Sharjah's education institutions are building on their reputation and becoming internationally recognized centers of excellence.
2016 got off to a strong start with Sharjah hosting the International Education Show. It was the 12th edition of the show, and Sharjah was chosen as the host, as one of the fastest growing education markets in the world. There has been substantial investment in education in Sharjah, and today both men and women enjoy a 95% literacy rate, which is impressive considering this figure was 54% and 31%, respectively in 1975.
Reaching higher, the Emirate of Sharjah is investing tremendous resources into its tertiary education sector, aspiring to attract university students from all around the globe. The Emirate has worked hard to boost the offering of its academic institutions, all of which recognize the global ambitions of their students and thus offer internationally recognized qualifications. The American University of Sharjah (AUS) is one of the largest, and ranks seventh in the Arab region. To attract international students as well as local students with international ambitions, the university is licensed both in the UAE and the US.
The government's ambition to create a knowledge-based economy has further driven the energies of its education sector, with universities working hard to furnish students with the qualifications and skills needed by the country's industries. Like the AUS, other institutions are trying to attract students by ensuring that graduates can find employment at the end of their academic tenure. In interviews with TBY, both AUS and Skyline University College emphasized the close connection they have with the private sector, with the universities often tailoring its courses and curriculum to the needs of industry. “We are a homegrown university," says Dr. Abitabh Upadhya, Dean of Skyline University College, adding that, “Business innovation is the jewel in the college's cap, as is finance, marketing and strategic management."
In line with the need for a knowledge-based economy, The University of Sharjah, founded in 1997 by HH Al Qasimi, is pushing its research capabilities. It has one of the highest enrollments in the region, and has gone from training 676 students when it opened to over 13,500. With 90 academic programs, it offers the highest number of accredited degrees in the UAE. The University has laid out a strategic plan to become an eminent research institution and a brand of excellence with a significant impact on the UAE and beyond.
The investments are paying off and most of the universities that spoke to TBY outlined their expansion plans as more students come through their doors. Chancellor Biörn Kjerfve of AUS told TBY how he raised funds for the university's expansion plans for a 21,000sqm engineering and sciences building. “We have spent about three years planning and finding financing for this," he said. “We are very thankful to His Highness for providing the financing for this major project."
As well as catering to the masses, niche subjects and fields of expertise are growing. Studies in space sciences are another source of pride for the AUS. In fact, Sara Ameeri, the former head of a team of scientists on the Dubai Space Program and currently head of the UAE's Science Council, graduated from AUS, and is one of the fourteen graduates who are part of the Mars 101 mission.
With a robust and diverse educational offering, Sharjah made clear at the International Education Show that it has the capacity to become an education hub. The government has well-supported educational initiatives, such as infrastructure and facilities. The multi-cultural student population is also a factor, and is seen to be further encouraging international collaborations with universities overseas.
There were numerous international universities at the show, with a strong presence from India. The International Education Show is held in partnership with the Great Indian Education Fair, the largest of its kind in India. New exhibitors to the event came from the UK, with the University of South Wales and Middlesex University attending.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler, Sharjah
HH Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, has been an inspiring leader of the Emirate since 1972, carefully watching over its development into the cultural capital of the Islamic world.read article
Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman, Department of Government Relations
TBY talks to Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Executive Chairman of the Department of Government Relations, on his department's role in coordinating the delivery of information to key stakeholders and the important part it plays in cultivating sustainable development.read article
HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman , Sharjah Economic Development Department
TBY talks to HE Sultan Abdullah Bin Hadda Al Suwaidi, Chairman of Sharjah Economic Development Department, on the resilience of Sharjah's economy and building on its well-diversified foundations.read article
HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman, Sharjah Media Corporation
TBY talks to HE Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of the Sharjah Media Corporation & Chairman of Sharjah Media Centre, on competitiveness in the sector, its influence on the other Emirates, and expectations for the future.read article
HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General , Sharjah's Finance Departmen
TBY talks to HE Waleed Al Sayegh, Director General of Sharjah's Finance Department & CEO of Sharjah Asset Management, on fiscal policy direction and initiatives being introduced to increase efficiency and transparency from the top down.read article
Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman , Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA)
TBY talks to Dr. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Energy and Water Authority (SEWA), on the challenges facing the Emirate's plan to reach 30% water re-use by 2020, and changing the attitudes through education.read article
Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General , Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC),
TBY talks to Mohammed N. Al Hazzaa, Director General of Emirates Company for Industrial Cities (ECIC), on the company's performance, government support of the private sector, and forecasting occupancy trends.read article
Focus: Reducing water and power consumption
Under Dr. Rashid Al Leem's stewardship, Sharjah is aiming to become the first City of Conservation. This principally encompasses supplying electricity and water through sustainable avenues with technological efficiency while raising awareness of sustainability practices.read article
Ted Young, Project Head, Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties
TBY talks to Ted Young, Project Head of the Al Zahia Communities Business Unit at Majid Al Futtaim Properties, on the reasons behind the market's resilience and the future of housing demands in the Emirate.read article
Focus: Mixed-use Developments
Cities within Cities
Sharjah's real estate sector is undergoing important transformations, with the government and developers focusing on megaprojects to attract investors. For this purpose, mixed-use developments are increasingly preferred to purely residential or commercial developments.read article
Focus: Fighting Cardiac Disease
The UAE Ministry of Health has stated that over half of all deaths in the UAE are the result of four oft-occurring issues: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, road traffic accidents, and congenital abnormalities. A survey from the Emirates Cardiac Society showed that almost 9 in 10 Emiratis are at risk of heart disease, with one in three unaware of that fact.read article
HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman , Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA)
TBY talks to HE Khalid Jasim Al Midfa, Chairman of the Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority (SCTDA), on the growing tourism sector in the Emirate, its strategies to boost cruise tourism, and the incredible progress in Sharjah.read article
Manal Ataya, Director General , Sharjah Museums Department (SMD)
TBY talks to Manal Ataya, Director General of the Sharjah Museums Department (SMD), on cooperating on international exhibits, its educational festivals, and the challenge to ensure that museums are accessible to all.read article
Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director, Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC)
TBY talks to Hanan Al Mahmoud, Director of Al Jawaher Reception & Convention Centre (JRCC), on the appeal of Sharjah as a MICE destination, plans for expansion, and the projected benefits of Expo 2020.read article