Wednesday 2 December 2020

Randa Bessiso

New student cohort join part-time MA programme

DUBAI, October 19, 2020

The University of Manchester Middle East Centre has welcomed the region’s first cohort of students on the new blended learning part-time MA Educational Leadership in Practice programme, which was announced earlier this year. 
The first cohort comprises 19 students of nine nationalities who are all qualified working professionals and highly experienced in the field of education, with almost half bringing between 11-15 years of experience to the programme; most reside in the UAE and more than 80% are female. 
The new programme started with the first interactive course conference – hosted on the University’s virtual platform to comply with current restrictions – and led by eight leading academics from the University’s Manchester campus, who shared their insights on a range of educational leadership concepts, including Leadership as Reflective Practice, Leadership Models, and Educational Leadership in the digital future. 
Dr Phil Quirke (Executive Dean Higher Colleges of Technology in the UAE) hosted the opening session and talked to the students on the theme of ‘Developing education in the UAE; Educational Leadership and DREAM management’.
The three-day course conferences provided the opportunity for students to meet their peers, course faculty, and the Middle East Centre team and learn more about the support provided by the centre.
The University of Manchester announced the launch of the new part-time, blended learning master’s programme for the education sector through its Middle East Centre in Dubai, earlier this year. The MA Educational Leadership in Practice is a new, two-year programme suitable for qualified and experienced working educators, from class teachers to nursery/school/college managers, leaders and principals. 
The programme is delivered through a blended learning format, combining the convenience of online self-study and regular face to face course conferences with international peers and faculty, in Dubai. The new course leads to the award of the MA degree from The University of Manchester.
The role of educational leaders is to build capacity and positive teams of educators while sharing leadership and nurturing the development of these teams and individuals. 
The programme is designed to empower educational leaders to face the challenges of globalising education and the increasing realities of financial pressures, resource constraints, and the rising expectations of stakeholders – from regulators to owners and parents – while balancing these with the core fundamental values of education, with competency and compassion.          
The MA Educational Leadership in Practice programme takes a practice based learning approach challenging students to think critically. It is led by a team of experienced educational leaders and covers areas such as leadership from international schools to educational models, policy to research, change to social development, and educational leadership as a social practice.
Commenting on the start of the new programme, The University of Manchester Middle East Centre Director, Randa Bessiso, said: “We are delighted to welcome a very strong first cohort of students onto the new blended learning, part-time master’s programme for the education sector. The first course conference was hosted on our virtual platform out of necessity and we look forward to welcoming them in person at the earliest appropriate opportunity. We chose to launch the MA Educational Leadership in Practice in Dubai because of the unique nature of the regional education sector, which is very diverse, international and growing rapidly. Educators have been on the frontline during the pandemic and they have demonstrated their commitment and enormous value to society, which has rightly been recognised across the world and the region.”   
The Middle East Centre has developed into the largest and fastest-growing centre in the University’s international network of four global centres. The University of Manchester was named as the world’s 27th best university in the QS World University Rankings, sixth in the UK, and eighth in Europe. 
The University was named the most targeted institution by the UK’s top 100 graduate employers for the third year in a row by The Graduate Market in 2020. Manchester was also named the University of the Year for Graduate Employment by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020. -- Tradearabia News Service


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