Pearl Radio - 1 Hour Interview
Good afternoon to everybody who is listening to us, to all moms and dads, to all kids, even if they might like sit in the back seat right now getting back from the school. This is Hussain Al Atoli coming live from and the Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children) is Pearl FM 102. The first family and children radio station in UAE. This very special day we have one of like I can call like a VIP because I had enjoyed a small tour before starting this Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children. This episode is going to be a bit how different. There is mums who might like now sitting at home or let’s say they’re busy with their kids or let’s say most of the day they are working they’re trying to moving on in their studies. Today we are going to give you like an example a good chance to have this. There is right now something called the virtual studying and that’s why we have on our studios the international dean Dr. Habib Souleiman from OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland. Good afternoon Dr. Habib.
Dr. Habib: Good afternoon
Presenter: Thank you for joining us today.
Dr. Habib: Thank you for inviting.
Presenter: Today is going to be like totally different kind of questions for me. Because I used to do questions for doctor who were giving advice for kids but right now we are going to mums and parents or you don’t know there might be friends later who are waiting just to go through the chance to move their studies but they are trying to find some kinds of options that could help them to study without spending more time let’s say and this is going to be with us for the coming our till 3 pm. So we going to have more questions coming . Stay tune and this is pear Good afternoon again to everyone who is listening to us. Again, Dr. Habib will come to our studios to pearl FM 102.I know this is kind of a bit of experience here like in Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children While we were having our tour, you’ re saying it looks like a small university for children here. This is what we are providing. Education, education with fun. And also, the kind of business. Let’s say the kind of thing that OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland is providing for education. Right now, we have been reading and listening even myself I did one course in my life virtual study, virtual course. If you want to tell the people, who are listening right now. What is the virtual study?
Dr. Habib: Virtual education is quite new idea. Established few years ago, it is similar to online education. However, during the virtual education, you see your professor you can directly speak with your professor, you can communicate with your professor. The professor is live on a daily basis with us. So you can study online, however you can see your professor. Not like in traditional online education where you get the materials by e-mail or you have an access to an electronic campus. And you have to study by yourself. No with the virtual education, universities are delivering virtual education to your home.
Presenter: Does it mean, I still remember virtual education when I did the virtual education I was able to see the doctor like in the other side and he was able to see me. Does this also include in this part. Can we say doctors are the professors teaching in the virtual education and the other side they can see students, they can communicate with them. What level are you talking about?
Dr. Habib: Exactly. During the life classes, students can switch on his camera, or her camera, as well as microphone and you can ask directly your professor the question you need. So if you didn’t understand the topic, you can simply raise your hand on a virtual class and he will give you the microphone and the camera and you can ask directly your question. So it’s like traditional education, but screen to screen, not face to face.
Presenter: Do you think it is competing the traditional education?
Dr. Habib: I believe a little bit but it is a good plan B mainly for parents and people who are unable to live their country or their job in order to get better know-how or better knowledge. So it is a just plan B I can say.
Presenter: It is a plan B. To be honest I think in the future it’s going to be some like some kind of plan A with like much of responsibility and duties for the moms and dads. Some people will always getting much like in their shoulders like responsibilities which make their time very shorter unlike when it comes to do more in their life. Specially right now, education is really important and when we say education that doesn’t mean right now the kind of subject or the kind of thinking that we’re looking for. OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland: the whole idea, the whole concept behind it like where was it started like, why do you think, right now it is Switzerland and right now we are here in Dubai in United Arab Emirates, it is totally on the other side of the world. That side of the world like speaking English or other languages. And here we are speaking Arabic. How do you think this is going to be working in our region?
Dr. Habib: We are teaching as well right now in different languages, not only in English. English is the main language we teach right now. But Arabic is also one of the languages we are using in order to deliver high quality education as well Russian. The idea started many years ago where people started to demand high quality education where they see the professor but they do not need to leave their country. So it is an idea coming from students, it is a customer created idea. It is not an idea created by professor, it is an idea created by customer.
