Dhahi Khalfan: “We are continuing our efforts to enhance our readiness for the future by reshaping higher education according to innovative tools that keep pace with post-Corona requirements.”
In the presence of H.E Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, and Chairman of HBMSU Board of Governors, the Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has laid its roadmap and identified its strategic priorities for the next three years. The move comes in line with the university’s commitment to the vision of the country’s wise leadership for the UAE to become the fastest to recover from the impact of the pandemic and usher ahead in a post-COVID-19 era.
The university’s strategic priorities were presented during the first regular meeting of Board of Governors for the academic year 2020/2021 held recently in the presence of the members of the Board of Governors, led by H.E. Mattar Al Tayer, Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai, and Deputy Chairman of HBMSU Board of Governors. The attendees unanimously agreed to prioritize the need to work on new concepts and out-of-the-box systems that would help ensure the continuity of education amidst rapid changes, following the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU.
During the meeting, the Board of Governors reviewed the strategic directions of the university for 2021 to 2023. Some of the proposals discussed include initiatives to expand the smart training programs offered by HBMSU across the Arab world; creation of innovative business models that would help attract new sectors; adoption of the latest technologies to accelerate innovation in education and related administrative aspects; support digital transformation programs of universities in the UAE and the Arab world; applying the concept of education for skills in the university’s training and academic programs; and adopt applied scientific research to make distinct contributions to the Emirati community.
H.E Tamim said: “We give our support to the new strategy that has been adopted for the next three years as part of our commitment to continue reshaping the field of education, which must take a new form different from its past. We continue to uphold the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who once said: “‘Anyone who thinks the world after COVID-19 will be the same as before is mistaken.’” We are committed to continue implementing the directives of our country’s wise leadership and focus on enhancing ways to prepare for the future through investments in training and equipping the youth with the competence to deal with emerging challenges and build on innovation to take on the future.”
“The Strategic Plan 2021-2023 is the result of our efforts to put together our unique experiences in transforming the educational system and go beyond traditional education, which no longer meet the needs of the sector amid rapid developments at all levels. HMBSU has been leading the march of smart learning and has become a guide for Arab universities to enhance their educational systems in line with the era of digital revolution.
In this current global crisis that we face due to the spread of COVID-19, HBMSU has emerged as a model for anticipating the future of higher education, with the three pillars of innovation, leadership and transformation as the foundation to develop the skills of the future, and become a leader in key areas that will define new development such as science, technology and space. As the first accredited university to raise the banner of smart learning in the region, it is necessary for us to share our expertise and capabilities with local and regional Arab universities. These universities are also looking to transform their systems into becoming the beacons of quality education for all and benefit from advanced technology, which has become a precondition for anyone seeking to compete in the global arena,” he added.
His Excellency Dr. Mansoor Al Awar explained that the ‘Strategic Plan 2021-2023’ is a highly important plan which produced many creative ideas from the university’s academics, administrators, and scholars, in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai to involve everyone in designing the future of the UAE for coming generations. This plan places HBMSU among institutions in the UAE which support the country’s effort to design its future in as part of its preparations for the next 50 years.
His Excellency added: “Investing in creative minds and the youth’s talents has always been at the core of our priorities, following the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the University, to empower young people who are the driving force of development, considering their energies as our most valuable resource. HBMSU is committed to continuously enhance education processes and raise the level of its quality for the next period. We are determined to adopt new and innovative methods to advance the sector in line with the needs of the future and implement the directives our wise leadership on anticipating and keeping pace with change.”
Al Awar continued: “We look forward to work in the next three years in accordance with our strategic priorities in line with our commitment to make the best use of our energies, capabilities and distinguished experiences in the service of the UAE and make smart learning and distance learning the key to ensuring education continuity in the future. Education that does not create skills is not a real education, and we have been pioneering the restructuring of the process of learning for more than two decades, driven by our firm commitment to transform learners from being recipients to contributors in the creation, dissemination, and enrichment of knowledge. This can only be possible in an educational environment which incubate innovation, scientific research, creative thinking and critical analysis skills.”
Al Awar concluded: “Today, we adopt an exceptional vision to get ahead of the world’s universities by a difference of ten years to provide the best education for the innovators and creators of the future through new educational tools that simulate the future. We believe that education that is the same as yesterday is a new type of illiteracy. We will continue to work according to our values based on fueling innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as produce game-changing and passionate for results. We renew our commitment to maintain our world-class infrastructure and technology, foremost among which are ‘Smart Campus’, ‘Edu Game, ‘Artificial Intelligence’, ‘Augmented Reality’ and ‘Internet of Things’ to take education to a new level at the local, regional, and global stage, in line with the needs of the post-COVID-10 era.”
The ‘Strategic Plan 2021-2023’ was developed according to several stages, which started with conducting surveys to establish opinions and current views about HBMSU, its mission, values and strategic goals. It also went through an analysis of the university’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges. The opinion polls sought the responses from various stakeholders such as full-time faculty members, associate faculty members, full-time staff, learners, advisory board members, employers, and external partners. The surveys were followed by a ‘SCORE Analysis’ process, which helped identify strengths, challenges, options, response and effectiveness, based on the four dimensions of the balanced scorecard, namely financial, customer, internal business, and prospects for innovation and learning.
The results of the ‘SCORE Analysis’ were developed based on the survey notes and planning progress reports for the past three years. The third stage was identifying and prioritizing the main opportunities. Four future opportunities were reviewed as final outputs, in addition to identifying future opportunities, prioritizing them, and linking them to emerging challenges and potential risks. The results of the three stages and the final outputs were presented to the participants during the Strategic Planning Retreat 2021-2023,’ which was held over two days with four parallel sessions discussing the analysis of key future points and opportunities, developing smart goals, and identifying specific strategies and initiatives that support HBMSU’s ambitious goals.