ACK Strengthens Renewed Strategic Partnership with Central Queensland University, Australia

 
ACK has renewed its Strategic Partnership Agreement for a further five years with long-standing international partner, Central Queensland University Australia (CQU), to continue facilitating excellence in teaching and learning, collaborative research, international mobility and a range of additional joint initiatives

Academic Affairs

Strategic partners since 2015, Central Queensland University will continue to endorse all of ACK’s Diploma and Bachelor Degree programs, and ensure teaching and learning excellence and continuous improvement in line with international standards is maintained with regular academic audit visits to ACK. Opportunities for joint curriculum development and joint programs may also be explored in the future.

Research

The renewed agreement will also continue to build on a range of joint research projects across the priority disciplines of engineering and business, and will be overseen by the ACK CQU Joint Research Committee that was established in 2016 to develop a research agenda and promote collaborative research activities between the two institutions. A number of research projects that focus on aligned research priorities for both Kuwait and Australia, are currently underway.

International Mobility

Encouraging continued cultural exchange and networking, international mobility will play an important role, enabling academic faculty to undertake teaching or research activities at the partner’s institution. Additionally, ACK students will directly benefit from the partnership by having the opportunity to participate in the annual Australia Summer Tour that includes a visit to CQUniversity or consider a student exchange program for one semester at Central Queensland University.

Joint Initiatives

Further enhancing the scope of collaboration, the two institutions will also share international best practice knowledge and resources in a range of academic and administrative areas and explore potential for future joint initiatives.

Professor Isam Zabalawi, President of ACK stated, “Our partnership with CQUniversity is a continuous process that grows stronger each year, as we dedicate ourselves for a noble cause”.

ACK is proud of the opportunity to renew and enhance its partnership with Central Queensland University, to encourage education and research excellence, support internationalization, and bridge cultural relations and shared national interests between Australia and Kuwait.

The Australian College of Kuwait Students at the Forefront of Research

ACK has proudly celebrated the outstanding performance of its students who have successfully published 20 scientific research papers in scientific journals and 13 conference papers. In addition, they have also attended and participated in local and international conferences. There are many benefits for undergraduate students when engaged in research. Research experience helps undergraduate students to better recognize and decide on a career path. Through exposure to research as undergraduates, students realize their passion for research and go on to graduate studies and faculty positions.

Research with impact is a critical strategic pillar within ACK. The College has created an ecosystem that fosters research and development. Through focusing on the needs of the nation and engaging the community, the College was able to make an impact through its research.

Since 2015, ACK’s senior engineering students have published 33 scientific papers in the disciplines offered by the College: Mechanical, Civil, Petroleum and Electrical Engineering.

Through ACK’s student-centered approach that mixes theory with practical learning, students are able to think critically and analytically.

ACK has aligned its research and teaching to suit students’ development. The Project Based Learning pedagogy adopted by the College allows students to work in teams and/or individually to research an industry or business issue, then proceed to develop strategies, processes and products as solutions.

Students are also encouraged to become co-researchers with faculty on numerous research projects, allowing them to experience firsthand the translation of theoretical work into applied research.

Commenting on this success, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, Professor Hussain Abdullah, stated: “Active engagement of students in the learning process is essential. At ACK, we engage students in meaningful discussions, encourage teamwork and integrate learning inside and outside the classroom. We prepare our students to become lifelong learners and give them the tools that will allow them to become resilient, adaptable and agile”.

From her end, ACK’s Bachelor of Engineering Technology (Mechanical) Alumna Eng. Mashael Al-Shemmary stated on her research experience as she worked on capstone project entitled “Design and Implementation of Vertical Axis Wind Turbine on Highways” supervised by Dr. Ehab Bani-Hani “The project was interesting and unique in Kuwait, despite the challenges that we faced during various stages of the project, we felt proud when our work received recognition through its publication in an international journal. This achievement and the first-time experience in research and publications gave me the motivation to pursue my graduate studies and to start a career in an academic pathway”.