Presenter: You took the demand let’s say. You took the demand from people who are needing that and share it to something like virtual education here like in OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland. We are talking about this academy. What kind of studies you are providing, what kind of programs are there in the Academy?
Dr. Habib: Right now, or until today there is no possibility to teach more than business and related fields on the virtual education. Maybe in 20 or 30 we will teach medical or engineering, until now the technology doesn’t give us the possibility to deliver more than business. Some universities are teaching law and journalism but in our academy we teach mainly business and related field like hospitality, tourism, marketing, etc.
Presenter: That’s fantastic. This sounds like you are limited to what can be provided as material that could be read and written. But if there is something practical it should be, this is like where limitation is going to be. You said in the future you don’t know, you might find your students they are doctors in the hospitals and they are showing and they are experiencing or experimenting what they have been watching there. I’m really interested to ask you more questions about who can register, and where and what is the chances like for prizing I’m sure like it is really, when it comes to these elements it is really comparable to the other education systems in our region and that’s good opportunity for all. More questions coming up, stay tune and this is Pearl.
Still in the studio with Dr. Habib Al Souleiman, the international dean of OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland. In the recourse, you were speaking about something really interesting, the people who can register, the people who can join and be part of this OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland. I’ve heard like you have changed the name right? To make it like more reachable for the audience.
Dr. Habib: The name was originally OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland. However, most of the people they were thinking the education is in Switzerland. So, we had to change the name to OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland. This is the trademark registered for us. So, that people will understand this is an open Academy, this is not a traditional university. Open education means distance or online or virtual education.
Presenter: When you decided in the beginning to choose the language is to be for your system, you have like there is an Arabic, there is and English and there is also the Russian language. Let’s speak about the Arabic. Do you think the Arab world need this kind of education systems more than others or like what about, how is the here demand in our region?
Dr. Habib: We see that the demand in the Arabic region or in the Middle East is very huge. People who really are unable to leave, sometimes we have students from countries where they cannot get a visa in order to study in Europe. So, this is as well an advantage for students who can’t leave their country for different reasons like visa or other kind of reasons. So, they want to still get a good education: high education, higher universities level and this can only be done by online or virtual education.
Presenter: Then tell me Dr. Habib, how does it work. Let’s say I’m looking to be doing my Master for now. What is the process right now, I’m looking just something right now easy?
Dr. Habib: All what you need is a computer and high speed internet. So you can simply go to our website, register yourself, there an ‘apply now’ button, you can register yourself, you have to attach all the files, for example if you want to start to go for a master degree, you need to send us a copy of your bachelor, if you want to apply for a bachelor, you need to send us a copy of your high school diploma, so the traditional application which you have to fulfill in any university.
Presenter: What is the website for that one, if you just remind us?
Dr. Habib: The website is www.ous.ch. for Switzerland. So OUS is OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland.ch or www.abms.university
Presenter: Then after that?
Dr. Habib: And after that, the student can go to our website and on the top, is written in green and red ‘apply now’ and after clicking on it, the new page will appear, student can just fill in his name, date of birth, nationality etc. and down there is attach files, upload files and the student must send us copy of all of his documents. Copy of the passport or national id, bachelor or master degree if he has, all the documents which are required in order to get access to the university plus the cv for sure, work experience certificate etc. And within three days we usually get back to the student and tell him if we can accept him or not.
Presenter: Something is really important. I think most of the people who are listening right now they might be interested to know how certified is this kind of universities and this kind of studies. It is really important why I am going to do a kind of bachelor degree or like postgraduate and I needed to be something really good and I can use it in my job and I can use it in my country and when it comes to UAE like the countries in the region how certified is the OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland?
