ABU DHABI, 29th January, 2017 (WAM) — The Higher Colleges of Technology, HCT, the UAE’s largest applied higher education institution, has entered into a strategic partnership with the UK’s Higher Education Academy, HEA, in preparation for HEA accreditation to be submitted later this year.
The partnership was formally signed by Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT Vice Chancellor, and Professor Stephanie Marshall, Chief Executive of the HEA, at a ceremony in London. The agreement was signed in the presence of the UAE Minister of State for Higher Education, Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi.
This new relationship builds on the previous HEA work with HCT to prepare for the accreditation of HCT’s Teaching Skills Enhancement Programme, TSEP, which was aimed at young Emirati academic teachers, many of whom were recruited from industry into teaching.
The new accreditation process is also aimed at Emirati staff as HCT seeks to further develop in-country capability and capacity. The HEA will work closely with staff at HCT’s Academy for Developing Emirati Faculty, HADEF, with the goal to have the new HEA accredited course from February, 2018. Successful participants of the course will become Associate Fellows of the HEA.
Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi said, “We are very pleased be taking this work forward in a strategic partnership with the HEA. Teaching quality is core to our offer at HCT and the accreditation of our staff development programme is a key building block in maintaining and enhancing our reputation as a great place for students to study.”
The Vice Chancellor added that the agreement will enable HCT to provide an accredited and internationally recognised training programme, for developing and licensing its faculty, in line with UK the professional criteria.
“This will support the main HCT objective of putting in place a national programme to award international fellowship in teaching at HCT, which will lead to the establishment of a Centre of Excellence in teaching, thus promoting national capacities in the area of higher education,” Dr. Al Shamsi said.
Professor Stephanie Marshall said, “I am delighted to welcome HCT as a strategic partner. Accrediting continuous professional development, aligned to the Professional Standards Framework, PSF, is a vital step in sustaining and improving teaching. We know that staff who reflect on and develop their practice are very well-placed to help students towards successful outcomes. I’m confident we will achieve this while meeting the HCT’s need to specifically develop Emirati teaching staff.”
Dr. Al Shamsi said the parties’ cooperation in the area of professional development will reflect the UAE’s National Qualification Authority’s plans for aligning its system with the British education qualifications system.
HCT already has 36 Associate Fellows and three HEA Fellows on its staff, with some now preparing to apply for HEA Senior Fellowships.