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Emirati faculty to receive more funds for research.

Summary: The country is ensuring that institutions will be able to deliver high-quality education, while also producing world-class research.

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In the next few years, there will be more Emirati faculty members doing PhD research, more studies will be funded, and more universities will be able to fund promising start-ups. These are just a few of the goals set as the UAE starts the transformation of its higher education system, a top official said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the fifth Graduate Students Research Conference (GSRC) at the Zayed University in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday, Dr Mohammed Al Mualla, Undersecretary of Academic Affairs of Higher Education at the Ministry of Education, said the country is ensuring that institutions will be able to deliver high-quality education, while also producing world-class research.

"The ministry is currently working on promoting 33 initiatives to be launched by next year to cover the 11 shifts that have been placed for the transformation of the higher education system," he said.

"Our initiatives will revolve around shaping the faculty of the future, aiming to triple the numbers of Emirati faculty in research. We need to also offer competitive research funding and enable universities to provide adequate support for start-ups, with clear regulations and setting up technology transfer offices.

The conference hosted over 300 presentations on the research conducted by graduate students in different UAE universities. It served as a platform for the experts to share their work with their peers, get some constructive feedback, and expand their network for future partnerships.

Reyadh Al Mehadib, vice-president of the Zayed University, said: "We have recently restructured our graduate studies enterprise. And, in addition to the current 10 master programmes offered by the Zayed University, we are in the process of introducing new research-oriented master programmes in disciplines such as environmental sciences, counselling and clinical psychology, and information systems and digital transformation.

"These will enrich and enhance the graduate and research portfolio of the university and will be complemented by financial support opportunities to attract and engage more graduate students in research projects."

Dr Sehamuddin Galadari, senior vice-provost of research and managing director of the Research Institute at NYU Abu Dhabi, said: "When we see things that are beyond what we perceive, that is when we can make an impact across all aspects.

About 170 research papers - authored by 349 students in the UAE and their collaborators in 16 international countries - were received by the GSRC committee, of which 125 papers or 76 per cent of the total were accepted and presented. The research papers that were submitted cover five different tracks: Arts, humanities and social sciences; business and management; clinical, pre-clinical health and life sciences; information technology and computer science; and engineering and physical science.

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Apr 17, 2019
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