School-University Collaboration Can Benefit the UAE’s Education Sector

Successful partnerships strengthen the education ecosystem, thus providing better opportunities for both students and teachers. 

“Collaboration helps us to know more than we are capable of knowing by ourselves” – Paul Solarz 

One universal question that educators ponder across the world is, “How can schools and universities come together to address educational issues?” If we look into the traditional educational system, we can find that schools and universities have worked as separate entities and lived isolated lives. However, current educational initiatives emphasize the importance of collaboration. Collaboration plays a major role in enhancing the education system. 

Education has always been the keen focus of every nation. The UAE is one such country that has always prioritized education. Over the years, UAE’s education industry has grown in leaps and bounds and seen continuous improvement. The nation has witnessed a rise in the adult literacy rate from 45 percent in 1975 to 95 percent today for both genders. This massive change is commendable, given that the UAE’s education system is relatively new compared to that of other countries of the world. 

The UAE education market is expected to rise from $4.4bn in 2017 to $7.1bn by 2023, states a recent report. Moreover, the Ministry of Education (MoE’s) Education 2020 is designed to achieve huge qualitative improvement in the education framework, particularly in the manner in which teachers instruct and students learn. There are several ways to meet this strategy. However, one of the most effective ways is via collaborating with educational institutions. 

The advantages of a collaborative work environment are many. While collaboration merely meant the transition between schools to universities, today’s collaboration goes beyond this area in several other ways. Let’s understand how collaborative efforts among schools and universities can boost the education sector:

Enhance students’ learning opportunities – When schools team up with colleges, it unveils a completely new door for students. The most obvious one has more ready students for advanced education. It gives students a broader perspective, a world beyond just school, an opportunity to be inquisitive and explore new educational and career opportunities. Simultaneously, such associations can likewise help the school with its high-school student enrolment efforts. 

Enable brainstorming of new ideas – Thinking alone and thinking together can make a lot of difference. Brainstorming develops the seed of imagination. Peer-to-peer collaboration brings tremendous benefit by turning a small idea into something amazing. 

Implement best practices – Across all businesses, sharing best practices is an astounding method to improve execution and efficiency. The education sector is no different, and school-college associations can incredibly improve learning and teaching results. A few instances of best practices are collaborative teaching activities and joint professional advancement, which can bring about better-prepared teachers entering the workforce, thus bringing about improved learning results. 

Professional growth – Student achievement has long been attributed to the quality of teaching, and classroom teachers frequently advantage from professional development opportunities because of school and college partnerships. These could incorporate workshops and training, which will enable exposure to new strategies and teaching methodology. Understanding the expectations of instructors or networking can also help in mutual benefits.  

Universities provide students with the cutting-edge skills to stay ahead in progressively global work environments and are social mobility experts. Universities can largely impact society. They can achieve an enormous effect on the general public, and working in close contact with schools can guarantee that a solid beginning is made. 

Similarly, such partnerships prepare university scholars for the new students every year, thereby enabling each one to march a step ahead of the previous batch, consequently bringing about a possible interaction between the two. 

An illustration of such a school-college association is the memorandum of understanding endorsed by Heriot-Watt University with Taaleem Education, which gives private K-12 English language training in the UAE. The agreement is focused on opening common educational opportunities for teachers and students in the following three years.

Under the MoU, Heriot-Watt University will furnish Taaleem staff and students with guest speaker opportunities, arrange faculty development workshop for experienced teachers, personnel improvement workshops for proficient staff, give work experience or internship opportunities to Taaleem students for about fourteen days every year and assign a designated admission team member to help Taaleem students applications and enrolment.

Anosua Chakraborty
A writer and a life-long learner are what describe Anosua the best. She holds immense educational experience with her Mass Communication (M.A) degree and ongoing PhD in Media & Communication. Professionally, Anosua has 5 years of experience in curating and strategizing corporate and academic content, which is the result of her passion for writing and creativity. Her expertise as a writer includes copywriting, content designing, content strategy, and developing e-learning modules & course curriculum.

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