The Al Ghurair OLSP and Arizona State University (ASU)
The AGFE collaboration with Arizona State University has provided deeper insights into the delivery of educational opportunities, that are not only done right, but also adapted to the regional context. The online learning journey started with the design of the Open Learning Scholars Program (OLSP) which entailed engaging with leading international institutions with online learning expertise and experience such ASU. Ranked in 2018 as the most innovative university in the United States (US News and World Report, 2018) ASU offers over 50 online master’s programs across a range of specializations including engineering, technology and health.
AGFE collaboration with AUB and AUC
AGFE has also collaborated with regional centers of academic excellence, the American University in Cairo (AUC) and the American University of Beirut (AUB) as part of a two-year (2017-2019) regional capacity building project for online learning in collaboration with MIT. Some 1200 faculty and instructional designers at AUC and AUB were trained to redesign introductory undergraduate courses, and offer online and blended learning courses in Biology, Computer Science and Mathematics.
The University Consortium for Quality Online Learning (UCQOL)
While the AGFE has had online learning programs in the pipeline for some years, the onset of Covid-19 in 2019 heightened the sense of urgency for online education exploration opportunities.
The UCQOL reflects the AGFE’s commitment to providing inclusive, innovative, and wide-reaching education opportunities for Emirati and Arab students. Through strategic partnerships, the UCQOL in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Education, will make online learning programs available to a larger pool of underserved students from the UAE and beyond. The Consortium, which is expected to scale up with more partner universities in the future, is already collaborating with the country’s top universities.
The UAE is a hub for high profile companies with embedded mentorship programs, students and employees have explored mentorship as part of their workplace ethos for some years. AGFE’s Mentorship program provides scholars with constructive support to enable them to develop their employability, job readiness and career exploration capabilities. Scholars have access to mentorship opportunities and have been supported by mentors from different sectors including management consulting, engineering, and e-learning. The initiative builds bridges between students and employees in the workforce, enhances their skills and expands networks.
The AGFE facilitates access of scholars to opportunities to gain quality practical experience in a real work environment. Our Scholars have completed over 400 internships at reputable companies in the Arab region, working in different sectors. The top three employers for scholars in the Arab region, have been in IT, Internet and Telecommunications; Engineering and Automotive and Medical and Health sectors.
Re-thinking learning and work scenarios as a result of Covid-19 entails connecting with pioneers in learning approaches that prepare youth for the job market through online experiential learning. The 10-week Bootcamp that kicked off in Dubai for the first time in March 2021 is an example of a private sector partnership that engaged youth leaders to find innovative solutions to region-specific problems. Some 120 Emirati and Arab youth participated in the Bootcamp co-organised by the AGFE, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) represented by its Innovation and Science Park (UAEU SIP). As part of the learning by doing model, participants designed innovative entrepreneurial solutions to tackle the Arab youth unemployment challenge. As part of the immersive program, ideas were pitched to a distinguished panel of entrepreneurs, government leaders and influencers from the region. In support of the creative ideas of young Arab innovators, winning projects will be incubated at UAEU SIP and at Expo 2020.
The UURP is a multi stakeholder collaboration between the AGFE, Ministry of Education, the AMIDEAST and the U.S. Embassy in the UAE. The university-geared upskilling program develops the skills of 105 Emirati 11th grade high school students from 37 schools across the UAE to navigate the admissions process of higher education institutions in the U.S. As part of the collaboration, students will take part in an interactive and engaging after-school enrichment program fostering English language competencies and developing communication, problem-solving and critical thinking skills needed to achieve the required scores on standardized exams required for U.S. university admissions.