‘Emirati Programmer’ gives young local talents an opportunity to join global programming competitions

Mansoor Bin Mohammed honors
outstanding winners of ‘Hackathon’ competition

  • 4 young Emirati talents win the title of ‘Innovative Emirati Programmer’
  • International jury evaluates creative applications in line with UAE’s national policies
  • Local contestants demonstrate high-level skills in programming, computer thinking systems, digital applications, & electronic games


UAE, November 12, 2017 H.H. Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum honored the ‘Innovative Emirati Programmer’ winners of the ‘Hackathon’ competition organized by the Emirates Talent Association and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU). The recognition marked the culmination of the successful first batch of the ‘Emirati Programmer,’ the first-of-its-kind national initiative in the UAE launched to enhance the skills of Emirati programmers in programming languages, computer thinking systems, the basics of digital application and electronic games development.


The closing ceremony held at HBMSU’s campus saw world-class young Emirati talents and innovators recognized for their competitive programming abilities. Dignitaries attended the event were headed by H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, Chairman of HBMSU’s Board of Governors, and Chairman of the Emirates Talent Association, H.E. Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, H.E. Humaid Al Qutami, Chairman of the Board and Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Majid Hamad Rahma Al Shamsi, member of the National Federation Council and Chairman of Union Coop’s board of directors and HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA). Attendees applauded the ‘Emirati Programmer’ initiative for laying a solid foundation for human capital development and investing in the country’s human resources to build a future generation capable of driving economic growth driven by modern technology, knowledge, and innovation in line with UAE Vision 2021.
An international jury chose the winners based onset criteria, including the ability to link the creative programming projects to national policies and initiatives such as adopting a competitive and knowledge- and innovation-driven economy.
The four winners of the ‘Innovative Emirati Programmer’ title bagged the Golden Award in four categories. They were Hamdan Al Maqoodi, ‘Developing Game – Kudo Category’ for age group 7-10; Saud Ahmed Al Hosani, ‘Developing Game – Kudo Category’ for age group 11- 15; Shaikha Khalid Al Ali, ‘Developing App – Bloxmob Category’ for age group 7-10; and Saif Adnan Al Marri, ‘Developing App – Swift Category’ forage group 11-15. The four were among the 12 finalists of the ‘Hackathon’ competition, which served as a platform to put the spotlight on the global programming talents.
H.E. Tamim said: “We are proud to honor young talents with enormous creative potentials who have shown thirst for knowledge and strong interest to be part of the development process for a more advanced and prosperous future. Furthermore, the ‘Emirati Programmer’ has pushed young people to be creators of a bright future for all using their talents and achieve the highest international ranks. This success has further inspired us to excel in preparing a generation of qualified, innovative, and creative local and international young programmers. ”
“The strong partnership between the Emirates Talent Association and HBMSU has been recognized as a model for constructive cooperation among national entities for youth development. It is also aligned with what H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has said, ‘The youth is the future and hope of our country.’ We are undoubtedly taking proactive steps to provide the world of programming with creative talents who have confidence, knowledge, determination, and leadership to guide the economy towards the highest levels of innovation and creativity,” H.E. added.
Aside from the Gold Award, Silver and Bronze Awards were also given across the four categories. The international judges comprised technology professionals led by Lewis Hall, English as Medium of Instruction (EMI) Manager, Apple Distinguished Educator; Rayan Karaky, Head of DoubleClick MENA & Turkey, Google; Ahmed Ebrahim, Microsoft Gulf Teacher Engagements Manager; and Hanan Hasan, Head of Technology Development at Al Ittihad National Private School in Abu Dhabi, Apple Distinguished Educator.
Hall said: “As a jury member, it is an honor to witness the creativity and innovative skills of young Emirati talents, who have exhibited strong potentials in programming. I am glad to see their eagerness to develop applications relevant to local society and have the potentials to address future challenges. We are also confident that the ‘Emirati Programmer’ initiative was a step in the right direction to build a generation capable and qualified to develop applications supporting the progress of the UAE and the rest of the world.”
Karaky thanked the Emirates Talent Association and HBMSU for the opportunity to be one of the judges. He said: “It is inspiring to see the youth using their imagination combined with their capabilities to master programming languages, which play a major role in the modern era. We are looking forward to seeing more talented Emirati entrepreneurs, application developers, and programmers in the future. Allow me also to announce that we are turning Shaikha’s proposal into a reality by putting her application in our application store. Additionally, I will continuously follow the projects and innovations of other promising talents to instill creativity and innovation in the UAE.”
After the ceremony, the winners presented their applications and projects at the ‘Coding Expo.’
The winners in the ‘Developing App – Bloxmob’ (7 to 10 years old) category are Shaikha Khalid Al Ali – Diabetes Learning Bag (Gold); Sarah Saeed Al Awar – Read-ester (Silver); and Wid Hamad Al Awar – Slime Angle (Bronze); and in the ‘Developing App – Swift’ (11 to 15 years old), Saif Adnan Al Marri – Discount Me IN (Gold); Abdulla Al Jawi- Discover Dubai (Silver); and Mohammed Alowais – Family Hub (Bronze). 
The victors in the ‘Developing App – Swift’ (7 to 10 years old) are Hamadan Al Maqoodi – Road Kill (Gold); Zayed Saif Al Zaabi – Death Road (Silver); and Ali Saif Al Zaabi – Save Water Save Life (Bronze); while Saud Al Hosani – Star Fires (Gold); Hind Saad Abbas – Mars Rock On (Silver); Fahad Al Awadi – Dodge and Race (Bronze) won in ‘Developing Game – Kudo’ (11 and 15 years old) category.
Student Shaikha Khalid Al Ali, Gold Winner of ‘Bloxmob’ for 7 to 10 years old, expressed her happiness for being part of the successful competition. She added that the ‘Emirati Programmer’ initiative provided her with a unique opportunity to acquire key programming and smart application development skills which she used to create her simple and streamlined Diabetes Learning Bag app. She also thanked the Emirates Talent Association, HBMSU, and event organizers for supporting her in achieving her ambition and turning her idea into a concrete application.
About 96 graduates comprised the first batch of the ‘Emirati Programmer’ initiative, 46 of whom qualified for the semi-finals and 12 reached the finals. The participants received high-level training under the direct supervision of renowned instructors who specialize in the three-level ‘Lifelong learning model.’ The training ensured that the local contestants would excel in the “Hackathon” competition. The  ‘Emirati Programmer’ focused on providing talented youth with new knowledge and skills in computer language programming to design games and digital and electronic applications using multiple programming platforms such as Microsoft’s KODU Game Lab, Apple’s Swift, Google’s Blockly, and  ‘Cloud Campus.’

