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United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) - Best University in Abu Dhabi, UAE

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UAEU hosts an International Higher Education Summit on ‎‎“Innovation Enabling Environments”‎

UAEU hosts an International Higher Education Summit on ‎‎“Innovation Enabling Environments”‎

Mon, 6 June 2022
United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) - Top Universities in Middle East
H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh: Universities are a stabilising force ‎in a society, they foster the conditions of security, and they ‎generate social sustainability. These conditions are a ‎necessary foundation for innovation to have lasting value. ‎They are an essential part of the enabling environment for ‎innovation .

The United Arab Emirates University is hosting the QS Higher Education Summit for the Middle East and Africa from 1st to 3rd of March under the theme, Innovation enabling environments . QS is the world s leading provider of services, analytics, and insight to the global higher education sector.  At the QS Summit, delegates will consider the need for innovation to provide resilient, future-proof education institutions and systems in the context of global uncertainty and volatility. Also, delegates will examine how innovation can advance social, environmental, and economic sustainability in the regions.

In his address to the opening session of the conference, His Excellency Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to the President of the UAE and Chancellor of the UAEU expressed his delight to address an audience that represents the full diversity of nations in the Middle East and Africa region, the widest variety of institutions that compose our higher education sector, and the full range of the very many stakeholders that our sector serves .

Describing the ability of a diverse community to collaborate as very significant, he said that Together, we will address the distinctive purposes of higher education in a large region that is multifaceted, evolving at different rates, and experiences different levels of resource. Our collective agenda is to consider the forms and processes of innovation that are required across the region, and to identify what is needed, across the variety of our institutions, to enable such innovation .

The Chancellor intended his speech to serve as a guide for discussions at the summit. He placed innovation in the context of the purposes of a university and set out an ethical framework for the innovation enabling environment . He closed with some observations on the importance of institutional diversity within higher education in the region.

With respect to the purposes of the university, the Chancellor described the university as a cradle of innovation . He said, Universities are driven by the desire to seek new knowledge, to debate alternatives, and to advance the human condition in the broadest terms. Universities generate the knowledge and skills required by industry, government, and wider society. However universities also have a much broader set of outcomes that are essential to innovation .

The Chancellor identified these outcomes as the stimulus of aspiration, the tools of civilised dialogue, the capacity for peaceful coexistence and collective problem solving, and the support for individuals to be curious, take risks, and to achieve what they never thought possible. Most importantly a university education gives each graduate a level of dignity and a sense self-worth. Each graduate becomes a source of pride to their families, and they go on to work productively in their societies .

According to this reasoning, the Chancellor concluded that ‎‎ Universities are a stabilising force in a society, they foster the conditions of security, and they generate social sustainability. These conditions are a necessary foundation for innovation to have lasting value. They are an essential part of the enabling environment for innovation .

The Chancellor went on to say that an innovation enabling environment needs to be guided by an ethical framework. Innovation needs to be founded on a set of principles that enable us to solve the massive global crises, uncertainty, conflict, and poverty experienced by all nations.

The Chancellor used the UAE s ten principles for the next fifty years as an example of such an ethical framework. He said, Our two primary principles are to strengthen the political union of the UAE and to foster a vibrant, dynamic, and mixed economy. Three further principles identify the tools that will enable such aims. We will develop human capital, we will expand the frontiers of our digital, technical, and scientific excellence, and we will continue a foreign policy based on openness and multilateral cooperation. Yet the five remaining principles also teach us that we will succeed in our political and economic progress only if we seek and observe a humanitarian concern for social and environmental sustainability.  The principles motivate good-neighbourliness, openness, tolerance, and humanitarian aid. They instruct us to advocate for peace and harmony, and to use negotiation and dialogue as the tools of conflict resolution .

The Chancellor explained that This ethical framework must underpin how the higher education sector operates, our graduates must be able to employ and uphold such ethics, and our innovation must proceed towards these ends and through these methods.

In conclusion the Chancellor explained why the diversity of the region s higher education sector is a great strength. He said, As a region, we must share, preserve, and celebrate the rich cultural resources that make our nations and universities unique. We must also adapt our offerings to the variety of learners needs. Furthermore we must meet the diverse needs of a variety of stakeholders. Therefore, the health of our higher education system depends on its diversification. Diversification ensures a higher education system s relevance and flexibility as our learners and stakeholders needs change over time.

Before thanking the organisation of the Summit and wishing delegates productive discussions of the innovation enabling environment, the Chancellor urged the Summit to be Mindful of the broader outcomes of the university that are important to innovation, mindful of the ethical framework that is essential if innovation is to drive sustainable growth and development, and mindful that given our diversity, it is unlikely that a one-sized solution will fit all .

The opening session discussed education quality policies and academic cooperation between higher education institutions and universities in Middle East and Africa. The second morning session discussed education in a changing world. The third session discussed in two parts: Scientific research and sustainable development and its social impacts in the Middle East and Africa. While the fourth evening session addressed future foresight and institutional capabilities of higher education institutions after the Covid 19 pandemic - Higher Colleges of Technology as a model . Finally, the last session discussed building global partnerships in scientific research. 

United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) - Best University in Abu Dhabi, UAE


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Nov 24, 2022