(MENAFN - Emirates News Agency (WAM))
DUBAI, 28th June, 2021 (WAM) -- The Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education (AGFE) has announced the launch of the "Abdulla Al Ghurair Hub for Digital Teaching and Learning" in partnership with the American University of Beirut (AUB) at the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) to improve access to quality online education for thousands of Arab youth across the region.
This came during a virtual signing ceremony today attended by Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of AGFE, and Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, President of AUB.
The programme will leverage learning technologies that respond to the rapidly evolving needs of regional and global employment markets.
In addition to launching a combination of at least 15 online Master's programmes, diplomas, and certificates in its first three years, the Abdulla Al Ghurair Hub for Digital Teaching and Learning will be structured to align with industry needs and to fill a gap in the regional higher education and online education market.
AGFE and AUB will pursue a two-pronged approach in which existing residential courses at MSFEA will simultaneously be digitised to enable improvements in the teaching and learning experience for students, at the same time new courses and programmes are being developed.
The Hub will also provide support to underserved students, enabling lifelong learning and skill development opportunities.
Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair said, "With today's unprecedented challenges in providing high-quality learning opportunities to Arab youth, we are delighted to collaborate with strategic regional partners such as AUB, to make quality online learning more accessible to a larger pool of young people. The future of online learning in the region will be further catalysed by initiatives such as these, and we are confident that more educational institutions will follow suit, to provide greater access to education across many more fields of study."
The Hub has already powered two new active online programmes: the immersive, flexible, and interactive Engineering Management Master's degree tailored for engineers and architects; as well as the Building Energy Systems graduate diploma that leverages renewable energy solutions which are increasingly demanded in this era of global warming.
Khuri, in turn, said, " We need to make learning in critical fields for the development of the Arab region, such as engineering and architecture, more accessible, more interactive, and more engaging. This partnership reflects the confidence of regional business leaders in the vision and growth of AUB that has one of the highest employer ratings in the region.
"We are upgrading the existing infrastructure to be more digital, adaptive, flexible and interactive and will serve as a regional leader in online learning for a greater positive social impact. We hope that this Hub will serve as a model to other institutions in the region who want to follow suit to cater to the growing population of youth in need of quality education."
AGFE and AUB's strategic relationship dates back to 2017 when AUB welcomed one of AGFE's first fully funded Al Ghurair STEM Scholars at the university. AGFE engaged in a two-year project to train many faculty and instructional designers to redesign introductory undergraduate blended courses. To date, over 1200 students have benefited from such courses.
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