Quarterly Newsletter                                                       Supporting Research, Developing Minds                                                      March 2014 
لقراءة هذه النشرة باللغة العربية، يرجى النقر هنا
In This Issue
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Profile Corner
2nd Annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival 
Enjoy the moments and memories made "celebrating the arts and celebrating Ras Al Khaimah" through the eyes of artists and art lovers. 
Welcoming New Intern
Maitha Al Mansoori


Maitha Al Mansoori is an American University of Sharjah alumna who majored in finance and minored in management information systems. Maitha chose to intern with Al Qasimi Foundation because she believes that it will offer her a new and different career experience. She is currently studying to become a Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) and hopes to continue her studies at the The London School of Economics.

New Publications

The fastest growing economy in the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has a private sector capable of creating tens of thousands of new jobs every year. Yet, many Emiratis prefer to remain unemployed rather than work in the private sector, contributing to an unemployment rate of nearly 12%. This paper uses the findings of a recent study on family involvement in Emirati college student education to show how families contribute to the development of the attitudes, beliefs, and opinions of young people, some of which prove counter-productive in the workplace. Full Publication

2013 Al Qasimi Foundation Annual Report

2013 has been a season of progress and innovation at the Al Qasimi Foundation. This year, the Foundation has conducted and collaborated on research across the UAE, published multiple papers and resources, increased the number of professional development courses available to educators, and built relationships with local policy makers and with key stakeholders. This report details the impact that the Al Qasimi Foundation has had over the last year as well as providing an overview of its aspirations for 2014. Full Publication
Registration Open: 5th Annual Gulf Comparative Education Society Symposium
April 8-10, 2014

The 5th Annual GCES Symposium will be held at the Dubai Women's College-Higher Colleges of Technology from April 9-10, 2014, with a pre-conference workshop on April 8. To register for the event, please click here.
Welcoming New Teaching & Learning Team Members
Luke Zimmermann & Rhys Simpson-Hopkins

The Foundation is pleased to welcome to its Teaching & Learning department Mr. Luke Zimmermann and Mr. Rhys Simpson-Hopkins. Mr. Zimmermann joins the Foundation as the Program Manager for Teaching & Learning, having three decades of international experience in English education. Mr. Simpson-Hopkins also brings a range of teaching expertise to his work with local secondary school students as an English instructor through the Sheikh Saqr Student Enrichment Program.

Welcome to the spring edition of the Al Qasimi Foundation's quarterly newsletter. 2014 has already been an eventful year for the Foundation, and we are pleased to share our recent achievements, news, and events with all of you. Of particular note was the 2nd Annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival, which proved to be a huge success, thanks to the partnership and participation of our community. Also this spring, the Foundation was named one of the Middle East's best think tanks by the 2013 Global Go To Think Tank IndexOver the next few months, we will be involved with a number of exciting activities and events including the 5th Gulf Comparative Education Society Symposium and a new project to assist at-risk youth in Ras Al Khaimah. We hope you enjoy this newsletter, and we welcome any feedback or suggestions that you may have. 
Warm regards,

Dr. Natasha Ridge
Executive Director
Feature Articles
Community Engagement

Majlis Event Sheds Light on Impact of Shadow Education in Ras Al Khaimah and the UAE


This February saw the latest installment of the Al Qasimi Foundation's Majlis series, which seeks to improve communication between researchers and policy makers and to increase the impact of relevant research findings. Entitled "Shadow Education: International Perspectives on the Scale, Nature, and Policy Implications of Private Supplementary Tutoring," the forum focused on education, one of the Foundation's priority areas. Shadow education, which is the comprehensive term for private, for-profit tutoring, is an issue that affects many educational systems, including the UAE's. Full Story

Capacity Development

Promoting Inclusive Teaching Strategies in Ras Al Khaimah Schools

This spring, the Al Qasimi Foundation added new courses to its growing list of professional development offerings available to local educators. One of these courses, led by Ms. Vicky Allen of Fujairah's Higher Colleges of Technology, focuses on equipping teachers to better integrate students with special needs into traditional classrooms. Full Story   



