The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) in Abu Dhabi is planning to launch the country’s first sports-management degree in September 2013.
First of its kind, the BSc (Hons) Applied Sport Management programme is collaboration between HCT and the University of Ulster, UK. It is an outcome of the agreement that was signed in December 2011, on the sidelines of the 4th biennial Festival of Thinkers conference by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of the HCT, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, President of the Automobile & Touring Club of the UAE (ATC-UAE) and Professor Richard Barnett, Vice Chancellor of the University of Ulster.
The Bachelors programme was officially launched by Shaikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, on February 28 2013.
The launch of the sports degree will attempt to exploit the country’s potential for holding high profile sporting events including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Dubai Rugby Sevens and several major golf and tennis tournaments. The increased interest in the sporting sector has led to a demand for educational institutions that may hone young people to develop management skills and maintain top positions in the sector.
“It is important to our country’s sporting future that, through the provision of higher education based on the best international standards, a new generation of young Emiratis is developed and empowered to contribute to the continuing growth of the UAE sports industry,” said Dr Tayeb Kamali, vice-chancellor of HCT.
He further added that in order to earn a greater share in the global sports sector, the value of which is expected to reach Dh 532 billion in 2015, UAE needs to take such steps.
“Thus, to allow the country to take the next step, we need qualified and trained Emiratis running our sports properties to the highest international standards,” Bin Sulayem added.
The programme comprises of 29 courses, ranging from social science and economics of sport to sports management, and will employ modern teaching methods including interactive lectures, small group webinars, online individual tutorials and practical workshops. The courses will be taught by local faculty at HCT and visiting faculty from Ulster.
The first full time batch of students will be admitted in September.