UNIVERSITIES

UAE 2018 | AJMAN | B2B

Ajman's universities are stepping up the scope of their research, skills development, and knowledge transfer programs to bring the region some of its best and brightest youth.

How do you stay at the cutting edge of education?

Karim Segdhir As of Fall 2016, AU offers 34 accredited undergraduate programs and 11 accredited graduate programs. These aim at providing the community with competent graduates capable of meeting the demands of an ever-changing job market and supporting the overall development and prosperity of the UAE and the Arab world. AU takes pride in its rich intellectual environment through its diverse student body, represented by more than 75 nationalities, and its highly qualified faculty members from 38 different nationalities. AU's learning environment produces well-rounded graduates by focusing on soft skills such as creativity, innovation, emotional intelligence, and citizenship skills, which ensure our students are catering to the niche needs of the job market, in addition to the technical skills. On top of this, AU offers scholarships and financial aid to disadvantaged yet bright students. Furthermore, AU has, over the years, strengthened its ties with the public and private sectors which has resulted in the industries' belief in the cadre of graduates that leave AU and our current students.

Imran Khan The demands of the job market are changing rapidly. To keep pace, we place special emphasis on ensuring that our high-quality academic programs are up to date and in line with the needs of the market. Before introducing a new program, we thoroughly analyze the needs of the workforce, starting with comprehensive market feasibility, before planning the programs accordingly. We place strong emphasis on practical training, which enables students to experience the industry firsthand to better understand the changing demands in their areas of interest. Students have internship opportunities, conferences, academic field trips, and workshops that are held in collaboration with various organizations to stay updated on market trends. Our graduates are able to adapt to the ever-changing market needs, not just because of their academic training, but because of our focus on developing their independent critical thinking skills. We provide them with an environment that nurtures their abilities to take initiative and solve problems. Regular surveys are conducted, and our graduate students form an integral part of the process of identifying areas of improvement.

How are you developing entrepreneurship and working with the private sector?

KS I attribute the surge in entrepreneurial ventures to the dynamic mindset of the current generation. Unlike their predecessors, they are more tech-savvy and less risk averse, which has led to an increasing number of young men and women who are willing and able to start their own businesses. AU's curriculum and co-curricular activities focus specifically on the above skills. In addition, we recently launched the Ajman University Innovation Center (AUIC), which includes a business incubator, among other things. The latter provides support and mentoring to potential entrepreneurs and assists in converting their ideas into impactful and scalable businesses. We focus on businesses that address socio-economic challenges relevant to the region and have a transformative impact. Some recent projects have won local, regional, and international accolades. These innovations include: the smart arm, the smart bed, a mentally-controlled wheelchair, a smart luggage system, and an automated shopping cart, amongst other noble and unique inventions made by our students.

IK CUCA has always been keen on joining hands with the public as well as private sector for developing skills and transferring knowledge. We have agreements and MoUs signed with various establishments in both the public and private sectors; for example, we have a collaborative agreement with R Hotels to bridge the gap between academia and industry in the hospitality and tourism management sector, and provide better training and employment opportunities to CUCA students. Through this agreement our students gain hands-on experience in various departments at the six hotels owned and managed by R Hotels in Dubai and Ajman. Our Student Placement Office has worked and collaborated with various private sector organizations, including the Landmark Group, Ajman News, Qatar General Insurance, Aster Healthcare, and several others to enhance knowledge transfer and qualified human capital.