Under the Patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the ECSSR Hosts Gulf Education Conference & Exhibition

  • 18 - 19 March 2015

Under the Patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan,
the ECSSR Hosts Gulf Education Conference & Exhibition

Under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR) hosted the 5th Gulf Education Conference & Exhibition from 18-19 March 2015. Several senior officials belonging to ministries of education and scientific research from Arab and Gulf countries and representatives of education sector in nearly 83 countries attended the event held at the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Hall, ECSSR headquarters, in Abu Dhabi.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan inaugurated the conference and delivered a keynote speech in which he expressed the UAE’s readiness to provide constant support for regional and international efforts to further human development, especially in the education sector. He said that education is the primary pillar on which all sustainable and human development processes are based and that it safeguards the nation’s culture. Experience gathered by the UAE over the years demonstrates that investment in education is the best investment into human resource.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said that since its establishment the UAE has put education sector at the top of its priorities of development and investment as it is the most effective way to prepare qualified, good and active citizens. He quoted the Founder of the UAE, the Late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan (may God bless his soul), who once said that educating people is a great wealth that we cherish; education is a wealth as we build the future in a scientific manner. There are many such statements in this regard such as the following: “Education is like a lantern that lights up your way in a dark alley and the success of any community in building a future depends on successful education.”

H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan stated that the UAE’s wise leadership – under President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may God protect him) – has made education advanced by legislating empowerment strategy in this vital sector. The UAE is committed toward meaningful and responsible education, to safeguard national identity and noble and humanitarian values of community, and to encourage research, innovation and sustainable development, he said.

His Excellency emphasized the importance of this sector and the need to build partnerships between educational institutions to accommodate changing methods, labor market requirements, and technological developments. He also said that the objectives of technical education are always changing, which indicates the importance of continuing education and the regional and international exchange of expertise and experiences. He also stressed the need to adopt scientific methods that instill culture of respect and understanding of different cultures, learning of their positive aspects, promotion of the spirit of sharing, the pursuit of peaceful coexistence, and harmony among students. He also said that there is a mutual relationship between education and cultural development as successful education reflects culture and its values.

H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan said that the UAE pays significant attention to education sector and considers it one of the priorities of sustainable human development programs as we are passing through an era of educational excellence, which requires initiatives, innovation and achievement. His Excellency said that the UAE is working to enable a successful and advanced education system. He said that for these reasons the UAE has been, and continues to be, a pioneer in providing financial and technical support toward strengthening integration between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in sustainable development, humanitarian efforts and investment in human resource.

Among the most prominent participants in the conference were His Excellency Dr. Jamal Sanad Al-Suwaidi, Director General of the ECSSR, Lord David Triesman, House of Lords, UK, Prof. Tawfik Al Khoja, Director-General of the Executive Board of the GCC Health Ministers Council, Dr. Sultan Abu Orabi, Secretary General, Association of Arab Universities, and Prof. Rifaat Faouri, Director General of the Arab Organization for Administrative Development.

Organizers of the event chose the UAE and the ECSSR as the venue of the fifth edition of the conference (2015) for the first time after all previous editions had been organized in European countries. They praised the great support provided by the ECSSR, Abu Dhabi Education Council, Abu Dhabi Tawteen Council (ADTC), Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute (ADVETI), Dubai Healthcare City, the American University in the Emirates, British University in Dubai and other regional institutions and organizations.

During the two days of the conference, a number of key issues were discussed including vocational education as a fundamental pillar of technical progress, areas of exchange of scientific and professional experiences between stakeholders in the education sector in the Gulf and Arab region and their counterparts in European countries. Best practices in vocational education were also discussed for achieving positive results elevating the status of this form of education in the region, which is needed desperately. The conference also provided opportunities for building scientific partnerships on Gulf and global levels as well as to strengthen cooperation in research and application of strategies, or investment in the potential of the students.

The ECSSR hosting the 5th Gulf Education Conference & Exhibition was within the framework of its main objectives, which are community services, enhancing integration between GCC institutions, dissemination of culture of knowledge, supporting decision-making on vital issues, including education. These are areas of interest for the UAE in particular as it has become a gateway to the advancement of nations.