Blackboard signs 2 partnerships at Dubai conference

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Abdul Basit

Blackboard – a leading education technology company for teaching, learning and student engagement – has announced its new partnerships with the UAE and Saudi Arabia institutions for more than 100,000 students for online courses.

The announcement was made by Bill Ballhaus, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Blackboard, in Dubai during his keynote address at the first Teaching and Learning Conference (TLC) focused on Russia, Middle East, Africa (RMEA) and Turkey. Dubai hosted Blackboard’s first TLC in the Middle East, which concluded on March 13.

Robert Speed

Blackboard has signed partnerships with Abu Dhabi School of Government and Saudi Arabia’s Batterjee Medical College, according to Ballhaus.

Speaking with The UAE News, Robert Speed, Vice President for Russia, Middle East & Africa at Blackboard, said, “At Blackboard we are very proud to be working with Abu Dhabi School of Government. This programme that we’ve developed together in partnership is based on our World-Class leading learning management system. It enables Abu Dhabi School of Government to provide courses online to the 100,000 students and we’re very proud to be part of this.”

He added: “We have been working with public entities around the world, and in the UAE we have been partnering with higher education institutions for almost two decades. By bringing innovative education technologies right into the hands of the learners, ADSG will help government employees develop new skills and meet the challenges posed by the new industrial revolution and the digital economy.”

The Abu Dhabi School of Government (ADSG) is partnering with Blackboard to provide online access to a variety of learning and development programs and professional training to government employees in Abu Dhabi. With Blackboard Learn, a complete and easy-to-use learning management system, ADSG learners will be able to access course information anytime and anywhere, submit material, engage with peers and instructors, and much more.

Solveig Nicklos

“I am pleased that we partnered with a leading organization such as Blackboard,” said Solveig Nicklos, Dean of Abu Dhabi School of Government. “They will extend to us their success and experiences in serving millions of learners globally and regionally and give us the tools and technology to achieve our vision and high standards.”

Blackboard signed another partnership with Saudi Arabia’s Batterjee Medical College for Science and Technology.
Speed said, “This is a new industry for us to be working with because we traditionally work with higher education institutions. Batterjee Medical College will be sharing a lot of contents with their students and they will use our learning management system to provide that online.”

Blackboard is currently dealing with 30 universities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. “They have been with us for the last 10 years. We have a data centre in Saudi and we host for these institutions,” he informed.

The college has 2,000 students but because the information specialists for the medical field it’s not like a higher education institution that has much larger students’ population. “It’s a very specialist market and I believe they want to do a lot of training and they want to share a lot of specialised medical content online with their students,” he said.

Established in 2005, the college campus is located in North Obhour, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and was built to accommodate up to 5,000 students. The college is considered one of the first private specialised medical college offering a variety of majors in Saudi Arabia and one of the newest and largest private medical colleges in the Middle East. – abdulbasit@theuaenews.com