Dr. Habib: OUS is accredited by different European bodies. We are a European University accredited by European bodies. For example, we are accredited by ASIC which is a recognized accreditation by the British Government. We are accredited by the European Council in Belgium, ECBE for Business Education, we are accredited and certified by different organization on our website we are listing nearly 50 organizations which are giving us accreditation as well, we are now candidate to accreditation by the Council of Higher Education in the US, we are working as well in order to give better or guaranteed recognition all over the world, We work with around 6 universities, State universities in Poland, in UK, in Zambia, in Mexico, in Nicaragua, in Ukraine, because we have students from 120 countries, so we need to cover the whole region. We cannot focus only on one university. So, the student can just choose with us which universities he wants to graduate. So, he can say I want to have a single degree, only from OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland in Switzerland, or he can say I’m from Latin America and I want to have from Mexico. Or I’m from the EU Region, I want to have from Poland.
Presenter: I’m from UAE and I want to have it from?
Dr. Habib: We have right now from only one institute in Jordan, I don’t know if this is in the region, this is the only institute we have. As well, we are working with top 500 Universities. One of our partner is one of the best 500 in the world, ranked 420 according to the US ranking. So the student If he wants to choose a local degree, we have in the middle east only Jordan.
Presenter: That’s really great. I also was reading to be honest a brief about OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland and the rewards that has been, what can you talk about this, what does it mean to you?
Dr. Habib: We were winning the custom satisfaction award for MENAA region, this is evaluated by three universities, and institutes. One is Zurich University which is the state university in Switzerland, one is from ILM Institute in UK and from York University in Canada. So the three institutes gave us the award of best customer satisfaction based on our students satisfaction.
Dr. Habib: As well, thank you, we are nominated as the best project of 2017 by Oxford, and we are nominated to win the University of the year from Turkey.
Presenter: That’s really fantastic. Congratulation again for that. And I still want to talk about something and it is really serious to be honest which is the technology and let’s say the education system. I had a few teachers back in the days. There was this topic which is challenging for most of let’s say doctors or like professors. They haven’t been let’s say living what is the generation is having, when it comes to technology, and right now they are professors like they are doing some old system could be a challenging point for them. We’ll talk more about this and how did it work for you and OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland how is it going but after the short break- Everyone who is listening to us stay tune and this is pearl.
Hello again to everyone who is listening to us, to all moms and dads, Dr. Habib Al Souleiman, the international dean of the OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland still alive with us in studio and it’s really fantastic program and something really beautiful I believe most of the people who are listening they might be have, some people might be interested to go to, myself, I was thinking as I told you to do my masters, the time and, I think most of it is the time, is not helping, I’m busy here like in with family responsibilities, the kids, and all around things that make you tired. You don’t have a chance to do anything. And to study in Europe, which is something that is really more beautiful that we can do without having another kind of let’s say this kind of business study in Europe and in Switzerland sounds fantastic. We were speaking about the technology Dr. Habib it has been challenging especially for certain member. I had a teacher when I was in high school and at that time the government like the education system here in our region they started to put the computers in all the places even the schools. At that time, most of the teachers they were not aware of using those technologies and computers and it was very simple for them just to put the absence and send some kind of letters and e-mails to whom may concern from the inside the school outside to the parents. It was very difficult for them. Because they used to do their way of teaching for like let’s say for three years. They are in a level they can provide the best way of teaching let’s say the methods and the way of their communication with the students You cannot just bring someone who is just starting his life to be instead of those people who spent all their life to do and to find the easiest way to teach the kids and everything. And right now technology I think it is challenging. And right now in your university it is all about technology. And how does that, I don’t know, do you see something challenging to find professors who can work for this part.
Dr. Habib: Actually, when we started first the virtual education, IT department they created system, which was quite complicated for our qualified professors. So after we created the first system, we gave it to our professors and introduction about it, we had professors who were like over 70 years old, they are very good or top qualified professors from all over the world, they were unable to use it. So we had to recreate the system in order to make sure that our qualified professors are able to use it. And that’s why we created now a very simple system our system is very friendly using, and anybody can use it even if they cannot or they never had laptop before.
Presenter: What about the students? Let’s say they have the same issue. How easy is it for them to study through the virtual education and to go through it? Have you been facing any kind of challenges through that?
