New program trains future DoT employees

Forty Emirati men and women will embark on a four-year educational journey in what officials say is the Middle East's first transport-related university field.

Dr Mugheer al Khaili, director general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council  says the program is the first of its kind in the region.
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ABU DHABI // Forty Emirati men and women will embark on a four-year educational journey on Sunday in what officials say is the Middle East's first transport-related university field. The transportation engineering programme is offered at the Abu Dhabi Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), and after graduating, participants will become employees of the Department of Transport (DoT). "This programme is the first of its kind in the Middle East," said Dr Mugheer al Khaili, director general of the Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec). "It is an initiative that will further empower young national students and provide them with opportunities to develop strong technical skills and leadership ability." The students were chosen from among 730 applicants and had to undergo a rigorous interviewing and testing process. "The Emiratis we chose from all over the UAE are high achievers, with scores of 85 per cent and above. These students will be expected to maintain a GPA of 3.0 and above to continue in the four-year study programme," Dr al Khaili said. The initiative covers a bachelor's degree in transportation engineering as well as a master's degree in transportation management and planning. Students can take part in internships at the DoT as part of their coursework. "We at Adec, together with the DoT and the Government of Abu Dhabi, initiate these types of programmes not just for the sake of scholarships, but to place our students in jobs that need them," Dr al Khaili said. "We are dealing with unemployment, we are advancing out nation's development by producing graduates with the specific skills required in our workforce, we are ensuring there is a purpose for each student and a job waiting for him and her upon graduation." Teachers will include experts in transportation theory and engineering of roads. Abdullah al Otaiba, chairman of the DoT, said this type of educational experience would provide Abu Dhabi scholars with the chance to play an active role in developing one of the region's most ambitious transportation systems. Dr al Khaili said Adec would launch similar initiatives to fill other needed jobs. "We will soon have a scholarship programme launched in urban planning as well, which will be with international universities and will be announced soon," Dr al Khaili said. hkhalaf@thenational.ae