ABU DHABI: In line with its continuing efforts towards introducing the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and in support of the country’s move to promote ‘Smart’ learning, the National Qualifications Authority (NQA) recently held a meeting with Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) to review strategic new ways to expand and promote the ‘Smart’ learning domain, including the university’s offered programmes, as an integral factor in adopting a national qualifications system.
The meeting also looked towards how to align the university’s learning programmes according to the criteria and requirements set forth by the National Qualifications Authority.
The NQA delegation, headed by Dr. Thani-Ahmad Al Muhairi, Director General of the Authority, was given a detailed briefing on the many features of an integrated learning environment, the university’s academic programmes and quality-based initiatives stressing the important role that ‘Smart’ learning plays in achieving the country’s ‘Vision 2021’ objectives.
In turn, the Authority gave a presentation on its ‘QFEmirates Handbook,’ which represents an integrated system that covers National Qualifications Framework (NQF) together with all its associated policies and procedures, qualifications levels, and the learning outcomes corresponding to each level. According to the NQF, there are three types of qualifications, based on their size, depth of knowledge, learning outcomes, and number of credits to be achieved: ‘Principal Qualification,’ ‘Composite Qualification’ and ‘Component Qualification,’.
Dr. Al Muhairi said, “The National Qualifications Authority lauds the HBMSU’s efforts to help realise the directives of the country’s wise leadership to develop a ‘Smart’ government system, facilitate the advancement of innovation and a strong knowledge economy and establish a solid base for a skilled national workforce that is able to keep up with the new digital world. The University acts as a nucleus for promoting and disseminating ‘Smart’ learning programs which started occupying a privileged position at the global level and thus making it a focus of a regional attraction for the foreseeable future.” He further explained that the NQA’s visit to HBMSU is part of its ongoing efforts to coordinate with all educational and training institutions, at the federal and local levels, and promote the NQF as the sole national reference for the development and classification of all qualifications in the country, as mandated by the Council of Minister’s resolution No. 22 of 2013. The visit also “reflects the University willingness to work closely with the NQA to achieve alignment of all programs offered by the university with the NQF levels, leading, in future, to the international recognition of all qualifications delivered by the University” Dr. Almuhairi added.
In response, Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, HBMSU Chancellor, expressed his delight in hosting the visit of the NQA delegation and affirmed the university’s commitment to support the Authority’s move to implement a national qualifications system for the country.
He further stressed on HBMSU’s commitment to support the efforts to implement a national qualifications system that will act as a solid pillar aimed at improving learning in line with the rapid growth developments in the UAE under the policy of the wise leadership.
Dr. Al Awar concluded, “We look forward to working closely with the NQA, which is the UAE’s lead agency tasked in developing the appropriate skills and qualifications of its citizens. Rest assured, we will remain steadfast in helping the Authority promote the principles of lifelong learning and achieving leadership in the education and training segment, which in turn will strengthen the country’s global competitiveness. We commit to work in accordance with the requirements of the national qualifications system–aligning the ‘Smart’ academic programs offered by our university– contributing widely in the efforts to establish an integrated learning environment and effectively responds and keeps pace with technological advancements of the twenty first century.” NQA is federal independent entity established under Decree No 1 of 2010, issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to take the responsibility, among other aims and objectives, for designing and planning policies and procedures for a unified national qualifications strategy, establishing a national UAE Qualifications Framework and processes and systems for awarding qualifications, and obtaining national and international accreditation.