Professional investors in the UAE highlighted a disparity between the investment trends available in the emirate and the contemporary curriculum offered by universities and specialised colleges, especially investment related studies which are not matching the current market requirements nor meeting the development aspirations of UAE.
Professional investors who are raising these concerns pointed to a lack of coordination between the outcomes of studies conducted and the actual needs of multiple investment sectors in the nation. The most significant concern occurs when investors seek to build upon their outcomes by pushing investments forward. This coordination gap urges the investors to seek the assistance of foreign experts who can actualise reliable results in multiple fields; therefore, burdening the sector with the activity of sourcing current academic studies not to mention the inefficiency of these academic studies in terms of their cost and non-realistic impacts effecting investment fields.
These results were announced as part of a group of studies and recommendations publicised on the side-lines of the Fifth International Arab Conference on Quality Assurance in Higher Education, held under the patronage of H. H. Sheikh, Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Chairman of Sharjah University. In cooperation with the General Secretariat of Quality Assurance in Higher Education and the Arab Universities Union; Sharjah University held the Conference which many academics, scholars in national and Arab universities and public VIPS took part in launching.
Dr. Ahmed Samerai, Chairman of the SAHARA Group and one of the sponsors of the Conference said in this regard: "The lack of coordination between the private sector and the universities is affecting the likelihood of academic studies meeting the aspirations of the investment sector. This has created a gap in terms of mutual cooperation, a major factor that both parties require so they can achieve their common goals. I also believe universities need to exert additional efforts to communicate their point of view with the private sector more effectively so they too can achieve their own goals, promote their names and enhance the reputation of specialised researchers in varied intellectual areas."
Al-Samerai elaborated: "There is no doubt that holding this conference provides an appropriate opportunity to integrate the different studies conducted by many universities and colleges with Arab qualifications in the UAE on the one side, with the multiple investment requirements of scientific support on the other side; so that investment objectives sought may be actualised. Great preparation was undertaken to hold this conference which resulted in selecting 148 studies out of 337 received from 26 countries. The next step is to enforce more coordination as we seek to put the investment process on solid ground and lead the future resting on Arab and local academic throughput."
Several thorough discussions were raised in the Conference especially in terms of the mutual exchanges between Arab and foreign experiences of benefit to both the investment and academic sectors. The leading topics debated in the conference were: the Philosophy and Value Frameworks of Quality and Excellence, the Mechanisms followed to enforce Quality Assurance in Higher Education and Quality Management in Higher Education. Other themes that were raised in the discussions that attracted attention from the audience included Planning and Economic Dimensions of Quality, Assessment Models in Quality Assurance in Higher Education and University Rankings. As such, significant impacts and recommendations are awaited from this conference.