Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Mansour Al Siyabi, left, is proud to be among the first to be offered a place at Adveti under the new system.
Mansour Al Siyabi, left, is proud to be among the first to be offered a place at Adveti under the new system.
New students will take a one-year intensive course in English before embarking on their diploma.
New students will take a one-year intensive course in English before embarking on their diploma.

Thousands turn up at Abu Dhabi vocational college

Less academic students stay in system, creating trained pool of Emirati workers in growth areas.

ABU DHABI // Thousands of students turned up to the new national vocational training college yesterday as it opened after its expansion was announced over summer.

The seven campuses of the Abu Dhabi Vocational Education and Training Institute (Adveti) are taking on many of the less academic Emiratis who would in the past have attended the Higher Colleges of Technology.

HCT, traditionally the most vocationally focused of the three federal universities, has raised its admissions standards this year, with those who fail to make the grade being offered places at Adveti.

To accommodate them all, Adveti has opened three new campuses, in Sharjah, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.

And despite fears that few would take up their places, about 60 per cent of those with offers turned up yesterday.

The Jazira Institute in Abu Dhabi now has 1,800 students, up from 500 last year. Its director, Adel Al Ameri, said it was "drowning in students", although staff had spent the past few weeks preparing for the influx.

New students will take a one-year intensive course in English before embarking on a diploma in subjects such as tourism and human-resources management.

The aim is to curb the high drop-out rate among the less academic Emirati school leavers. With the federal universities teaching most courses only in English, the majority of school leavers have to take a year or more of remedial lessons in the language before starting their degrees.

But many do not make it that far, with up to 20 per cent dropping out in the first year. The problem is particularly acute among men, who have enticing jobs offers from the military or police.

The move to vocational training is an attempt to keep them in the education system to prepare them for careers.

Dr Kathleen Hodge, managing director of Adveti, said student numbers had met her expectations. Most encouraging, she said, was the number of men - about 40 per cent of the total.

"We've had a fantastic number of men," Dr Hodge said. "Adveti is usually only around one third male but we've seen this become much more equal."

Making Adveti offers through the National Admissions and Placement Office (Napo), which handles federal university admissions, had added credibility to the institution, she said.

"It gives people the trust," Dr Hodge said. "Before now people didn't really know what [Adveti] was, but that's changing.

"It will be a slow process but word of mouth is so important, and with more students this will change. It's a case of getting the word out."

Mansour Al Siyabi, 21, started at Adveti this week after being turned down for his first choice, UAE University.

Despite having studied the language at school, he struggles to spell his name in English. He said Adveti was the best place for him to improve.

And Mr Al Siyabi was proud to be among the first to be offered a place under the new system.

"We will be the role models for the next students who come here," he said.

There were others who had come to Adveti after struggling with English at federal university. Some had taken 15 hours of classes every week for up to two years, but were still not confident.

Salma Nasser, 20, was on Zayed University's remedial course for two years, repeating the IELTS (International English Language Teaching System) test six times, at Dh800 a time. Now she has started at Adveti.

"It's easier to get into higher education through a diploma," Ms Nasser said. "It's too much of a jump from foundation into a degree. The design of this programme will give me a better chance to do well in my degree."

She hopes to begin working once she has her diploma in human-resource management, which will help her to support herself through a degree.

"This way I can have work experience and study part time," Ms Nasser said.

Kawthar Mohamed, 20, came from HCT's Abu Dhabi Women's College. She will now take remedial English at Adveti, followed by a two-year diploma in interior design.

"After that I'll have a qualification that I can get a job with instead of waiting four years to have a degree," Ms Mohamed said. "I want to get a job."

Dr Hodge said making offers through Napo was the first step in giving even greater access to higher education and, in turn, a more employable pool of young Emiratis.

"Diversity [of institutions] is the next step to opening up the work force to Emiratisation," she said.

mswan@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National