In the Headlines

The government of Ras Al Khaimah gives considerable attention to the emirate's community development and has initiated several projects devoted to the service of the individual, to prepare him/her for the future and for contributing to Ras Al Khaimah's society. Al Qasimi Foundation staff participating in the Foundation's Ras Al Khaimah Prison Project offer their perspectives on this important endeavor. (Original article in Arabic) Full Story

The art work of artist Ms. Awatif Al Safwan, "Tale of Man," was featured in the Second Annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival in the UAE, which opened February 20, and lasted for three days. Al Safwan said to Al Sharq, "I was invited by the director of the Festival, which is attended by 50 artists from the UAE, Arab, and other countries." (Original article in Arabic) Full Story  

The Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival seeks to build strong relationships for creative communication among international artists and to support the creative and artistic sectors of the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. From the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, the Festival was launched on the 20th of February with nearly 50 artists from the UAE, the Gulf region, and around the globe participating. (Original article in Arabic) Full Story

The Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research was named one of the Middle East's best think tanks in 2013 in the University of Pennsylvania's latest global think tank rankings. The Global Go To Think Tank Index is the culmination of an eight-month process that included an international survey of more than 2,000 scholars, think tank directors, public and private donors, policy makers, and journalists from every region of the world. Full Story

The National (January 25, 2014)
Educator Makes Great Strides in Ras Al Khaimah

After arriving in the Ras Al Khaimah in 2001, Natasha Ridge did not imagine she would still be there 12 years later. As head of English at the Ras Al Khaimah English Speaking School, the teacher has come a long way since, becoming a regional expert on the UAE education system. The passionate Australian, who arrived in the country at the age of 28, now holds a doctorate in education, and has made educating the young generation her mission. Full Story

Upcoming Events & Deadlines
Majlis Series
April 12: Does Privatizing Educational Services for the Poor Make Sense?
Over the last decade, there has been a growing interest in the role that for-profit, private providers of educational services can play in universalizing access to basic education in low-income countries. Led by Dr. Keith Lewin, Professor of International Education and Development at the University of Sussex, this forum will discuss potential benefits and drawbacks of educational privatization for the poor and also consider the role of public education in addressing social inequalities. Calendar Link
Majlis Series
April 20: Too Much of a Good Thing? Nationalism, Praise, and Motivation

Praising students is a common strategy to encourage them to engage, learn, and achieve. Yet research shows that not all praise is the same, and too much praise can have negative consequences. Led by Dr. Calvert Jones, this forum provides an overview of research on praise and external incentives for positive student behavior. The Majlis will address the implications of combining praise with nationalism, as is common in the context of Arab education reform.

Community Gathering Series
April 22: Photography for Everyone

Led by Emirates Falcons Photography, this gathering will focus on both the technical and artistic dimensions of photography. Expert photographers will introduce participants to the history of photography, a variety of cameras and lenses, and different types of photography. This interactive event offers aspiring photographers of all ages helpful instruction and inspiration related to their craft. Calendar Link 
Capacity Development
April 27: Teacher Scholarship Information Session
This event is designed for education professionals working in Ras Al Khaimah government schools or the Education Zone who are interested in applying to the Al Qasimi Foundation's Teacher Scholarship Program, which has its next application deadline on June 30, 2014. The session will also include presentations by the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) and the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK) on their graduate programs for education professionals. Calendar Link
Capacity Development
June 30: Application Deadline for Teacher Scholarhips

Applications are due for 2014 Teacher Scholarships (including master's degree, short-term courses, and action research programs). The Teacher Scholarship Awards are open to teachers from all nationalities who are teaching in a Ras Al Khaimah government school or working in the Ras Al Khaimah Ministry of Education. For more information on the Teacher Scholarships program, including eligibility and application process, please visit the Teacher Scholarships section of the Al Qasimi Foundation website
Capacity Development
June 30: Application Deadline for School Grants

Applications are due for School Grant projects beginning in Fall 2014. For more information on the School Grants program, including eligibility and application process, please visit the School Grants section of the Al Qasimi Foundation website.  

Our Mission

To aid in the social, cultural, and economic development of Ras Al Khaimah and the United Arab Emirates through high-quality policy research, strategic capacity development, and purposeful community engagement. 

Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research
 www.alqasimifoundation.com | info@alqasimifoundation.rak.ae | (P) +971 7 2338060 | (F) +971 7 2338070

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