Abu Dhabi-based technology company Injazat and Zayed University have signed a preliminary agreement to mentor students on education technology projects, aimed at empowering national talent in developing digital solutions.
The partnership will be spearheaded by Abu Dhabi technology company G42, the parent company of Injazat, whose InGenius methodology will be integrated into the programme. Zayed University will match students from their College of Interdisciplinary Studies with Injazat practitioners to mentor them on ideas that solve real-world industry challenges, the entities said on Monday.
The agreement was signed by Ussama Dahabiyeh, chief executive of Injazat, and Clayton MacKenzie, provost and chief academic officer at Zayed University. The programme will leverage the leading role of students on developing innovations that will benefit the environment and industry, Mr Dahabiyeh said.
"Zayed University and its students continue to demonstrate an innovation mindset and are a natural fit for us to introduce the InGenius methodology, which also completely aligns with the Active Learning pedagogy offered by Zayed University," he added.
"This collaboration is a testament to Injazat’s commitment towards investing in the talent pipeline of the country, who will translate ideas into solutions needed for the industry’s most pressing problems.”
Like many other innovation sectors, the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the development of EdTech, especially in the GCC and particularly in the UAE.
About 72 per cent of educational institutions brought their digital initiative road maps forward by at least a year, with the UAE among the fastest-growing markets for EdTech, a 2021 research from the International Data Corporation revealed.
Last November, data provider ReportLinker said the Middle East and Africa’s EdTech and smart classroom market is projected to grow to Dh26 billion ($7.1bn) by 2027 with the pandemic continuing to accelerate the shift to digital education, driven by widespread adoption of smartphones, interactive displays and other digital learning tools.
Meanwhile, the Middle East has emerged as a booming market for EdTech platforms, with global players citing a 500 per cent increase in subscribers from the region in 2020 compared to 2019, according to RedSeer Consulting.
EdTech ecosystems in emerging venture markets witnessed significant investor traction in 2020, with 31 deals raising more than $40 million for EdTech start-ups in Mena, according to data platform Magnitt.
The mentorship programme from Injazat and Zayed University will help students research and evaluate the potential of artificial intelligence in diagnosing learning difficulties and explore the use and benefits of augmented and virtual reality in building students' interpersonal skills.
It will also help students analyse non-traditional schools from around the world to localise and brainstorm adaptation models and conduct behavioural change studies in parents to boost acceptance towards online learning.
Injazat was founded in 2005 and is among the region's market leaders for digital transformation, cloud services and cyber security. It was part of the the information, communications and technology portfolio of Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company before it was acquired by AI and cloud computing company G42 in November 2020. Mubadala acquired a stake in G42 as part of the deal.
Mr Dahabiyeh told The National in May last year that Injazat also has plans to grow its revenue base to $1bn in the next five years, as it looks to expand to the broader Mena market.
Zayed University, founded in 1998, is one of the UAE’s leading educational institutions focused on the fields of innovation, scientific research and advanced academic learning.
Last October, leading employers took steps to support its mission to develop the UAE's "future change makers" through the launch of interdisciplinary degrees, equipping students with the skills required for the careers of tomorrow.
"We believe in empowering our students with the real-life work experiences and skillsets that they need to brave the business environment of tomorrow," said Professor MacKenzie.