GETEX Autumn 2017

GETEX Autumn 2017 opens doors to more than 5,000 learners keen to take up higher education


Leading education event throws spotlight on occupational & industrial skills, continuing education & professional development


November 1, 2017 – Gulf Education and Training Exhibition (GETEX) Autumn Edition 2017, the latest edition of the leading student recruitment platform in the Middle East and Asia, has opened today (Wednesday, November 1, 2017) at Hall 5 of the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre to help more than 5,000 learners around the region find the right educational choice from over 600 courses.



The region’s most trusted event for higher education features a wide variety of study streams from over 50 regional and international universities located in eight countries, which are set to open their admissions between November 2017 and April 2018. The courses are focused on occupational and industrial skills, continuing education courses and other professional development offerings.



Anselm Godinho, Managing Director, IC&E and organizer of GETEX, said: “We are excited to present to students and parents the range of new courses and career options they can choose from in this year’s Autumn Edition of GETEX. Universities are here to address student’s concerns and present their course options to learners aspiring to study further. Admissions officers and education counselors are ready to offer them career guidance on the appropriate program, including advice on scholarship opportunities.”


Date and Timings for GETEX Autumn 2017
Wednesday, 1st November 2017:  10:00  to 14:00  and  18:00 to 21:00
Thursday, 2nd November 2017:  10:00 to 14:00  and  18:00 to 21:00
Friday, 3rd November 2017:  15:00 to 21:00

Entrance to the show is free. For more information, please visit: http://www.mygetex.com/

16th Session of UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education

Mansoor Al Awar chairs 16th Session of UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education in Moscow


UAE, September 23, 2017 – Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) and Governing Board Chairman of the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE), successfully led the 16th Session of the IITE, which was held recently in Moscow. During the meeting, the body discussed and approved the Institute’s Medium-Term Strategy for 2018 to 2021. The new strategy covers the IITE’s new mission and priorities, key action areas and major program activities. The meeting also saw the presentation of a covering the activities of IITE from 2016 to 2017; discussed and Reviewed the Programme Plan for 2018 to 2019.


