Education Quality, Emerging, Gainful Employment, International, Private education, Public education, Required, Technology, University & College - Written by on Tuesday, November 29, 2011 13:55 - 0 Comments

Heard: Online Colleges Face Same Concerns, Obstacles in UAE As USA

by :: Suwaif :: via Flickr under CreativeCommons

A report from the United Arab Emirates quotes from a recent panel of experts at the Dubai International Academic City Education Forum. They debated whether employers view online degrees as highly as traditional degrees and whether online education will succeed long-term in the Arab world. Sounds like they have the same issues in the UAE that online colleges have in the U.S. and elsewhere. Reporter Rania Moussly quote the panelists and writes:


“E-learning is not a second class citizen when compared to conventional education,” said Dr Mansour Al Awar, Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammad eUniversity. “E-learning is equal to conventional education I think and although that might not be apparent today, it will be in 20 years’ time.”

Dr Al Awar said the Hamdan Bin Mohammad eUniversity was the first e-learning institution to receive accreditation by the UAE’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR); however, it had not been an easy journey.”In 2006 the MOHESR didn’t allow us to deliver a blended model of virtual and face-to-face education for the first two years of a student’s study,” said Dr Al Awar. “Instruction had to be face-to-face, but from next year the requirement has been reduced to one year, and so the acceptance is a gradual transition that will take time.”



The panel agreed one of the biggest challenges facing online education in the UAE and the Arab region was it being accepted as a real education. “There is a reluctance to accept it amongst certain demographics,” said Raj Kapoor, Director of the University of Phoenix Dubai Service Centre. “Ministry accreditation for online universities is vital in this region and if not that, then at least some sort of recognition from DIAC or the Knowledge and Human Development Authority.



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