The Australian College of Kuwait (ACK) represented by the President, Prof. Isam Zabalawi, and the Kuwait Business Council in Dubai and Northern Emirates (KBC) represented by the Acting Chairman, Engineer Feras Al-Salem, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to broaden and further cooperation between both parties. The signing ceremony took place at ACK’s campus on Tuesday, October 12th, 2021.
On this occasion, ACK has officially joined KBC as an active corporate member in hopes of strengthening cohesion and collaboration between the two institutions. This agreement will benefit ACK at expanding its scope of services for the benefit of its current students and alumni.
With this significant decision, both parties will receive the opportunity to participate in mutually coordinated educational and service activities where the utmost support, coordination and expertise will be exchanged between the two. The agreement with KBC will bolster ACK’s Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center to provide greater opportunities for the coming generations in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship
KBC was established in May 2016 under the umbrella of the Dubai Chamber as an independent non-profit organization. Operating in Dubai and the North Emirates, the Council aims to enhance the expertise, opportunities and relationships between Kuwaiti businesspersons and companies. Kuwait Business Council is the first of its kind for business communities outside the State of Kuwait.
On the other hand, ACK is one of the first private universities in Kuwait, established in 2004 with the goal of offering world-class higher education on home ground. ACK has signed numerous MOUs with various higher education institutions, research bodies, and international organizations in a variety of fields in order to forward the development process undertaken by Kuwait. The College considers these types of collaborations essential in growing its local and international network to better serve its students and graduates. Furthermore, ACK and KBC have begun preparing a schedule of joint activities for the 2021-2022 academic year.
ACK will be hosting the Online Conceive – Design – Implement – Operate (CDIO) Asian Regional Forum for 2021. The forum will take place over the course of three days from October 26 to 28 under the patronage and attendance of Eng. Omar Ali Mohammad Al Kandari, Acting Secretary General of the Private Universities Council, kuwait.
The regional forum titled “Post Pandemic Higher Education” will discuss various topics and it will cover many other more specific themes including, but not limited to, CDIO approaches and innovations in engineering education, curriculum design, educational leadership, faculty development, distance learning, and CDIO implementation and challenges within the GCC region. The forum is open for the public and can be attended by registering through the official website of ACK.
It is worth mentioning that the CDIO approach is an innovative educational framework for producing the next generation of engineers. The framework relies on active learning and stresses the fundamentals of engineering in order to conceive, design, implement and operate products, services, and systems.
Back in 2019, ACK won the bid to host the 2021 forum following the 15th International CDIO Conference, making it the first Gulf Cooperation Council country to host a CDIO Asian Regional Forum. ACK was the first institution in the GCC to adopt the CDIO approach, and has been actively implementing its principles through various measures including organizing internship programs in collaboration with different industries, holding exhibitions for graduation projects, emphasizing project based learning (PBL) in the engineering curriculum, and hosting weekly presentations from local and international guest speakers.
The Asian Regional Forum will be open to faculty, technologists, graduates, and all those interested to learn about the CDIO approach and its implementation. It will include various keynote speeches by contributors to the CDIO initiative, discussion panels and workshops. The keynote speakers during the meeting will include: Prof. Thomas Ryberg, Professor of PBL and Digital Learning in the Department of Planning, Aalborg University; Prof. Clement Fortin, Associate Provost, Dean of Education, Professor of Practice, Space Center, Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology; Prof. Mushtak Al-Atabi, Provost and CEO, Heriot-Watt University; Mr. Aldert Kamp, Co-Director of the CDIO Initiative, Delft University of Technology; Mr. Robert Songer, Associate Professor of Global Information and Management, International College of Technology, Kanazawa; Prof. Isam Zabalawi, President of ACK; Ms. Helen Leong, Director, Department of Educational Development at Singapore Polytechnic, Co-chair of CDIO Asian Region, and Singapore Polytechnic’s CDIO representative; Dr. Juha Kontio, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Business, Turku University of Applied Sciences; Prof. Martin Jaeger, Senior Manager of Project Based Learning Center, ACK; Dr. Suzanne Brink, Associate Professor at Centre for Educational Development, Umea University.
In conclusion, the College hopes that this forum will be crowned with success, which will benefit the educational process in the State of Kuwait and GCC.
|ACK has welcomed its students back on campus on Sunday, 3 October 2021 after a long distance learning period because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In preparation for the return of the students, the College took all necessary measures to ensure the safety of its students, staff and faculty while making sure to provide students with the best possible learning experience despite all the precautions and regulations. Students in both Engineering and Business schools will take part in the hybrid learning program, meaning students will be divided into two groups; half will be attending on campus and the other half will be attending online. The groups will alternate on a weekly basis. As for the School of Aviation, students will learn the theoretical aspects of their major online while attending classes on campus for practical sessions. Lastly, when it comes to the English Language program, students will attend campus daily for their classes. The Health and Safety department at ACK is continuing its efforts to ensure adherence to the mandatory protocols in place to protect students, staff and faculty, and has introduced various new measures to increase safety. Among these measures are the issuing of student e-ID with a QR code verification system to allow students to enter campus each time. Furthermore, students and visitors entering any of the College’s buildings must also pass through a thermal camera that will raise an alarm if the guest has a high body temperature or is not wearing a mask. On campus, the College has posted awareness signage with the social distancing protocols, increased supply of sanitizers, instituted social distancing in classroom seating, and added a faculty safety checklist sign. Indoor seating areas have been closed, while outdoor seating areas remain open with social distancing guidelines.|
The Human Resources department at the Australian College of Kuwait (ACK) organized an induction for new staff members to introduce them to the College and welcome them into its community. The attendees included both abroad participants who accessed the Induction through Microsoft Teams, along with local staff members who attended the orientation on campus.
The Induction took place over the course of two days, with the first day’s session introducing the new staff members to the College, and giving them an overview of its structure, policies and procedures. Following the introduction, the Human Resources department presented a detailed agenda; the detailed session began with a welcome message by Prof. Isam Zabalawi, President of ACK, and Prof. Hussein Abdullah, Vice President – Academic Affairs.
In addition, the attendees were given overviews of the Academic and Administrative departments. They were also educated regarding the COVID-19 safety protocols on campus by the Health and Safety Department in order to protect their health and their coworkers throughout their career journey at ACK.
The session on the second day was specifically targeting new faculty members, covering topics such as ACK’s teaching and learning philosophies, academic policies for classes and much more. They were also taught regarding the College’s research programs and funding details, at last they were briefed about the effective use of the College’s distance learning platforms.
The Induction concluded with a final speech from Prof. Hussein Abdullah, where he began by thanking the Induction’s attendees and organizers for helping make the event a success, and afterwards explained ACK’s mission, vision and strategic plans for the future.