United Arab Emirates University announces its participation in the largest world exposition to be held in Dubai this year. As the only participating university with an independent pavilion, the world-class institution will exhibit ‘The University of the Future’ (UoF) alongside its primary programs – the Pathfinders Program and the 100 Million Stars Labs in its planned engagement.
The Pathfinders Program 1.0 has officially begun on 27 May 2021. As part of its selection criteria, applicants went through the Piscine Method exercise prior to the program– a competitive two-week bootcamp where participants solved computational coding quests to earn points that have been counted for them to have a chance to participate in the Pathfinders Program 1.0. It is the first time this method is applied in the UAE. The curriculum is rigorously designed for learning skills of the digital world and technology industry. Taking a different approach than the classic teaching methods today; no teachers, no classes, learning is facilitated through a peer-to-peer learning and a co-creative process in a professional environment.
Nicolas Sadirac, French EdTech entrepreneur, Chief Pedagogy Officer and cofounder of 01 Edu, and the founder of the Piscine Method states, “01 Edu pedagogy develops technical skills, critical thinking, collective intelligence and collaboration skills, autonomy and problem-solving minds that coincides with the University of the Future needs. As generations continue to get exposed to the digital world with every practice involving electronic machinery, the science behind it progresses along with it, and we have extremely capable young people who seek to gain knowledge. With the collaborative Pathfinders program 1.0 by UAE University, we are welcoming a generation interested in learning for the betterment of the world in a digital age. Let’s unleash its positive potential by bringing together youth, wit, and contemporary know-how.”
The six-month-long Pathfinders Program is a unique learning experience for fresh graduates. The Pathfinders will go through an immersive experience of a five-phase learning journey from inception, pathfinding, immersion, conception, to fulfillment to discover their passion. The multifaceted program will let Pathfinders choose an impact path between extend life, expand life, sustain life, and enhance life, and acquire essential intellectual knowledge that will be used to co-create and produce solutions to address pressing macro-challenges of the world.
Dr. Nihel Chabrak, the Executive Director of UAEU Pavilion Expo 2020 said, “In a VUCA world, most of jobs of the future do not exist today while we are preparing students for jobs that will completely disappear. The world of stable lifetime employment has ended, and it is crucial that people continually refresh their skills and become lifelong learners. However, many individuals struggle to learn new and unfamiliar topics effectively and one of the underlying causes is that few of us have been trained in the core skills and mindsets of effective learners or what we call intentional learners. That is why, at UAEU, we are fostering a disruption in education to prepare the young generations for the future of work, in a context where the Arab World is expected to experience in the next ten years the 100 million youth unemployment challenge with the projected “youth bulge” demographic transition. The recent COVID19 crisis has made the need for innovation in education even more apparent by leveraging on technology to promote flexible, experiential, collaborative, and challenge-based learning in real-world settings. If and how we will be overcoming these challenges will decide on how the future of not only a nation but the whole world will be shaped.”
The Pathfinders program 1.0 had begun its application stage from December 2020 to February 2021 and received hundreds of applications. Based on the learnings and feedback from Pathfinders Program 1.0, adjustments will be made in the curriculum that is currently incubated in the UAEU Science and Innovation Park. The second stretch of the program, the Pathfinders Program 2.0 will open soon to start accepting applications locally and across the world.