Among the attendees were Anne Coupez, Representative of the Director-General of UNESCO and Igor Ganshin, Director of the International Department of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Education and Science.



Results of Global Teacher Effectiveness Survey released for the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Students in the region value disposition over knowledge when assessing what makes an effective teacher.
15th December, 2016
Dubai: Pearson has announced the results of a global teacher effectiveness survey conducted across 23 countries, including the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Survey participants, which included students, teachers, parents, and school administrators were asked, “what do you think are the most important qualities of an effective teacher?”.
Survey respondents did not focus on how much a teacher knew or what kind of teaching methods he or she used, but rather on the teacher’s disposition. The most common response in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as in the other countries surveyed was that it is relationships between teachers and students that matter most.
Across all participating countries the ability of the teacher to develop trusting, compassionate relationships with students was valued most. This is true regardless of the respondent’s gender, public or private school affiliation, or whether he or she was thinking of a primary or secondary teacher. The next most valued quality was a patient, caring, and kind personality. Responses show that stakeholders most strongly value a teacher’s ability to connect with students and the personality characteristics that facilitate those connections.
The publication of the research comes at a critical time, as governments and education stakeholders in the countries of the GCC look to enhancing teacher effectiveness as a way of improving overall education standards.
Marketing Director for Pearson in the Middle East, Sue Mainey, believes that the research will be of great assistance to the region as the value of great teachers becomes increasingly recognised. She says:
“The evidence is clear – the single most important determinant of a learner’s school-based success is the effectiveness of their teacher. We therefore need to look at ways we can make teachers more effective, and this newly released research provides unique insights into what makes an effective educator. We can start to build the findings of this research into policies and programmes in this region, ensuring that this survey has a meaningful impact on promoting outcomes for teachers, and learners”.
The top 10 most important qualities of teachers identified in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are as follows.
The top 10 most important qualities of teachers in the UAE were identified as:
1.   Ability to Develop Trusting, Productive Relationships
2.   Subject Matter Knowledge
3.   Patient, Caring, Kind Personality
4.   Teaching Skills/Pedagogical Practices
5.   Professionalism
6.   Engaging Students in Learning
7.   Ability to Make Ideas and Content Clear
8.   Knowledge of Learners
9.   Dedication to Teaching
10.               Emphasis on Developing Students’ Non-Cognitive Skills
The top 10 most important qualities of teachers in Saudi Arabia were identified as:
1.   Ability to develop trusting, compassionate relationships with students
2.   Ability to engage students in learning
3.   Subject matter knowledge
4.   Teaching skills
5.   Patient, caring, kind personality
6.   Professionalism
7.   Ability to make ideas and content clear
8.   Knowledge of learners
9.   Dedication to teaching
10.               Intelligence
The top 10 most important qualities of teachers in Qatar were identified as:
1.   Ability to Develop Trusting, Productive Relationships
2.   Subject Matter Knowledge
3.   Ability to Engage Students in Learning
4.   Teaching Skills/Pedagogical Practices
5.   Patient, Caring, Kind Personality
6.   Professionalism
7.   Ability to Make Ideas and Content Clear
8.   Knowledge of Learners
9.   Dedication to Teaching
10.               Intelligence   
For more information, including free access to the full reports, visit:  


Strategic plan to implement Emiratisation in banking & insurance industries launched.

 Strategic mechanisms to support and enable national competencies
[UAE, June 8, 2014] – The National Human Resources Development Committee in the Banking Sector (HRDC-BS) is geared up for a more dynamic work and achievement – supported by a scientific approach and international criteria – to strengthen the national competencies and expertise of Emiratis in order to attainsenior management and supervisory positions across the financial and banking sector. The industry is considered one of the fastest growing and successful sectors in the world today.

