• February 23, 2018
    Last updated 4 minutes ago

education

Al Maktoum College in Dundee: Lessons in diversity for global citizens

Al Maktoum College in Dundee helps develop global awareness and skills of Arab girls

Leslie Wilson JrRacing & Special Features Writer
18:35 September 2, 2017
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Al Maktoum College of Higher Education, Dundee, Scotland
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Dundee, Scotland: Tucked away in a quiet vicinity of the dynamic and ever-evolving Scottish city of Dundee, away from the hustle and bustle of the everyday noise, is the historic Al Maktoum College of Higher Education.

A registered charity, it is an expression of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance’s philanthropic leanings.

Shaikh Hamdan’s emphatic humanism has benefitted numerous charities around the world, but Al Maktoum College is the first and only one, dedicated to offering unique educational opportunities to Emirati girls and carefully chosen Arab students from around the world.

Since the college was launched in 2001 at a breath-taking century-old building, it has been synonymous for providing an outstanding education that is designed to create immense future career possibilities for rising graduates.

Formerly known as Al Maktoum Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies, the college currently offers postgraduate programmes in the study of Islam and Muslims in addition to promoting conversation between people and teaches problem-solving through dialogue and understanding. The college has also created an awards fund to support community organisations in Dundee and the surrounding areas.

Summer schools

One of the highlights of the academic year are the summer schools that the institution conducts in multiculturalism and leadership. The latest among those concluded earlier this month and attracted 61 female students from a number of UAE and international universities.

The programme gave young Emirati girls the chance to take college courses alongside students from the Faculty of Economics and Political Science at Cairo University and University of Malaya. “The four-week programme is designed to give students the richest possible academic and social experience and help them expand their ways of thinking,” explained Dr Hussain Godazgar, the College Principal.

“The programme was designed to train and educate students, through mainly the hidden curriculum and to some extent explicit curriculum. To teach them the opportunities and challenges of diversity and multiculturalism, and prepare them as potential future leaders in their country.

“The programme was organised and structured in accordance with four main themes of ‘Civilisational Dialogue’, ‘Multiculturalism and Scottish History’, ‘Leadership and Management’, and ‘Women and Leadership’.

The summer school programme also offered a glimpse into Al Maktoum College’s faculty-taught courses, warm and welcoming residential life, and the overall beauty of the campus, which boasts a full-fledged English and Arabic Library.

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Students who graduated from the 24th Summer School held at the Al Maktoum College in Dundee with Mirza Al Sayegh, Sulaiman Al Mazroui and College principal Dr. Hossein Godazgar. P.K. Majeed


Rich exposure

It also offered explicit teaching and learning embraced classes on globalisation, climate change, Muslim women and leadership challenges and opportunities, lessons on Scottish dance, drama and tourism and last, but not least, lectures on team work.

As part of their Scottish and English tours, the students visited the Dundee City Chambers, Edinburgh Castle, Kelvingrove Museum in Glasgow, Scottish Parliament, the Highlands and the Loch ness.


“You had classes on Christian faith, delivered at Ripon College in Oxford, and you also visited an old church in Cuddesdon,” Godazgar told the gathering during the graduation ceremony.

“You visited the very historical city of Oxford, which embraces the oldest university in the English-speaking world, Windsor Castle and the lovely town of Stratford upon Avon and the house of William Shakespeare, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English-speaking world. You have also actively participated in tutorial discussions 
by answering important questions and offering thoughtful comments and summarising tutorials,” he said.

“Through this summer school programme, I hope and I am sure you have learned to not be afraid of change for the better. Through acquiring new skills and abilities, you have learned how to develop yourself as an independent and autonomous individual and as a future leader,” he said.

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Students who graduated from the 24th Summer School held at the Al Maktoum College in Dundee with Mirza Al Sayegh, Sulaiman Al Mazroui and College principal Dr. Hossein Godazgar. P.K. Majeed


New outlook

“You have developed a new outlook on life, diverse cultures and the challenges, and opportunities that you face. And you have established new friendships and gained further social capital,” added Godazgar.

“I would also like to say ‘thank you’ to our patron, Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose vision and continuing support has made the establishment of this college and all its successes, including the success of this summer school, possible.”

Mirza Al Sayegh, Director of Shaikh Hamdan’s Office and Chairman of Al Maktoum College, said he was proud to be associated with such a dynamic institution that was made possible through the excellent collaboration between universities and colleges from the UAE and around the world.

He pointed out that, in an ever-globalised world, the links between education institutes based on knowledge, understanding and clear thinking, were of continuing importance and urgency.

“Over the years, many students have told me that their trip to Dundee, and the UK, totally changed them and transformed their personalities,” he said,

“Since the first summer school in 2003, we have graduated over 1,000 students. The immense valuse of what Al Maktoum College has to offer female students remains strong.

“This makes them a success story that pleases not only Shaikh Hamdan but also all of us involved at Al Maktoum College.

“Your commitment, expertise, help, guidance and co-operation has proved invaluable,” he said in his address. “In evolutionary terms, we call for multiple members of our community who learn best by listening, corresponding with others and observing different peoples,” Al Sayegh pointed out.

“I encourage you to realise your vision and your potential along whatever creative career path you each choose to follow. I hope this is just the beginning of a new life and wish you only the very best in your endeavours.”

What they have to say


Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Finance

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum"I feel extremely happy and comfortable when I help fill the heart of a deprived individual with joy and happiness in building a school for those who couldn’t get education or constructing a Masjid to the faithful who couldn’t raise enough funds to build their own house of worship.”

Mirza Al Sayegh, Chairman,  Al Maktoum College Board

Mirza Al Sayegh, Chairman, Al Maktoum College Board“In an ever-globalised world, the links between universities... are of continuing importance and urgency. The immense valuse of what Al Maktoum College has to offer female students remains strong. This makes them a success story that pleases not only Shaikh Hamdan but also all of us involved at  Al Maktoum College.”

Dr Hussain Godazgar, Principal of Al Maktoum College

“At the Al Maktoum College we work to build bridges between communities. We strive to create connections across the world and provide a meeting point between the ’western’ and Muslim worlds of learning to forge and foster meaningful links, scholarship and academic co-operation.”