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27 February 2017
​MBRSG’s UAE Public Policy Forum to Discuss the Future of Education Policy

For Info about the conference:

The Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) has announced the launch of a new global discussion platform dedicated to enhancing government sector output in the UAE. The UAE Public Policy Forum, as it has been named, will contribute to drafting proposals and formulating policies by opening the doors for scientific discussion between government leaders, the academic elite, and experts from all over the world. The main importance of this forum is to aid governments and decision-makers in the UAE and the wider region in formulating public policies in all areas – policies characterised by a dynamism capable of bringing about a renaissance.

The first session of this forum, held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, is assigned to discussing pressing education issues on March 12 and 13 at Dubai World Trade Centre. In summary, the session addresses "the future direction of education policies" and touches on a number of key issues related to the development of the education system. It aimes to produce recommendations that would serve the educational scene in the UAE and the wider region. 

Commenting on the launch of this new global platform, His Excellency Humaid Mohammed Al Qatami, Chairman of the MBRSG Board of Trustees, said: "considering our understanding that the world is changing at a rapid pace and our need to keep pace with these changes and possibly even foresee them - in accordance with the directives of our government - it is imperative that we find common ground, which gathers local, regional and international expertise to formulate and implement public policies – policies that lead to building the societies of the future in the economic, social and technical sense. In this context, the UAE Public Policy Forum was launched as a scientific platform gathering the global elite from various fields and giving them the opportunity to create and innovate positive, influential and effective policies, which will lead to qualitative excellence in various fields and at various levels, not only for the UAE but for the region as a whole."

It should be noted that this announcement was made during a press conference held by MBRSG at its headquarters located at the Dubai World Trade Centre’s Convention Tower. In turn, His Excellency Dr. Ali Sebaa Al Marri, CEO of MBRSG, reiterated that the importance of this forum stems from the fact that it comes in the context of shaping policy in our region at various levels and in various fields, such as to achieve future foresight and thereafter formulate appropriate occupational rules for the coming period.

His Excellency Dr. Ali Sebaa Al Marri pointed out that choosing the topic of education as the first to be discussed by the Forum confirms the fact that education is of the highest importance in developing mature individuals and communities to lead our future. H.E. stressed that the discussions, which will be based on leading academic research, data and statistics, will be led by a group of capable parties, including the most prominent specialists from high calibre local and international institutions and research centres such as the University of Oxford, the National University of Singapore and the University of Sydney, as well as a number of public and private education industry leaders.

Dr. Racquel Warner, Assistant Professor at MBRSG, said during the press conference: “One of the most important objectives of this forum is to serve as an ideal platform for experts and decision-makers to discuss and exchange expertise on areas related to education on a local and a regional level. The forum will also help activate necessary policies that are capable of reforming the educational system in the UAE to cope with future disruptions. It will focus on ways to empower future generations and equip them with the skills required for innovation to become a main pillar of the working culture.

Observers believe that the outcomes of the UAE Public Policy Forum’s first session held under the slogan "The Future Direction of Education Policies" would constitute a dependable reference when shaping future educational policies which would build on the educational system’s strengths and help alleviate complex policy challenges.

This vision was enhanced by the Forum securing a range of partnerships whose purpose would be to implement policies once they are issued. Most notable among these are the partnerships with Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for the Distinguished Academic Performance and the Ministry of Education, along with the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority, and United Nation Development  Programme, National Archives, Cambridge Education, GEMS Education. These partnerships will provide a comprehensive knowledge base as regards the current state of education and the prospects for future improvement, and will help mobilize a collective effort to develop effective public educational policies, which create a sustainable education system and position the UAE as an international destination in the education sector.

In order for the Forum to be effective, discussions were subdivided into 6 categories of paramount importance to the education sector. These included addressing the need for public and private sector cooperation to achieve the great leap forward required to produce a highly-refined education system.

Building teaching capabilities is a top priority and was an important discussion point. Experts were required to lay solid foundations for the development of these capabilities (with a focus on quality over quantity) and to prioritise equipping people with the tools necessary to stand out as influential professionals. In this regard, global standards of excellence cannot be overlooked. These are the basic ingredients of any successful education system and are to be strongly emphasised during the Forum’s discussions. Attention to these standards was partly responsible for the huge leap in the number of graduates produced by the UAE, as emphasized by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai during his speech to the World Government Summit a few days ago when he said: "we only had 40 university graduates when the Union was established and today, we have 77 universities in the UAE from which tens of thousands of students have graduated."

Technology and innovation remain the most important contributors to the advancement of any sustainable education system, and it’s for this reason that the Forum’s discussion agenda paid particular attention to foreseeing trends and changes in the education sector. The sixth and final discussion point was the effectiveness of reforms in education – such reforms will need legislation and periodic review to stay up to date, and will need to be given great momentum.

An award consisting of three categories has been announced to encourage participation in the achievement of the Forum’s objectives. These categories are: Best Case Study, Best Worksheet, and the Best Bulletin (scientific poster).

Among other events, the Forum will host the Education Fair, which will focus on looking at the bigger picture when it comes to education. The fair will attempt to foresee future needs and will influence the production of public education policy. At present, The Education Museum will record and display the evolution of the education system as it passes through these growth stages. The forum will also feature a wall of infographics portraying pivotal moments in this journey in the form of numbers and statistics.

Participation in the Forum so far has amounted to 16 academic papers and case studies, in addition to 15 scientific bulletin addresses. These will lay the foundations for efficient and effective public education  policies which will achieve the main objective of this global forum, namely, to improve the current state of the region's societies, guiding them towards the future by means of quality education.

The forum will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre’s Sheikh Maktoum Hall from March 12 to 13. Those wishing to participate can register at the forum’s website
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