Dr. Ehab, a faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department, was proud of his students’ achievements. A total number of 8 journal papers were published in international journals related to capstone projects.

The Australian College of Kuwait Students Awarded at Huawei Regional ICT Competition

Two members from ACK represented Kuwait within the team who competed at the Regional Huawei Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Competition, which ended by awarding them with the “Outstanding Performance” Award. ACK was also granted the “Excellent Academy” Award by Huawei among all participating Universities from Kuwait for the third year in a row.

The Huawei ICT Skill Competition is an annual competition held since 2017 where participants compete to showcase their skills in Information and Communications Technology. The competition is held on various national and international levels, and participants from ACK competed in the preliminary, national and regional levels.

Sixty participants in total from ACK participated in the preliminary competition, and 9 out of the 20 participants who qualified for the national competition were from ACK. From the national competition, the top 3 participants qualified to represent Kuwait in the regional competition with two of them being from ACK; the qualifying participants were Eng. Emad Kebeish, ACK Alumnus from the Petroleum Engineering Department, and Hassan Yaqout, ACK Electrical and Electronics Engineering Diploma student.

The Kuwait Team competed in the regional competition under the supervision of Eng. Mohammad Zaki, Senior Instructor of Electrical Engineering at ACK, against 12 other teams representing different countries from the Middle East Region.

Eng. Zaki, commenting on this achievement, expressed his pride in ACK’s students and alumni who participated in this competition, highlighting that although ACK does not offer a major in computer engineering or information technology, participants from ACK have still repeatedly reached the final stages of the competition for the past 3 years.

Eng. Zaki added: “We always try to focus on helping our students and let them enjoy what they are doing; instead of just trying to put the pressure on winning the competition, we believe that if they enjoy what they are doing, they will learn and excel by default.”

ACK management would like to thank Huawei for giving their students such a great opportunity to compete nationwide and internationally, and would like to thank all students who participated for their great efforts. In addition, ACK would also like thank Dr. Mohammed Abdul Niby - Dean of the School of Engineering and Dr. Hassan Salti, Head of Electrical Engineering at ACK, and Eng. Mohammad Zaki for their efforts with regards to the competition.

ACK’s Engineering Students back on Campus for their practical sessions

The School of Engineering at ACK has officially welcomed back Engineering students back on campus for their practical sessions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College had to make some changes and apply the combination of online and in-person training classes.

“This semester was special for all of us due to the unprecedented circumstances of COVID-19 pandemic in the state of Kuwait and the whole world. However, our students and faculty members did their best to proceed in their learning process during this challenging period.” Said Dr. Mohammed Abdul Niby, Dean of the School of Engineering.

The re-opening strategy is in compliance with guidelines set by the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Higher Education, and upon the approval of the Private Universities Council (PUC) to physically attend only selected practical lab session for the engineering. In addition, the College has set lots of precautionary measures to ensure everyone’s safety.

The Health and Safety Department at ACK prepared the health, safety and security guidelines and procedures for the safe return of the students and faculty members. Mandatory protocols are placed on ground to reduce the transmission of the communicable disease at the College, and a fully detailed booklet was shared with ACK community to enlighten them with the steps taken for reassurance.

The precautionary plan includes a mandatory temperature check and mandatory personal protective equipment. All students entering the campus must be wearing masks and students were given their own personal protection equipment on their first day of resumption that will be mandatory to have when attending the on-campus practical sessions. In addition, students were asked to practice social distancing and wash their hands regularly. To further raise awareness and ensure the safety of ACK’s community, awareness signages were placed around campus, regular sterilization of ACK’s buildings, increase supplies of sanitizer and increase the frequency of cleaning.

From his end, Dr. Mortadha Alsaba, School of Engineering Labs Manager commented: “We, the School of Engineering, along with Health & Safety Department tried our best to ensure a safe environment for our students. At ACK, we strongly believe that students should graduate with not only academic knowledge but also with the required practical hands-on experience.”