems Administration category and was nominated to represent UAE in the World Skills Competition that will take place in Brazil this year.
“I was given a task in the competition. I was able to complete it successfully and accurately within 12 hours for two consecutive days. Out of nine students, I won the gold medal and was chosen to represent my country in the World Skills Competition. I am preparing to travel this week for training and come back to get ready for the final competition, which will be held in August this year,” she said.
“Khlood is a very brilliant and helpful student. She works with her classmates in a very professional way. She has a keen interest and a desire to learn more and a willingness to work hard,” Dr Omal Alfandi, Assistant Professor at the College of Technological Innovation in ZU, said.
Out of more than ten teams competing, Dana Al Mansoori and Reem Al Affi, won the silver medal in the category of cyber security.
“Our mission was to attack a vulnerable website and secure it. The knowledge that we have learnt and gained within our classrooms in ZU enabled us to complete our task and get it done in less time with high level of accuracy compared to other participating teams,” Reem, a senior ZU student, added.
Additionally, Mariam AlRashedi and Reem Naser Mohamed Naser Mohamed Dayan won the silver medal in the category of mobile applications.
“Competing with around six teams from different educational institutions in the country, our mission was to create a budget application that tracks utility bills and alerts users with their due payments. We had a time a limit of 12 hours to complete the task and this was the only spectacular and tough challenge,” Mariam and Reem said.
“Students who took part in this competition are excellent. They are always motivated to do extensive research on the topics they learn within classroom and conduct additional tasks besides their studies. Several government authorities and private entities monitored students’ performances and were impressed with their hard work and some of them were offered job opportunities during the two-day contest,” Dr Alfandi, added.
Emirates Skills recognized competitors, who showed creativity and talent and demonstrated an outstanding performance based on the judging criteria for the chosen skill category.
The winners were awarded in each skill category with a cash prize of Dhs10,000, certificate and a medal for their distinguished efforts.
In addition to the significant rewards in cash prizes, Emirates Skills provides the highest achievers with an extensive applied training in UAE and abroad through a network of experts, local public and private entities and industry partners.