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UAE universities aim to empower 20,000 students under coding skills push

UAE universities aim to empower 20,000 students under coding skills push

Eight universities have joined the UAE’s National Programme for Coders to empower 20,000 students with coding skills as part of the first phase of partnerships. Following the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the National Programme for Coders will provide 500 training opportunities for undergraduates

Eight universities have joined the UAE’s National Programme for Coders to empower 20,000 students with coding skills as part of the first phase of partnerships.

Following the directives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the National Programme for Coders will provide 500 training opportunities for undergraduates in local, regional, and international companies in the UAE and abroad.

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The list of participating universities includes the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Khalifa University, Zayed University, University of Dubai, Abu Dhabi University (ADU), Mohammed bin Zayed University for Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), American University in Dubai (AUD) and the University of Sharjah (UoS).

The programme will also launch three digital libraries in collaboration with Amazon, Huawei and IBM to give undergraduates in the UAE the opportunity to learn how to use various programming applications and apply them practically, state news agency WAM reported on Wednesday.

The universities will launch special clubs for coders on their campuses, with the goal of refining their skills and providing them with the opportunity to participate in Hackathon competitions specialised in programming, both locally and globally.

In the next phase, these universities will also organise several training workshops and academic lectures with top experts and specialists from the UAE and abroad.

What the universities think?

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi (pictured below), Minister of Culture and Youth and president of Zayed University, said: “Coding has become a significant requirement for fresh graduates that may bolster a candidate’s employment opportunities. Through this strategic partnership, we will be able to equip ZU graduates and the youth in the UAE with the necessary skills that will provide with them a competitive edge in the employment market.”

Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Teleworking Applications, said that the launch of digital libraries represents a new step in activating the global public and private partnerships within the framework of the National Programme for Coders.

Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi, president and CEO of HCT, said that the launch of the programme represents a new forward-looking vision that believes in the capabilities of youth and their role in designing the future of the UAE. He added that it will accelerate local and global digital transformation, through utilising the creativity of young professionals and talents in the rapidly growing world of technology.

Dr Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, executive vice president of the Khalifa University, said: “Khalifa University seeks to participate in initiatives that aim to enhance the fundamentals of the UAE’s digital future, especially in the areas of aerospace, aviation, transportation, healthcare, economy, and research.

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“Through our partnership with the National Programme for Coders, we aim to design and develop products and solutions related to the digital system on a larger scale, utilising the successful records of the University in organising events and activities specialised in coding.”

Dr Humaid Majol Al Nuaimi, chancellor of the University of Sharjah, said that the programme establishes a strong digital economy considering the rapid daily technological acceleration, and enhances the UAE’s global leading position in various future investment fields, adding that it supports national initiatives and futuristic strategies of the UAE.

Professor Eric Xing (pictured below), president of MBZUAI, said: “As information technology and artificial intelligence are increasingly becoming the engine of the new economy, every country in the world needs to invest in building new workforce, in this case, computer ‘coders’, who innovate and produce software products fueling the engine.

“As the first graduate research AI University, MBZUAI is committed to become a major cradle for generating elite coders, and a hub for entrepreneurships where they can thrive and further grow and amplify… we are confident that MBZUAI will contribute to this vision by being an AI powerhouse that attracts and nurtures the best talents in computer programming.”

Dr Ali Saeed Bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, chairman of ADU, stressed that the National Programme for Coders embodies the leadership’s vision for the future and translates this vision to nurture talents and specialised cadres of coders around the world, which opens future prospects for them to contribute to the national and global economy and keep up with scientific and applied developments in the digital age and its future ambitions.

He expressed the pride of ADU’s participation in implementing this National Programme and employing the academic and applied expertise of its faculty and researchers.

Dr David A Schmidt, president of AUD, said: “The American University is honoured to be develop a partnership with The National Programme for Coders initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. AUD signed an MOU with the Artificial Intelligence Office to support the strategic goals of this important initiative and implement related projects. Planned collaborative activities include specialised courses and workshops in coding, reshaping our curricula for the digital economy, and directing our students to establish startups in the AI and Data Science fields.”

Dr Eesa Al Bastaki, president of the University of Dubai, said: “Dubai University will employ its technical programs in information security, artificial intelligence, and data science to support the realisation of the leadership’s vision of making the UAE one of the best countries in the world in various technological fields. Our university will continue its leadership in professional training in coding and software, offering global professional qualifications in coding, and building high-quality software capabilities in cooperation with its partners.”

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