In conversation with Dr Richa Arora, Head of Institution and COO, University of Stirling, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
What kind of Research &Development facility does the University of Stirling’s UAE campus have?
University of Stirling has given importance to research and an andragogic teaching and learning environment, and to this end, we believe that it is vital to have a balanced Research Informed Teaching Strategy – RITS. This is to add value to teaching. To realise the tenets and goals of RITS, building a well-planned research trajectory is important. University of Stirling, RAK campus has an active Research and Innovation cell. The objective of our Research and Innovation Cell is to explore new frontiers of knowledge and their applications. We have regular conferences on various contemporary topics to encourage students and faculty participation. These are primarily to provide a forum to showcase their aptitude toward research and to analyse a problem or a situation from a different perspective. These initiatives include internal workshops, encouraging faculties to publish their research papers in indexed research journals, International conferences, seminars, faculty development programmes to achieve the best practices in both: teaching and their subject domains. The committee also encourages industrial and management consultancies, this is in the initial stages though.
Other than the regular curriculum, please share the offbeat courses or curriculum offered by the University of Stirling, UAE campus? Are these offbeat courses related to skill development?
In the twenty-first century workplace, a lot of importance is being given to transferable skills. Up-skilling students’ besides the prescribed curricula is of paramount importance in the current entrepreneurial and employment landscape. At University of Stirling, RAK Campus, this is an ongoing process through the students’ academic progression. Toward achieving this, we have devised a wide range of online short term courses that runs parallel with their prescribed curricula. These include Data Science, Digital Marketing, Computing Science, Siemens Mechatronics Systems Certification Program, Interior Decorating and Styling to name a few. Besides these, we conduct soft skill training workshops for students to prepare them for the real world of work. These extensive Campus to Corporate Work-readiness Skills workshops are jointly done by academics and students to encourage peer learning. The competencies that are trained as part of this include, Winning Attitudes, Stress Management, Leadership Skills, CV and Interview preparation, Personality and EI, to name a few. Such Committees are designed to bring about the best of the students’ leadership abilities and to groom for future ethical leadership roles. One such Committee for instance is ‘Placement and Education Wing’. These training contents are designed and developed in-house by us. These highly stimulating workshops are made completely interactive with “Experiential Learning Methodologies” that provides a platform where students explore new dimensions to their personalities.
Does the University of Stirling, UAE campus have any special offerings for girl students?
Nothing in specific for the girl students besides scholarships on meritorious grounds
What kind of scholarships does the University of Stirling offer for Indian students?
University of Stirling, UAE campus offer several scholarships to the students in their first year. These scholarships are given purely on the basis of merit.
What kind of exposure do the Indian students secure at the University of Stirling?
Indian students or any international students studying with us gains valuable international exposure at our Ras Al Khaimah, UAE campus. They also get an opportunity to study from an international University that has earned a lot of accolades and rankings in the UK. We, as an institution, have always and consistently emphasized to impart creativity to our students either through structured programs or through informal events. We believe that pedagogical pursuit is a well guided beacon of logically structured academic initiatives that transcends scholastic scholarships, ingenuity, inventiveness and critical thinking. Our Pedagogy is well supported by many round the year inter-institutional educational competitions, events and festivals to showcase and test the applications of our class room trainings. All the international students go through various soft skills development trainings, get an opportunity to participate in inter-university competitions and entrepreneurial aptitude competitions. There are other technical courses if they want to study besides their regular course works.
How are the placements at the University of Stirling, UAE campus? Any renowned companies recruiting the students?
University of Stirling, RAK has a fully-fledged Placement Wing. Our Placement and Education Wing (PEW) is a student led body much different from a traditional Institutional organ. PEW regularly consults with the faculties for their collaboration to design and develop various courses of relevance and significance. The premise of PW is to ensure our students are well placed for summer or final placements in large corporates in their respective domains. The objective of PEW is to be a catalyst with the responsibility of liaising with industries and inviting them to the campus for campus placement and the students go through a rigorous selection process for which they will be groomed by PEW to face the interview panel. PEW also interfaces with the Industry and Service sectors in their students’ placement endeavours and they do the following to accomplish this objective:
- Act as an interface between the Academia and Industry;
- Enhance Student’s skills and strategies for job search;
- Identify Employers and assess their hiring goals.