The announcement came during a recent HRDC meeting headed by H.E. Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, Minister of Education and Chairman of HRDC. The meeting was attended by committee members.
H.E. Al Qatami said UAE’s remarkable social development and economic growth, which currently ranks high in global competitiveness, are clear indications of the country’s success and progress in terms of complying with the vision and directives of wise leadership and their full support to the financial and banking sector and in terms of meeting all relevant policies and regulations. In addition, high-profile national veterans worked hard to raise the bar on financial and business industries in the country to further accelerate the development and growth that they are witnessing today. This emphasizes our strong national capabilities which HRDC aims to further reinforce.
It also targets to provide the industries with an opportunity to sustain its achievements and to expand their reach and responsibilities. The efforts will boost the implementation of industry policies in the interest of the general public.
H.E. Al Qatami added that leaders from banking and finance, insurance companies, and exchange houses, among others, are fully aware of the important role of HRDC. They also recognize the urgent need to implement the Emiratisation policy in the industry, while encouraging Emirati nationals to take charge and assume responsibilities. Further, they understand that the UAE gives high priority to the financial and banking sector as a cornerstone of sustainable development and of national competencies and skills training.
The HRDC also announced the launching of the Banking Leadership project as part of its commitment to build a generation with extensive skills and capabilities. The competencies will enable them to undertake high management positions in the future, with a closer look at the successful achievements of national banking leaders and their pivotal role in managing financial and banking institutions. Recent industry studies show that banking institutions still lack the presence of national human resources. The number of national senior administrative officials is less than 5 per cent of the total number of nationals working in the banking industry.  Accordingly, HRDC collaborated with international academic institutions for the implementation of the integrated Banking Leadership project, which is poised to produce as many as 400 graduates annually under the highest standards and best international practices.
H.E. Al Qatami added that the committee discussed a variety of topics during the meeting, namely the recent decision to apply Emiratisation in the banking sector; and adoption of the list of members and work plan of the executive committee and committee of studies and research. He assured that the HRDC will continue to follow up on the subject of Emiratisation in banks and insurance companies as well as on relevant resolutions.
He also stressed HRDC’s strong commitment to implement various development plans using modern and professional tools. It will also execute clear policy that complies with market requirements and the needs of banking and insurance companies.
The committee also showcased offerings from leading international companies in the local market. It will also conduct surveys to determine the current status of national employment in the banking and financial segment in a bid to increase the number of Emirati employees in the industry, especially in management and supervisory positions.

US has been premiere destination for UAE students for higher education since the 60s, says Carian College Advisors’ chief.

Out of every 10,000 students that went to US in academic year 2012-13,      27 came from UAE; Business and Engineering were most popular majors
Dubai, UAE, 30 March 2014: Globally, out of every 10,000 students who went to the US to study in the 2012-13 academic year, 27 came from the UAE (Emiratis and expatriates).

These figures were released by Carian College Advisors, a specialist American education consultancy headquartered in Dubai, and based on the latest Open Doors report published by The Institute of International Education (IIE), an independent not-for-profit organization founded in 1919.
Peter Davos, Managing Director, Carian College Advisors: “The US remains one of the world’s leading destinations for UAE students. The demand for American higher education remained robust this year, not only from the UAE, but also from around the globe. The movement kept us very busy, catering to the individual needs of our clients eager to study in reputable US universities, as we use a highly individualised approach to the preparation and application processes to ensure each of our students find the proper ‘fit’.”
The most popular majors for UAE students studying in US universities are Business and Engineering, according to the same report.
Davos added: “We take pride in our ability to place students in over 4,000 leading degree-granting US institutions of higher learning in 50 states. As independent consultants, we have an edge in acting as non-biased advisors to students and their parents. We understand the stress and complexity of applying to US universities. Applicants have too many options and our job is to act as match-makers between students and universities, based on their academic, geographical, cultural, and professional preferences.”
Davos explained: “We recommend the US over other countries because of its flexible curriculum, interdisciplinary approach to education and emphasis on holistic development of individuals. US universities are well qualified to teach students how to become resourceful and analytical thinkers, as well as provide them with the right tools to integrate in any workplace. Since 2008, the US has become the top destination for international students, as overseas fees for students studying in the UK have tripled and no other country’s institutions can offer significant sums of merit aid to qualified applicants. Almost 100% of our students received merit based aid from at least one institution.”
“The United States is one of the most culturally diverse and inclusive societies in the world. It has been welcoming students from the UAE since the 50s and 60s,” he pointed out.
During 2013, Carian College Advisors held UAE students secure admissions to many leading US universities, such as Georgetown, Johns Hopkins, Dartmouth, Northwestern, Cornell, Yale, Brown, Colorado School of Mines, University of Chicago, Columbia, University of California Los Angeles, and New York University.
Editor’s Note:

Carian College Advisors is a specialist US education consultant that offers a range of admission counselling services for students in the UAE. Headed by Peter Davos (MSt Oxon, MDesS Harvard), Carian College Advisors is one among the few education consultants in the country that specialises in offering admission-counselling services for universities exclusively in the United States. Carian College Advisors can assist with the entire or specific parts of the application process, such as college list creation, the submission of a personal statement, supplemental essays, letters of recommendation, summary list of extracurricular activities, description of past summer experiences, and the completion of a college interview.

