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Policy Council #6: Building an Inclusive UAE Society

Policy Council #6: Building an Inclusive UAE Society

Published on: May 2016​
Author:
Genre: Knowledge and Policies Council|Policy Implementation​ Category: Social policy, Well-being and Happiness​
Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government took the initiative to launch the Policy Council, a round table dialogue program, to promote meaningful dialogues that will enrich shared knowledge within government entities. The Council also aims to highlight vital public topics and policies of high priority within the framework of the renown achievements realized by government entities in the UAE in various fields, positioning them locally, regionally, and globally as leaders within their specializations. 

The UAE Vision 2021 and the Dubai Plan 2021 have emphasized the participation of Emiratis in economic and social development. The UAE’s ambitious goal to become one of the world’s leading innovation and knowledge economies necessitates the participation of youth in the nation’s innovation and knowledge sectors. While the innovation sector is in need of professionals from all backgrounds, science, engineering, math and technology professionals make up its backbone. Beyond economic competitiveness, global warming, food and water shortages, and energy crisis have created a need for dedicated researchers and applied scientists able to work on long term solutions. The PISA (2012) study that was conducted in the UAE in 2012 assessed the math and science capabilities of 15 year olds in the UAE against their counterparts in other countries in the world. The UAE ranked 48th (out of 65) in mathematical literacy. In comparison to OECD countries, the UAE measured 60 points lower than the OECD average. Furthermore, enrollment in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) subjects in UAE universities is lower than in business and the humanities and social sciences. Roughly 21% of students in government universities and 19% of students in private universities are enrolled in STEM subjects. As the innovation and knowledge economy in the UAE grows, training young Emiratis for jobs in those sectors will be crucial for achieving sustainable youth inclusion in the long run. This MBRSG Policy Council brought together key relevant partners to examine the current state of Emirati participation and preparation for jobs in the innovation and knowledge sectors. The ultimate goal of this session was to discuss how young Emiratis can be prepared for jobs in the innovation economy through stronger STEM education and recruitment.

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