AGFE has been working in the online learning space since 2016 in response to a growing youth population in the region as well as an increased demand for innovative, flexible and independent learning.
Through the years, in the journey to promoting online and open learning approaches across the region, AGFE has explored high-quality, technology-based education solutions.
AGFE has mobilized relevant stakeholders, shaped policies that recognize e-learning and built the capacities of universities to offer accredited online programs to make higher education accessible to the most vulnerable, including women and refugees.
2016: Al Ghurair Micromasters Program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
AGFE partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to facilitate access of Arab youth to micro-credential programs. The Al Ghurair MicroMasters Scholarship Program served as a pilot program in the online learning space, with a focus on enhancing employability by providing 68 students from 13 countries with the opportunity to enrol in two programs: Supply Chain Management and Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP). The lessons learned have informed the design of AGFE’s Open Learning Scholars Program which was launched 2017
2017: AGFE’s Open Learning Scholars Program with Arizona State University (ASU)
AGFE’s collaboration with Arizona State University (ASU) has provided deeper insights into the online delivery of educational opportunities. The Open Learning Scholars Program (OLSP) which entailed engaging leading international institutions with online learning expertise and experience such as ASU, was an online learning milestone for AGFE. Ranked as the most innovative university in the United States (US News and World Report, 2018), ASU offers over 50 online master’s programs across a range of specializations including engineering, technology and health.
2017-2019: Blended Learning for Capacity Building in the Arab World with the American University of Beirut (AUB) and American University in Cairo (AUC)
AGFE has also collaborated with regional centers of academic excellence, the American University of Beirut (AUB) and American University in Cairo (AUC) as part of a two-year (2017-2019) regional capacity building project for online learning in collaboration with MIT. In keeping with the aim of promoting blended learning for capacity building in the Arab world, AGFE trained faculty and instructional designers at AUC and AUB to redesign introductory undergraduate courses, and offer online and blended learning courses in Biology, Computer Science and Mathematics. The courses have benefited approximately 1200 students.
2020: The University Consortium for Quality Online Learning (UCQOL)
While AGFE has had online learning programs in the pipeline for some years, Covid-19 heightened the sense of urgency for online education exploration opportunities.
UCQOL reflects AGFE’s commitment to providing inclusive, innovative, and wide-reaching education opportunities for Emirati and Arab students. Through strategic partnerships, UCQOL in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Education, will make online learning programs available to a larger pool of underserved students from the UAE and beyond. The Consortium, which is expected to scale up with more partner universities in the future, is already collaborating with nine of the country’s top universities: the American University of Dubai, American University of Sharjah, British University of Dubai, Khalifa University, New York University Abu Dhabi, UAE University, University of Dubai, University of Sharjah and Zayed University.
2021: Abdulla Al Ghurair Hub for Digital Teaching and Learning with the American University of Beirut (AUB)
The Abdulla Al Ghurair Hub for Digital Teaching and Learning was launched at AUB’s Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA) in 2021 to improve access to quality online education for thousands of Arab youth across the region. The pioneering initiative will leverage cutting-edge learning technologies that respond to the rapidly evolving needs of regional and global employment markets. In addition to launching a combination of at least 15 online master’s programs, diplomas, and certificates in its first 3 years, the Abdulla Al Ghurair Hub for Digital Teaching and Learning will fill a gap in the regional higher education and online education market. Existing residential courses will be digitized to enable improvements in the teaching and learning experience for students. At the same time new courses and programs are being developed. For more information about the partnership, please go to https://www.aub.edu.lb/msfea/online/Pages/default.aspx