The President of Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), a Strategic Advance HE Member in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dr. Abdullatif Muhammad Al Shamsi, has been awarded Principal Fellowship.
Principal Fellowship is one of four categories of the Advance HE Fellowship scheme that recognises an individual’s commitment to learning and teaching against the criteria of the internationally recognised Professional Standards Framework.
Principal Fellowship recognises ‘a highly experienced professional, able to provide evidence of a sustained and effective record of impact at a strategic level in relation to teaching and learning, as part of a wider commitment to academic practice.’ Dr. Abdullatif, who is a mechanical engineer by background, is the first Emirati in the country to achieve Principal Fellowship.
Congratulating Dr Abdullatif, Alison Johns, Chief Executive of Advance HE, said, "Principal Fellowship is an outstanding achievement and recognises your commitment and contribution to student learning, as well as the positive influence you have with your colleagues as a strategic leader in teaching. It is wonderful to see you leading by example in this way.”
Dr Abdullatif, said, “I am very proud to have been awarded Principal Fellowship. The process entails deep reflection on approaches to teaching, and in the case of Principal Fellowship that’s about strategic leadership and dynamic approach and continuous improvement across the institution’s teaching offer. And this later point is why our work to embed the PSF and Fellowship is so important at HCT at all levels of experience in teaching, so that we are constantly thinking about improvement and striving to offer the very best learning experience for our students.
“We have been delighted to be in a strategic partnership with Advance HE since 2016, enabling HCT to take higher education to the next level of transformative leadership, as well as in management, teaching and learning, equality, diversity and inclusion, and effective governance. What we are striving for in academic excellence through our partnership with Advance HE reflects HCT's dedicated commitment to, and alignment with, the initiatives of the UAE's Government Excellence Model. Such a visionary philosophy will enhance services by government institutions by embedding transformative thinking, adopting innovative practices and embracing continuous learning and improvement.”
“We look forward to continuing our partnership with Advance HE. From a personal perspective I hope my Principal Fellowship will inspire other academics to pursue this rich, reflective and unique experience of excellence.”
HCT currently has two Advance HE accredited programmes, the Teaching Skills Enhancement Certificate (TSEC) and the Teaching Excellence Certificate (TEC) which allows HCT to confer Associate Fellowship and Fellowship, respectively. There are now nearly 250 staff that have achieved Fellowship at HCT, across all four categories.
With 16 campuses throughout the UAE, all HCT’s programmes are designed in consultation with business and industry leaders, and incorporate principles of Innovation and Entrepreneurship to ensure HCT students’ skills are up-to-date and to the highest standards. Dr. Abdullatif has been instrumental in leading HCT’s 4.0 strategic plan, which is strongly aligned to the goals of the National Employment Strategy 2031, and which was launched in March 2019 with the theme of ‘Employability and Beyond’. This incorporates a teaching and learning strategy designed to equip UAE’s National workforce with future skills required in the evolving labour market, and provide them with both academic qualifications and internationally-recognized professional certifications.
Fellowship demonstrates a personal and institutional commitment to professionalism in learning and teaching in higher education. Across four categories, from Associate to Principal, Fellowship provides individuals with recognition of their practice, impact and leadership of teaching and learning.