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In April 2012, the federal higher education system of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) embarked on the path to national adoption of the Apple iPad as the educational computing platform. The core objective of the adoption was improved learning and degree completion among students in academic programs in support of national development goals. From the National Higher Education development document, the goals are to
- "Achieve individualized student learning consistent with “Post PC Era” trends;
- Introduce of challenge-based learning or other progressive classroom pedagogy;
- Increased student participation and motivation;
- Enhance opportunities for cross-institutional collaboration between faculty members;
- Increase faculty collaboration through cross-institutional repositories of learning objects; and
- Facilitate the migration to e-books."
The UAE has three institutions encompassing 20 campuses serving 50,000 students in its federal higher education: UAE University provides a research-intensive experience; Zayed University, a liberal arts, comprehensive environment; and HCT, professional programs. The HCT iPad program was envisioned by HCT’s Chancellor, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, and was led by the Vice Chancellor Dr Tayeb Kamali. This program builds on his history of entrepreneurship and e-learning initiatives, such as integrated wireless campus infrastructures, online learning and knowledge-management programmes, Dr Kamali has successfully built a cutting-edge institution that provides UAE youth with technological skills and the ability to innovate, while driving job creation in the region.