Prestigious UK Military College Opens its Doors to UAE Students.

International Sixth Form students now being accepted through the Welbeck Private Scheme for Students
Dubai, UAE 19th January 2014: Welbeck, the United Kingdom’s prestigious Defence Sixth Form College (DFSC), is offering a unique opportunity to GCC students to study at the College’s Leicestershire campus in England. For the next 20 years, having already operated for eight years, the College will  been run by TQ, which is part of the world’s largest learning company, Pearson. TQ delivers science and technology based A Level education at the College as well as personal development training, through outdoor and physical instruction.

Welbeck specialises in developing young people for a career in the military or defence civil service. However, under the Welbeck Private Scheme (WPS), students can attend the College and are not be committed to joining the armed forces or civil service. For the first time a limited number of international students will now be accepted to undertake A Levels at the College as part of the WPS.
The College expects a number of high-calibre applications from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, given the institution’s reputation as one of the United Kingdom’s top performing Sixth Form colleges. Over the last five years, 100 percent of Welbeck students have passed their A Level examinations, and in 2012 Welbeck students achieved an average 87 percent pass rate at A and B grades. The College also sends an increasing number of students to Oxford and Cambridge each year. The College anticipates a high demand for placements from international students due to the state-of-the-art facilities, inspirational teaching and a dynamic community which together make Welbeck one of the country’s leading co-educational boarding schools.
Mr Peter Middleton, Principal at DFSC says that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for young GCC nationals wanting to attend one of the world’s best regarded military colleges: “The opening up of the Welbeck Private Scheme to international students will give high school students from the region the chance to attend a college that places strong emphasis on helping all students achieve their potential, whether in an academic, sporting or extra-curricular arena. This is a unique place which aims to provide an outstanding education that enables each student to achieve the academic credentials that will qualify him, or her, to continue to a top university.  Such an education is founded on moral integrity, responsibility, and a genuine sense of service, which together lead to inculcating the core leadership values which are not only strong in our community, but will endure when our students leave.
Through the Welbeck Private Scheme, young people from all around the world are being given the opportunity to become part of a cohort of 175 high calibre young men and women who join each year.  Living and learning with like-minded individuals and under the careful mentoring of skilled and experienced staff, they will benefit from an environment that is geared not only to shaping a successful career in the Armed Forces or Ministry of Defence Civil Service, but one that is equally applicable in the civilian world.  As you would expect, academic studies combine with developing core skills and values, but here at Welbeck, we provide a broader learning environment through our programme of intellectual, personal and physical education to build the essential personal skills which are as important in leadership as they are in making a valuable contribution to the wider community.”
He says that attendance at the College also helps international students progress smoothly into higher education at university in either the UK, or further abroad: “Students who have undertaken the Welbeck Private Scheme have an excellent track-record of securing entry into first-class universities. Students from the Gulf region who obtain their A Levels at Welbeck have the choice of carrying on with their studies at a higher education institution in Britain, or in one of many other countries around the world. The opportunities for further study provided through the scheme are quite unique, and go a long way to helping young people fulfil their educational ambitions”.
Mr Middleton is clear as to the benefits of a ‘Welbeck education’: “When students arrive at the College they enter an exciting new chapter in their lives.  They will join existing students who are focused with clear career aspirations and this creates a constant buzz of enthusiasm, energy and determination to achieve their best.  Students can expect to leave resolute, skilled in communication and with ambitions broadened and significantly extended.  What I, as the Principal, ask of each and every student here, is that they strive to be the best possible version of themselves – so that they leave without regret, having challenged themselves, and having achieved goals and aspirations that they could once only have dreamed of.”

Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College is currently accepting international applications for the September 2014 intake of Welbeck Private Scheme students.

California is most sought-after state among UAE students pursuing higher education in US.

Home to world’s top universities, California exposes UAE students to several quality institutions of higher learning
Dubai, UAE, 18 December 2013: Carian College Advisors, a specialist American education consultancy headquartered in Dubai, has named California as the No. 1 choice of students from the UAE pursuing higher education in the United States, based on the list of clients they served in 2013. Peter Davos, Managing Director, Carian College Advisors, says the choice comes as no surprise to him as California is renowned for the quality of its higher education system, its attractive climate and excellent quality of life. “California is by far our students’ most popular destination; it is home to some of the world’s top universities, such as Stanford University, Harvey Mudd College, California Institute of Technology, UCLA, UC Berkeley, Pomona College and Claremont McKenna College.”

