Kristian Rumble, Advance HE’s International Partnership Manager, summarises the discussions and themes of Abu Dhabi’s Employability Strategy showcase and the Times Higher Asia Summit.
The launch of Abu Dhabi’s Employability Strategy signalled a real intent to improve graduate outcomes. In partnership with Advance HE’s Employability expert and senior adviser, Stuart Norton, the occasion was marked with a showcase attended by representatives from universities across the region.
The event provided an excellent opportunity for attendees to learn and understand how Abu Dhabi University collaborated with Advance HE to develop an innovative, high impact employability strategy, outlining the practical steps to embedding employability within the curriculum, whilst also developing co-curricular and extra-curricular activity, with the ultimate aim being to enhance student satisfaction and improve graduate outcomes.
In his keynote presentation Advance HE’s Senior Adviser Stuart Norton spoke superbly, articulating how the work that had taken place behind the scenes, to develop a strategic and coherent approach that places students at the heart of the university, would ensure students develop and acquire a set of attributes that upon graduation will enable them to compete within the global graduate labour market whilst also breeding confidence, empowering them to manage their careers over a lifetime.
Stuart, key collaborator and author of the strategy, commented:
Whilst nearly all sectors are driven by technology in some shape or form, the pace of change and disruption means that there has never been a more urgent need for universities to ensure that their graduates can be adaptable and flexible to this changing world, ensuring that they are preparing for their futures in the best way possible and able to engage with lifelong learning.
Stuart makes the point that whilst providing a suite of employability activity outside programmes, it is what takes place in the ‘classroom’ that really matters.
The research and evidence regarding employability points towards the most gains being achieved when it is embedded within learning and teaching. It is for this reason that this priority is critical and is developed and driven forward as a collective part of the strategy.
The showcase coincided with the week-long Times Higher Asia Summit, held at Khalifa University, and which culminated in an awards gala dinner at the Emirates Palace, celebrating outstanding achievements across a range of categories including Learning & Teaching Strategy of the Year, which was sponsored by Advance HE.
Philip Johnson, Advance HE’s Assistant Director UK, was welcomed onto the stage to formally present the winners with their award.
The Summit provided us with a great platform to further reinforce our position as the consultancy of choice for Universities around the globe striving to make advancements in HE across L&T, leadership and management and EDI.