Dubai-UAE: 05 June, 2013 – Dubai School of Government (DSG), a research and teaching institution focusing on public policy in the Arab world, today hosted faculty from
Zayed University at a forum on ‘Linking Leadership to Locality'. The event organized as part of DSG's Gender and Public Policy Seminar Series underlined efforts of a local university to embed national culture, beliefs and values within an international university curriculum.
Ghalia Gargani, Acting Director of the Gender and Public Policy Program, kicked off the session highlighting that the UAE is an interesting location to examine women's leadership development programs, because it is high on the agenda of government, academic and private sector institutions. Most recently, the program published research that closely investigated such initiatives and looked at ways to rethink them.
Gargani added: “Among the findings that came out of this research was that when looking at women's leadership development programs, it is not enough to import western centric models and assume they will work in the local context. Imported leadership development programs are often divorced from the local and institutional contexts that allow for more critical assessment of their impact.”
Led by academicians from the Zayed University's College of Education, Dr Barbara Harold and Dr Lauren Stephenson, the session examined the scope of leadership education in an institution of higher learning in the UAE. In addition to highlighting the role of leadership education in supporting the empowerment of young Emiratis, particularly women, they emphasized on the timely relevance of integrating local beliefs, culture and values into the curriculum.
Dr Harold said: “Zayed University has made many efforts to develop the concept of leadership education for students in a way that fits with local community and cultural needs through exploring the views and experiences of students and leaders within the wider community and society. As part of the curriculum, the university has included important elements of leadership to help students hone their abilities during their four years of study.”
Dr Stephenson elaborated on the success of such a leadership program in enhancing local community awareness and offering an appropriate platform for communication and dialogue. Taking the audience through a draft conceptual framework of Zayed University's leadership program at the macro, meso and micro levels, she explained how each level could serve as a basis for the development of students' leadership education across the university and within the colleges with more discipline specific opportunities.
The Dubai School of Government was established in 2005 to work on the construction of systems of good governance through enhancing the region's capacity in public policy making. Towards this end, the School collaborates with leading regional and global institutions to provide strategic research and excellent training initiatives.