The American University in Dubai hosted the Higher Education Summit in the UAE with the participation of 11 universities:
University of Sharjah, University of South Wales, University of Birmingham (Dubai Campus), Heriot Watt University, Amity University, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation, UK College of Business and Computing, University of Wollongong, and American University in Dubai.
The conference was attended by representatives of secondary schools and education agents from 15 countries, as well as the UAE, which included: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, China, India, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.
The conference began with an opening statement from Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, the founder and chairman of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization, who emphasized the importance of finding leaders instead of teachers. He points out that while knowledge exists in abundance on the internet it still needs to be read. He cites that national education has began to shift, referencing how Sweden will abolish the Ministry of Education and how Finland will remove history and geography courses.
Dr. Imad Hoballah, Provost and Chief Academic Officer at AUD, delivered a speech in which he emphasized the launch of Innovation Center at the University in order to graduate business leaders in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The goal is to now graduate pioneers and innovators, not just students.
The summit program included a two-day working paper in which speakers reviewed their most important recommendations in the field of higher education development. The most important of which is the focus on skills so that the student graduates are ready to work and take advantage of the period of study in both practical and academic training.