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22nd Meeting of Coordinating Council for Higher Education explores strategies for educational sector

by Belinda Breeze

His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education, chaired the 22nd meeting of the Coordinating Council for Higher Education

The event drew the participation of high-level officials, including His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al-Mualla, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Education for Academic Affairs, His Excellency Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, and Prof. Dr. Mohamed Yousif Baniyas, Director of the Commission for Academic Accreditation at the Ministry of Education. Higher education institutions (HEIs) were represented by His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), His Excellency Dr. Faisal Al Ayyan, President and CEO of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Prof. Dr. Michael Allen, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at Zayed University, Prof. Dr. Andrew Marrington, Dean of Academic Affairs and Advisor to the Provost for Programs & Curricula at Zayed University, Sumaya Abdulaziz Al Hosani, Vice President of Strategy and Future at HCT, and Khalfan Saleh Al Dhaheri, Deputy VC for Finance and Admin Affairs (Secretary General) at UAEU. 

The meeting evaluated the progress of work at UAE-based HEIs, and explored strategies for implementing the priorities outlined by President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the Union’s aspirations in 2024 in the educational sector. Recognising education as a cornerstone of progress, the participants emphasised its pivotal role in elevating the country’s global standing.

His Excellency Dr. Al Falasi said: “The directive of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to focus on education in 2024 will guide the Council’s work during the upcoming period. Our goal is to launch projects that advance higher education and scientific research in the country, equipping students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the labour market. The Ministry of Education is keen to work together with all HEIs to boost the educational sector, enhance its competitiveness, and empower students to take on leadership roles, fostering creativity and innovation for a better tomorrow.”

The meeting’s agenda encompassed an overview of HCT’s programmes and initiatives aimed at aligning educational outcomes with labour market requirements. Furthermore, the Council members discussed health educational programmes designed for Emirates Health Services (EHS) to boost the country’s health sector. Additionally, they examined the guidance document for federal HEIs on admission, teaching, and qualification procedures for students of determination, along with the mechanisms for the experimental implementation of these guidelines.

The Coordinating Council for Higher Education was established by a decision of the UAE Cabinet in 2014. The Council oversees all issues concerning higher education in the country with a focus on the alignment of strategic plans among UAE-based public and private HEIs as well as establishing frameworks for unified admission. The body is also responsible for ensuring the effective implementation of higher education policies.