Davos stated “Stanford University has surpassed Harvard University this year as the most difficult university in the US to be accepted to, while Harvey Mudd College graduates earn the highest average salaries of any university in the US.  California Institute of Technology was ranked as the Best University in the World in the 2011 Times Higher Education World University Rankings in Engineering & Technology and Physical Sciences and both Pomona and Claremont McKenna are ranked among the top ten liberal arts schools in the US by US News and World report.”
With over 4,000 degree-granting institutions of higher learning in the US in 50 states, Carian College Advisors caters to the varied needs and preferences of UAE students. Davos added “the US remains one of the world’s leading destinations for students living in the UAE. Our clients from all over the world continue to choose the US over other countries because of its flexible curriculum, interdisciplinary approach to education and emphasis on holistic development of the individual.  The United States is one of the most culturally diverse and inclusive societies in the world, having welcomed visitors and students from foreign countries for centuries. The most popular majors for UAE students are Business and Management, Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.”
Davos’ consultancy offers a range of admission counseling services for UAE students targeting the US for further studies. During 2013, Carian College Advisors’ UAE students secured admission to many leading US universities, such as Georgetown, Dartmouth, Northwestern, Cornell, Yale, Brown, Colorado School of Mines, Columbia, University of California Los Angeles,  and New York University.
Davos emphasized that his firm guides UAE students wishing to pursue a US education. He added, “With plenty of top US universities to choose from, the task of choosing the right one does definitely require immense effort, expertise, and knowledge and students and parents rely on us to guide them. There is an appetite for American education in this region, as well as for quality advice on how to pursue the research and application processes, which has thus far been lacking in the market.”
Davos said that flexibility is one of the key factors why UAE students favor the American education system, as students are encouraged to take a broad array of courses and are only required to declare their major at the end of their second year of study.  American universities encourage these exploration and development processes and view it as an inherent part of an undergraduate education. Students at American universities are allowed to choose a minor, double major, or triple major, as long as they fulfill the stipulated course requirements.


Education Key to Reducing Youth Unemployment.

 International experts agree education levels and employment rates closely linked
Dubai, UAE, 28 September 2013: Pearson, the world’s largest education company, welcomes the findings of the Organisation for Economic Development (OCED) 2013 Education at a Glance report, which examines the relationship between an education, employment and earnings.

Education at a Glance 2013 found that 15 to 29 year olds have been hit particularly hard by the global recession, with unemployment amongst this group averaging 16 per cent in OECD countries. This international trend is also reflected in the Gulf region, where youth unemployment rates are also higher than overall unemployment rates.
Pearson’s Regional Director for Qualifications, Mark Andrews, believes that education can play a role in reversing the youth unemployment trend in the region. Mr Andrews points to the findings of the OECD report that education has a huge impact on employability, and that the global economic crisis has strengthened this impact even further. He says:
“Research Pearson has undertaken in the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia demonstrates the link between an individual’s education level and their chances of finding meaningful, well paid work. Anecdotal evidence from local employers shows there are many positions in the region that cannot be filled because applicants for these positions do not have the requisite skills. This comes at a time when youth unemployment rates in the region are at record highs. Therefore we can assume that by better equipping young job seekers with the skills and qualifications in demand by employers, the youth unemployment rate can be reduced”.
In 2012 Pearson undertook a massive international project entitled the Learning Curve to better understand the factors that contribute to a country’s educational performance and effectiveness of its workforce. It is hoped that the Learning Curve research will help governments and education providers make more informed decisions about where to best invest resources to produce better outcomes for both individuals and wider society.   
The Learning Curve report indicated that although notoriously difficult to quantify, governments in most countries recognise a link between the knowledge and skills with which young people enter the workforce and long-term economic competitiveness. Education seems to correlate with a host of personal benefits, from longer life to higher income. At a national level, too, education and income appear to go together. Finding the type of education that leads to the best economic outcomes, however, is far from straightforward.
Mr Andrews is quick to point out that there is no single solution for better labour market outcomes, and that the type of education an individual receives can have an effect on their employability.
“Our industry consultation and statistical research has also shown us that there is a wide gap between the number of young people graduating with vocational qualifications and the needs of employers across a number of industries including hospitality and tourism, construction, retail and telecommunications. This is in a large part due to the negative perception vocational education has in this region. However, this perception needs to change if we want to reduce youth unemployment here, and lessen the skills gap. What many people do not appreciate is a vocational qualification can lead to a high salary and job security”.
The OECD’s Education at a Glance report also found the role strong vocational qualifications can play in enhancing an individual’s employment prospects. The study found that countries with a higher-than-average proportion of graduates from vocational programmes were able to keep the increases in unemployment rates among this age group to below 8 per cent points while countries where less than 25% of young adults graduate from vocational education, saw increases in unemployment rates of 12 per cent.
Mr Andrews says that there are lessons to be learnt from the OECD report for the Gulf region.
“Countries all around the world are trying hard to overcome the challenges brought on by the global recession. One key lesson we have learnt from the economic crisis is that new, innovative, educational solutions will help young people enter the workplace more easily and contribute more effectively. A first class vocational qualification gives learners the skills they need for career success in the 21st century and vocational education can also help economies and countries recover from the severe economic stresses of recent years”.


