His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the “Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Smart Learning” in the country’s higher education sector here on Sunday. Also present in the event were Lt. General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior; Shaikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Presidential Affairs; and Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research. The initiative will reach about 13,000 students in the foundation stages at the Zayed University, the Emirates University and the Higher Colleges of Technology. Shaikh Mohammed launched the programme at the Abu Dhabi Men’s College headquarters where he signed on iPad, a device that will be used by the students in the implementation of the programme. “Optimum use of technology in our universities and colleges will bring about a qualitative leap in the science and knowledge, which will build the capacities of our sons and daughters to address future challenges and start a new career path equipped with science and technology, that will open up new scopes for innovation and excellence and allow them contribute to building a knowledge-based civilised community,” Shaikh Mohammed said. “I’m proud of the excitement the students have shown towards smart learning and also glad at the commitment and loyalty they have made and this makes me assured of the success of the initiative and its introduction into our national universities, colleges and schools for the benefit of present and future generations and future of our beloved State.” The Vice-President added that the UAE has a rich pool of competent human resources to lead the higher academic institutions. “The UAE needs energies and minds of its children to realise further qualitative achievements in areas of science and technology,” he concluded. Vice-President of Education - Apple, John Couch, who came from California to attend the grand ceremony, described the initiative as “historic and the first of its kind in size and scope in the Middle East”. The ceremony was attended by other ministers, Lieutenant-General Misbah Rashid Al Fattan, Director of the Office of the Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in addition to a number of officials.