Higher Colleges of Technology become HEA strategic partner

31 January 2017

UAE-based Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), a community of more than 23,000 students and 2,000 staff based on 17 technology-enhanced campuses, is becoming a strategic partner of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), in preparation for submitting an application for HEA accreditation later this year. 

The partnership was formally signed by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi, and the Chief Executive of the HEA, Professor Stephanie Marshall, at a ceremony in London yesterday. The two organisations were delighted that the UAE Minster of State for Higher Education, His Excellency Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, was also in attendance.

This new relationship builds on the previous HEA work with HCT to prepare for the accreditation of Colleges’ Teaching Skills Enhancement Programme (TSEP), which was aimed at young Emirati academic teachers many of whom were recruited from industry into teaching. 

The new accreditation process is also aimed at Emirati staff as HCT seeks to further develop in-country capability and capacity.  The HEA will work closely with staff at HCT’s Academy for Developing Emirati Faculty (HADEF) with the goal to have the new HEA accredited course from February 2018.  Successful participants of the course will become Associate Fellows of the HEA.

Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi said, “We are very pleased be taking this work forward in a strategic partnership with the HEA.  Teaching quality is core to our offer at HCT and the accreditation of our staff development programme is a key building block in maintaining and enhancing our reputation as a great place for students to study.”

Professor Stephanie Marshall said, “I am delighted to welcome HCT as a strategic partner.  Accrediting continuous professional development, aligned to the Professional Standards Framework (PSF), is a vital step in sustaining and improving teaching. We know that staff who reflect on and develop their practice are very well-placed to help students towards successful outcomes.  I’m confident we will achieve this while meeting the HCT’s need to specifically develop Emirati teaching staff.”

HCT already has 36 Associate Fellows and three HEA Fellows on its staff, with some now preparing to apply for Senior Fellowship.

About the Higher Colleges of Technology 

Founded in 1988 with four colleges, the Higher Colleges of Technology have grown to be the largest of the higher educational institutions in the UAE, gaining a well-respected reputation for innovative learning. Over 23,000 students attend 17 modern, technology-oriented men's and women's campuses throughout the UAE. HCT offers a wide range of English-taught programmes in the fields of Applied Communications, Business, Computer Information Science, Education & General Studies, Engineering Technology & Science, Foundations, Health Sciences and Arabic & Emirati Studies. These programmes are all relevant to the UAE’s fast growing economy and are designed in consultation with business and industry leaders to ensure that HCT students’ skills are job-relevant and to the highest standards. The programmes are constantly monitored to ensure they are at the cutting edge of industry standards and technological change. Visit


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