Dr. Habib: We’ve created the system which is like study on your own terms so you can study whenever you want. The class are live. But we record every single detail which is given live and we upload it on our e-campus or electronic campus or online campus and the student can watch it on weekend, in the evening or whenever the parents for example if they are unable to in their home, so they can study on their own terms.
Presenter: You know, there might be some of those who are listening right now. They will understand more when it comes to the exams. When it comes to assignments, when it comes to do, you know the university life is not something simple. To be honest. It is a lot of work. So when it comes to this level of education, and the professor should provide or should put those kinds of assignments as similar as university because you need to reach this kind of level of education. So by the assignments, by the projects, that should be done by the students, how does it work in this part?
Dr. Habib: So we have two different kinds of exams. Or we recommend most of the students to come for the final exam in Switzerland. We have one day per year when the final exams are given. So we need from the student only one day per year where he is totally free for us. The whole exam takes between to 5 to 8 hours, we do not have terms exam, we follow the yearly exam. So in order to make it more flexible for parents or for family, to study and to do just the final exam in the end. The final exam is divided into two parts, the first part is the verbal exam where the student must switch his camera and his microphone, in order to make sure there is no way of cheating, so the student gets 10 questions, live, and the professor is recording the class. And the student is unable to move his eyes from the screen. The student must keep his eye on the screen. Three seconds, if he moves his eyes, he will be failing. So there is no way of cheating for the verbal exam. As well there is a written exam, some of the students are not so fast to writing the exam on the keyboard, that’s why we give the possibility to the student to print the exam, to write by hand and to scan to us and during the written exam, the student must switch on his camera as well, so we see what he is doing during the written exam. So both exams which takes around 8 hours, the students must be switching on his camera. We have some students who are having bad internet in their country, they book 5 star hotel in their country, only for one day, in order to do the final exam. So we request from the student only one day per year for the exam , where the student needs to have good internet.
Presenter: So the students yani do whatever it takes. To fed the requirements of the university. And high speed internet and camera and the mics, whatever that needs which is something. Those are for the exams like the other days are like that let’s say the most of the time students are just listening to the lectures or what is provided in the university at that time?
Dr. Habib: There is always assignments which are given by the professor during the classes as well as we try to put the students from the same region so sometimes students so let’s say from Golf region, they can do an assignment together in order to be able to meet face to face. So we recommend sometimes students to meet face to face . We have students today from 120 countries. So we are able to make sometimes groups of students, 5, 6, or up to 10 students in order to create an assignment. But this can be done as well online, sometimes I see students chatting all the day between each other all day form skype, on WhatsApp, so the students created their own possibilities in order to improve their education.
Presenter: It sounds that you’re creating some kind of communities already.
Dr. Habib: We have on Facebook like 160 000 followers. So the students are inviting their families, their friends, so we have really big community, on social media we are the biggest in Switzerland. With 160000 followers and fans.
Presenter: That’s a huge number to be honest. In the end of the day this is a university, this is kind of education that system over there like it is not. It doesn’t sound for most of the people like it could be something fun or something but when you hear this number it sounds there is more than just studying. For that which is impressive. Dr. Habib Al Souleiman if you have something you want to say, to all audience right now who are listening to the mums and dads , they are like you going to provide a kind of step, why do you think it is important to go to the step?
Dr. Habib: What we hear always is that we are too old to study. This is always the traditional speech for anybody who is having family or work. We see always students coming study, it doesn’t matter the age we have since far more than 70 years old and they still want to study so it is never late to study.
Presenter: It is never late to study. You listen that Daniel? It is never late to study. Daniel is like 70 years old and he is talking with the kids in the morning pretending that he is 3 years old which is fine for us. That’s fine .We can see that. Thank you so much Dr. Habib Al Souleiman the international dean of OUS Royal Academy of Economics and Technology in Switzerland for joining us and the talk and we’d love to see you again in future.
Dr. Habib: I hope to see you in Switzerland.
Presenter: Hopefully soon inshallah, I would love to be to take my masters to be honest, MBA so who knows. Thank you so much for joining us.