HSBC Lends a Hand to 200 Orphans and Underprivileged Kids from the UAE through Digital Learning Summer Camp.

Partners with ICDL GCC, local Education Zones and Charities to Teach youngsters Key Skills in Social Media and Cyber Safety
]UAE, August 19, 2013[ – ICDL GCC Foundation, an organisation that promotes digital skills and cyber safety across the Gulf region, and leading global financial services organization HSBC Middle East have renewed their partnership for the second year in a row to empower 200 orphans and underprivileged youngsters from Ajman, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah and Sharjah with essential skills in social media and cyber safety.

This initiative launched yesterday (18thAugust)runs until 5thSeptember 2013, and is delivered in the form of a Summer Camp; and it is dedicated to educate participants on safety concerns when using social media websites and smart devices. The Summer Camp will offer the students a chance to learn new skills as well as to socialize with others in a fun learning environment and receive gifts.

At the ICDL GCC Summer Camp in 2012, 72 underprivileged boys and girls from the Emirates of Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah received ICDL computer skills through funding from HSBC Bank Middle East. The initiative represents a unique and sizable public/private sector partnership between a number of educational authorities, charities, ICDL GCC and HSBC Middle East aimed at bridging the digital gap for youth from impoverished backgrounds and helping them to engage responsibly and safely in today’s connected society.
The three week long Summer Camp is coordinated in partnership with (Fujairah Welfare Association; Fujairah Education Zone; Fujairah College; Ras Al Khaimah Education Zone; Ras Al Khaimah Red Crescent; Al Ihsan Charity Association; Sharjah Social Empowerment; and Sharjah Education Zone). The training and test services is delivered by each of Fujairah College and the National Institute of Vocational Education (NIVE) in Dubai.
The Summer Camp will also include a group of national job seekers in partnership with Sharjah Human Resource Department that will go through the ICDL international certification programme.
Director General of ICDL GCC, Mr. Jamil Ezzo highlighted the robust and durable partnership it has managed to create and strengthen over the years with members of the regional corporate community. “We are very grateful to HSBC Bank Middle East for continuously supporting this noble endeavour. We’ve always believed that the task of effectively nurturing the next generation’s talent and upgrading their digital skills is a collaborative effort – a responsibility shared by the government and private entities including educational institutions, non-profit organisations and corporations,” he said. Ezzo added ‘HSBC’s generous help received by our Summer Camp initiative since 2012 is a reflection of its strong commitment to the local society and its support to good causes through CSR initiative’.
Ammar Shams, Regional Head of Corporate Sustainability at HSBC Bank Middle East added “We recognize the importance of sustainable development in this part of the world and young people are key for future success. We are proud to support an initiative that gives youngsters access to learning opportunities that they would not have otherwise and empower them to make informed decisions.”
About ICDL:

The International Computer Driving License (ICDL) is a global computer literacy initiative developed to provide knowledge about Information Technology (IT) and enhance competence of using personal computers and common computer applications for all the citizens of the world. The ICDL GCC Foundation is the sole body to implement and disseminate the program across the GCC States and Iraq with the support of leading educational institutions and accredited bodies. The Foundation mission is to enable proficient use of Information and Communications Technology that empowers individuals, organizations and society, through the development, promotion and delivery of quality certification programmes around the world.