ABU DHABI // Higher education authorities are asking universities what their admission requirements are and what skills they would like their first-year students to have.
The move is part of a reformation process across all public schools to ensure that pupils go on to higher education.
Curriculums have been revamped over the past seven years to meet the needs of universities who are obliged to meet the needs of the labour market and the UAE’s 2030 Economic vision, said Prof Dr Mohammed Baniyas, executive director of Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (Adec) higher education sector.
“Demands of the labour market are met through an alignment process between schools and universities,” he said.
Prof Dr Baniyas said he was confident that, “within three years, school graduates would completely meet the requirements of universities who in turn – thanks to several new initiatives – would meet the needs of the labour market”.
“Today, because of the new curriculums that focus on Arabic and English and enhance Stem-related [Science, technology, engineering and maths] learning, students are meeting admission requirements,” he said.
While the task of aligning expectations and requirements of school graduates, universities and the labour market may seem challenging, it is a challenge that Adec meets head on through good organisation and collaboration.
“This is the beauty of having higher education within Adec,” Prof Dr Baniyas said.
“Because Adec takes care of P12 (KG1 to Grade 12) as well as higher education, we all collaborate and work together.”
The Adec Guidance and Scholarships Division further promotes this alignment by providing undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships.
One of their most important initiatives was the Talented Students Scholarships Programme (TSS), offered to Emirati students to “develop future leaders who can drive the socio-economic development of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi”.
Adec offers the TSS programme for outstanding grade 12 Emirati students and university students attending public or private universities.
“Students are encouraged to major in specialised disciplines offered by leading universities in the UAE and abroad.
“These disciplines are needed for Abu Dhabi’s growth and sustainability.”