Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education in Dundee will receive 48 Arab Women students from both local and federal universities of UAE, such as The British University in Dubai, Zayed University, UAE University, Dubai Women’s College, Abu Dhabi University, American University of Sharjah and Arabic and Islamic Studies College in Dubai. The month long Academic Training Programme will be held from 9th February till 8th March and is titled “Multiculturalism and Leadership”. The program is under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance. It is designed to prepare the students in the key contemporary global issues of multiculturalism, leadership, cultural engagement and global awareness. Prof Abdullah Alshamsi, Vice-Chancellor of The British University in Dubai welcomed all the students and chaperons at an event hosted yesterday by The British University in Dubai to brief the students enrolling for the Academic Training programme. The event was also attended by Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of the office of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Board of Al-Maktoum College, Dr Hossein Godazgar, Acting Principal Al-Maktoum College, Colin Crabbe, Regional Manager Middle East, Scottish Development International, The British Embassy and representatives of other participating universities. During yesterday’s event, Prof Abdullah Alshamsi expressed great honor in hosting this event and contributing in a small way to the great efforts of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Patron of Al-Maktoum College in Scotland towards promoting a greater understanding of Islam and the role of Muslims in the contemporary world. Prof Abdullah Alshamsi said “Due to the Arab countries strategic geographical location; they are home to several different cultures and nationalities and it is only rational for us Arabs to develop Multiculturalism and Leaderships skills to ensure a peaceful co-existence”. I am sure my counterparts, students and parents present here today see this Academic Training Programme as a great commitment from the Rulers of Dubai to ensuring that the UAE and the wider Gulf provides a harmonious and secure environment for nurturing global communities.” He wished all the students the very best for their trip and advised them to be great role models for the countries they will be representing. The participating students can expect to gain experience in the broad field of the study of Islam and Muslim, within the unique framework of a new agenda, pioneered and developed by Al-Maktoum College. H E Mirza Al Sayegh , who has been a driving force in successfully running this winter programme since its initiation in 2008 also addressed the students and parents; he said “Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education, earlier called Al-Maktoum Institute has hosted a total of 541 students from the UAE (and Qatar) so far and with this new cohort of 48 students it will rise to 589. The primary aim of the academic training programme is to challenge and expand all participants’ intellectual skills and approaches, to prepare them with the knowledge and skills required for active leadership (social and academic) for the twenty-first century globalised world, and to help them develop their leadership skills for the particular career path that they may choose”. The program and its parallel summer programme aim to broaden the students understanding of different cultures, understand how each culture is different and yet similar and gain global perspective of Multiculturalism and Leadership skills through lectures, discussions, debates and workshops that promote interaction between people. Dr. Hossein Godazgar, Acting principal of Al-Maktoum College inDundee, who flew down from Dundee to address the students said “We very much look forward to welcoming the students to Dundee and to Scotland for the 2013 Academic Training Programme. This is the 15th such educational visit we have hosted. The programme we have devised for them is both educational and cultural -and we believe it will prove to be demanding, interesting and stimulating. It is carefully tailored to advance their overall learning and understanding of Scotland as well as the challenges of global dialogue and exchange. Students who have come before to Al-Maktoum College leave with fond memories and as ‘ambassadors’ for us when they return home. I hope this latest group will feel the same after their time with us.” Collin Crabbe, Regional Manager Middle East, Scottish Development International of The British embassy was also present to bid Farewell and also a warm “Welcome to Scotland” note to the new cohort of Academic Training Programme students. Ms Budoor Ali, student of BUiD’s M Sc in HR Management and an Alumna of Dundee Training Programme held last year also shared her experiences from the training and thanked Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education for helping her and many other students develop skills for effective leadership in the twenty-first century. One of Zayed University student Fatima Hasan Al Marzooqi selected for the ATP programme said “I feel very fortunate to be selected for this training programme. I hope to gain a better understanding of my strengths in leadership and multiculturalism and also gain new skills and knowledge. I expect to be a better team player and enhance my networking skills to exchange knowledge and skills. I hope to gain confidence in my abilities as a leader and positively represent Arab world through meaningful discussion and debates.” The students along with their chaperons will leave for Scotland by 1st week of February. The programme is structured around at least 60 hours of classroom time (and on occasions may be well in excess of this). Students are also expected to devote at least 20 hours of independent learning time during the programme. The medium of instruction of the programme is English. The programme will be assessed by the writing and submission of three extended pieces of work; i.e. Reports.The Graduation Ceremony for this training will be held on 4th March in Dundee, Scotland.