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DUBAI : Jan 14, 2020

HCT & Oracle Partner To Train Students in AI & Emerging Technologies

DUBAI: January 14, 2020: The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), the UAE’s largest applied higher education institution, will partner with Oracle in a ground-breaking initiative, to educate and train students in the field of Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) and emerging technologies, after a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by the parties.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President & CEO in the presence of Dr. Mohammed Baka, CEO of the Centre of Applied Research and Training (CERT), Mr. Arun Khehar, Senior Vice President – Business Applications, Middle East, Africa and India, and Mr. Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Senior Vice President, Technology for ORACLE in the Middle East and Africa.

Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, HCT President and CEO, said the agreement aims to enhance cooperation with Oracle, which is at the forefront of AI and emerging technologies, and complements previous, successful MoUs between HCT/CERT and Oracle which saw 500 Emirati students across HCT campuses trained in emerging technologies including AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT).

He added that Oracle will become a Technology Partner for the “AI Skills Academy” and impart training to government sector employees in innovation technologies, as well as facilitate boot camps for 1,000 HCT students during the term of the agreement.

Dr. Al Shamsi affirmed HCT’s keenness to benefit from Oracle’s support in this strategic AI Skills Academy initiative, which he said is aimed at advancing the UAE’s digital transformation strategies and creating innovative work environments, in line with the UAE Artificial Intelligence strategy and the UAE Centennial 2071.

He explained that this agreement contributes to the implementation and achievement of the HCT 4.0 strategic plan, as one of its key pillars aims to provide “Education for All”, by establishing Sector Skills Academies that suit students’ interests and capabilities, including the AI Skills Academy. “The AI Skills Academy will equip students with advanced skills and qualify them to cope with the changing job requirements in the labor market,” Dr. Al Shamsi said.

As part of the agreement students will also receive training on key solutions and technologies, in addition to Blockchain and the Internet of Things, in line with the HCT endeavors to empower “Technical Leaders” and “Graduating Companies”.

Dr. Mohammed Baka, CEO of the Centre of Applied Research and Training (CERT) - the commercial and training arm of HCT - said he was pleased with the collaboration, which will significantly contribute to the advancement of digital transformation strategies, by implementing innovative technologies relevant to the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Dr. Baka added that the agreement is strongly aligned to CERT’s extensive experience in the field of educational training and AI, its technology-oriented partnerships with several government entities, as well as its adoption of international best practices and programs.

“The digital economy is here and it is imperative to start training our next gen workforce in latest cloud technologies for them to succeed in a hyper connected environment”, said Abdul Rahman Al Thehaiban, Senior Vice President, Technology – MEA and CEE. “At Oracle, we are committed to support the UAE Government achieve its strategic socio-economic vision with latest cloud led digital technologies. Oracle has already trained 500 Emirati students across HCT campuses and with this initiative we are now extending our learning program to the UAE Government employees for supporting the country’s e-governance vision.”

About the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT)

Founded in 1988, the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) is the UAE’s largest applied higher educational institution, gaining a well-respected reputation for innovative education practices and job-focused experiential learning. Approximately 23,000 students attend 16 modern, technology-oriented men's and women's campuses throughout the UAE. HCT offers over 70 academic programs in Applied Media, Business, Computer Information Science, Education, Engineering Technology & Science and Health Sciences.

These programs are all designed in consultation with business and industry leaders, and incorporate principles of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to ensure HCT students’ skills are up-to-date and to the highest standards. The HCT courses are a hybrid blend of innovative, technology-driven academic studies and work-relevant programs, ensuring that HCT graduates have the necessary 21st century skills to make positive and lasting contributions to society in the 4th Industrial Revolution.

The HCT 4.0 strategic plan, which is strongly aligned to the goals of the National Employment Strategy 2031, was launched in March 2019 with the theme of Employability and Beyond, and consists of three pillars - “Technical Leaders”, “No Emirati Left Behind” and “Graduate Companies”. HCT 4.0 will equip UAE’s National workforce with future skills required in the labor market, so as to meet national goals. It will also empower graduates and employees to be familiar with technological updates and enhance their skills, so as to keep pace with accelerating job changes dictated by the 4th Industrial Revolution and the rapid development of Artificial Intelligence skills.

HCT is a vital contributor to the national agendas, including providing education opportunities to every male and female Emirati and also being announced as a free zone, under the UAE’s Fifty Year Charter”, which stipulates that UAE public and private universities will be announced as free zones that allow students to carry out business and creative activities. In addition, the HCT is prominent in its role as a federal institution by promoting applied research opportunities to faculty and students. The HCT has also embraced a global perspective on applied education by establishing the Global Applied Education Network (GAEN), which sees it partner with global educational institutions.