UOWD doctoral students meet experts
Dubai, February 12, 2011
Doctoral students of University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) recently organised a roundtable with experts from the UAE industry and government sector to obtain feedback on their research.
The initiative was conducted by first cohort of doctoral students who began their Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programmes at UOWD in November 2010.
The students interacted with the experts whose core message was to engage in ‘applied research’ that is contextualized to local conditions and to select their research topic early in their doctoral journey.
The event also discussed ways of motivating the industry to collaborate in order to make research locally relevant.
Professor Ken Wilson, director of National Research Foundation, stressed the need for a strong peer group, and urged the students not to lose sight of the question. “In applied research, you need to first identify the question that needs an answer,” he added.
Prof Rob Whelan, president of UOWD, said that the launch of doctoral programme was a landmark not only in the history of UOWD but also for the higher education system in the UAE.
He identified three elements that would help research activity thrive: accessibility to data, identification of strategic research direction at the very start and building fruitful relationships between students, faculty and industry/government sectors.
Prof Mohamed Khalifa, vice president academic, UOWD, said: “The objective of the Roundtable was to enhance interaction between students and the community as part of a four-way partnership between students, academic staff, industry and government.”
“This interaction will contribute to enhancing relevance and applicability of research to the needs of the UAE. We plan to organise such events on a regular basis to open communication channels with all stakeholders.”
Nearly 70 per cent of the first cohort of doctoral students is Emiratis, most of whom are holding key positions in the public sector, said a statement.
They are keen to do their doctorate here in the UAE because they can research a locally relevant topic while keeping their job, and without the need to go abroad for research studies, it added.
Youssra Kaddoura, a doctoral student who has chosen the topic 'cross-cultural effect on performance' said: “The roundtable enabled us to understand that the academic world cannot be isolated from the real world.”
“The university's assurance to forge close links with the industry was also encouraging because this will enable us to gain access to information and thus make our thesis more relevant and practical.”
Ahmed Saeed Al Nayeli, manager at Tawazun, an Offset Group company, said: “It is great to do a doctoral programme while working full time in the UAE.”
“This interaction with industry and government officials will assist me in fine-tuning my research topic with a focus on local needs,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service