Photo has been used for illustrative purpose.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) hosted an online Arabic seminar in cooperation with the Association of Arab Universities (AARU). The webinar served as a strategic platform for introducing faculty members of Arab universities, which are also members of the Association of Arab Universities (AARU), to the salient features of the HBMSU’s mission to establish a culture of smart learning and distance learning as an effective tool for investing in youth to raise them as future leaders.
The webinar, titled “HBMSU’s Smart Learning Applications,” witnessed huge participation with more than 500 attendees from the academic community in the Arab region, led by Professor Dr. Amr Salama, Secretary General of the Association of Arab Universities (AARU).
The online seminar commenced with a welcome remark by Prof. Amr Ezzat Salama, Secretary General of AARU, followed by panel discussions moderated by Dr. Moustafa Hassan, Vice Chancellor for International Cooperation at HBMSU. During the seminar, participants explored key factors behind the successful implementation of smart learning and how it can be applied seamlessly in universities, citing HBMSU as a successful example.
Some of the key topics discussed include the establishment of a smart education environment that encourages learners; re-designing the courses to suit e-learning; and ways to use the available online educational sources, as well as adopting evaluation and feedback mechanisms in e-learning, among other relevant fields.
The participants hailed the pivotal role of HBMSU as the first hub and a pioneer in smart learning in the Arab region. Participants also praised the University’s valuable initiatives to unite and direct efforts towards equipping universities with necessary tools needed to adopt the smart learning approach and keep pace with the rapid changes in the field of higher education, especially in light of the current challenges.
The webinar’s participants further affirmed their confidence in the Association of Arab Universities (AARU) that supports the adoption of innovative ideas in the region, led by an ambitious strategy to provide the best services and promote quality and efficiency of higher education. These efforts are also aimed at opening to new horizons for Arab researchers to become leading contributors to the global research movement.
Dr. Amr Salama, Secretary-General of AARU, emphasised the importance of smart learning, which has become an essential pillar of education that will define future jobs and the requirements of the labour market. It is an important aspect of modern job roles that did not exist before, especially considering predictions that cloud technologies will create 18 million jobs in future along with other Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies.
Dr. Amr added, “Today, eyes are turning to communication and information technologies that provide a rich and attractive new learning experience, regardless of time and space, providing viable solutions to address the challenges posed by the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted all aspects of our lives, including education. Although distance learning in the Arab world is still limited, we have witnessed a remarkable development in recent years with the establishment of institutions such as the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) in Dubai, the Syrian Virtual University (SVU), and the Virtual University of Tunis (UVT).”
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, commended the Association of Arab Universities for its vital role in strengthening coordination between the various academic institutions under its umbrella, and supporting the efforts of higher education institutions to overcome the challenges faced by the Arab world’s education sector and to promote the quality of higher education.
“We value the efforts of the Association of Arab Universities in strengthening joint Arab action and activating the frameworks of fruitful cooperation and solid partnership between the various academic institutions. These efforts are in line with HBMSU’s core values,” he said.
“We will continue our endeavour to enhance our partnership with the Association of Arab Universities to drive the adoption of smart learning tools in Arab universities, and keep pace with the rapid changes taking place in the educational sector at all levels,” he added.
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