Autumn Semester Roundup

As we draw closer to the end of the Autumn Academic Semester, we look back on 2018 as a year of change for the Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education.

With new staff members and students arriving and a number of projects taking place in between, it has undoubtedly been a busy few months at the College. Let us take this opportunity to look back on our Autumn Semester and share with you, our plans for the next academic semester.

Promoting a vision of Multiculturalism

Most recently, the College opened its doors to the community for its annual ‘Building Bridges Symposium’ in which we celebrated multiculturalism, diversity and above all, interfaith. We were delighted with the outcome and response from attendees and hope to continue hosting similar events in the future. You can read the full Symposium article here.

Dr Abi Abubaker, Juma Al Majid

In recognising the College’s commitment to embracing multiculturalism, Dr Abi Abubaker, acting College Head, recently attended the International Triple Helix Association (THA) Summit in Dubai. The THA’s main goal is to “advance the scientific knowledge and practical achievements related to all aspects of the interaction between academy-industry-government (Triple Helix) for fostering research, innovation, economic competitiveness and growth.”

Dr Abubaker gave a presentation on multiculturalism, with a focus on cultural exchange and how it is key to establishing inclusivity and influential relationships between government and private sectors.

While in Dubai, Dr Abubaker visited the Juma Al Majid Centre for Culture and Heritage and was pleased to have met and spoken with the founder, Juma Al Majid.

The Autumn Semester also saw Dr Abubaker give a speech on behalf of the Al-Maktoum College during a Dundee & Angus Chamber of Commerce ‘Trading with the Arab League’ event, which took place at the College. In his opening speech, he discussed the role of Al-Maktoum College, in developing international relations for both its students and the business community.

Supporting our Students

As well as being involved in wider community events, the semester has brought about many exciting opportunities for our students. In October, the College held elections for the students committee. The successfully elected candidates include Dzikri Hakam (president), Erli Sarilita (secretary) and Emmanuel Salubi (treasurer).

Students on election night

Together, supported by the College, the newly appointed candidates will work to ensure a positive student experience for all Al-Maktoum students. In line with this, academic staff and students have been busy organising events to enhance student experiences, such as an Arabic movie night, Arabic coffee sessions and Middle Eastern music events.

The end of November saw the College celebrate St Andrew’s Day, with a cultural-exchange twist. In appreciation of the many different staff and student nationalities in the College, the closed event looked to be a fun way of bringing people together in celebration of diversity. Along with some traditional Scottish treats, staff and students also prepared food from their own home countries.

Originally, there had been plans for the celebration to take place in the College’s newly furbished garden and heated summer house, which had taken around several months to complete. Unfortunately, due to harsh weather conditions, this was not possible. We do however look forward to using the garden during the upcoming spring semester.

Notably, Al-Maktoum College academic lecturers, Dr Salah Al Hammadi, Dr Sara Al Tubuly and Ms. Safaa Radoan, are currently studying for their postgraduate certificates in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education at the University of Durham and Dundee. In doing so, they aim to enhance the overall student learning experience within the College and are keen to explore new teaching methods to engage, educate and develop student interaction in lectures.

Coming up at Al-Maktoum College

Exciting news for Al-Maktoum College, as we are set to launch two new Higher National courses- HNC/HND in Business and HNC/Diploma in Management & Leadership. Beginning in September 2019, the courses are designed to provide a fundamental understanding of business operations and management/leadership principles. Exclusively to Scotland, the Al-Maktoum College will be the first educational institution to allow individuals the opportunity to study basic Arabic language (an introductory certificate) as an optional unit, alongside their chosen course (HNC/D). More information will be available on the website in due course.

ATP 2018 Concluding Ceremony

In February, the College will be receiving students from the UAE, Egypt and Malaysia for its annual Academic Training Programme (ATP). The programme will take place over the course of four weeks and aims to provide students with an introduction to topical areas including multiculturalism, leadership, and cultural engagement. Having had many years of success with ATP, we look forward to welcoming our new batch of students to campus and introducing them to Scotland.

A series of open lectures have been taking place at Al-Maktoum College for a number of years, and we are pleased to be continuing these into the Spring semester. The lectures are open to all and have been led by a number of esteemed academics, including Dr Marwa Elnahass (Lancaster University) and Professor Simon Archer (University of Reading).

In addition, the College is pleased to be launching a series of seminars, which aim to explore topical issues in Islam, the Muslim world and the Middle East. The seminars will begin in January. More information will be made available on the College website. We would like to invite any person(s) who have an interest in presenting or wish to attend the seminars to email [email protected]

In a final note from the Al-Maktoum College, we are a unique and multicultural institution that continues to play a fundamental role in educating and bringing people of different nationalities together. We are at the forefront of diversity and are working hard to create specialised teaching and learning opportunities in Dundee. As always, we are glad to have the support of the community and are looking forward to the many events happening next semester.

Season’s Greeting and all the best for 2019.

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