UAE MLIS FEASIBILITY STUDY @ ABU DHABI LIBRARIANS NETWORK FORUM
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UAE MLIS FEASIBILITY STUDY @ ABU DHABI LIBRARIANS NETWORK FORUM

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  • TERMINOLOGY – Used the term “Information Management” to consider the broadest scope for this study. Some misgivings within management re “libraries”Finished July 2013 - major data collection and analysis in early 2013. Copies are available – contact the author.PHILOSOPHICAL STANCE : That development of a program should -Be based upon a clear understanding of the qualifications, knowledge, skills and experiences required by professionals working in the UAEReflect international best practice and seek a high standard of academic accreditationWould involve a partnership with a creditable US library schoolCurriculum development would come later, and would evolve from interests of students, and identified employment options available in the UAE
  • IMPETUS … besides me, who pushed for the study to be done!Constructing a knowledge-driven economy requires new skills from a highly trained workforce, and must include the ability to understand, manage, utilize, and be innovative with information.References available.
  • NCDR – National Center for Documentation and ResearchCAA – Commission for Academic Accreditation (MOHESR)KHDA – Knowledge and Human Development AuthorityADEC – Abu Dhabi Education Council
  • Specialist disciplinary knowledgeAbility to collaborateSkills in project managementSkills in technology applications (Anne Wolpert, MIT (2013) who doesn’t employ and LIS professional these days who can’t code).
  • Statistically significant sample groups. Likely to be representative of the library community, but less representative of the broader student community.
  • Statistical details in the report.Many libraries offered internships, work experience, course development and advice.Many librarians wanted to be involved.
  • Quote from respondent.
  • Quote from respondent.
  • Professional LIS functions were not understood.Those currently employed within libraries and archival services had a far greater understanding of the LIS profession, and were often keen to undertake further studies.
  • Currently poor career path options.Quotes from respondents.
  • Quote from respondent.MY STATS FOR SCHOOLS: nearly 45% of students reported not having good internet or computer facilities at their high schoolnearly 60% indicating that they didn’t use the internet in their lessons or classrooms in either government or private high schoolsHad little experience or idea about what a good library/ information service was.Role of “librarian” in the UAE carried a low status amongst Emiratis.
  • SAMPLE of 699 students fromZayed University (255)Potential students in the wider UAE population (202)NCDR survey of government departments for archival services (242)
  • Refer for detail to the report, p.25Students were not given an open question in which to add comments – minimize the length to improve response rate. Qualitative data therefore not available.Several did write emails to encourage ZU to establish courses.
  • At present, the report stands, but there is no current uptake by management.
  • The broader picture is IMPORTANT!Already discussed:UAE confounding factors? Career path Working conditions status of librarianship students/Emirati pop?ZU confounding factors? Academic location within a university Management understanding of librarianship
  • PROBLEMS Lack of internationally agreed standards…Hinders the international mobility of LIS professionals;Prospective employers lack a method of assessing the suitability of overseas candidates’ LIS qualifications, particularly methods which are consistent and authoritative.RESULTS? Researchers could not identify a workable, universal system. Did identify major issues.REF for quotation: Dalton, P., & Levinson, K. (2000). An investigation of LIS qualifications throughout the world. Paper presented at the 66th IFLA Council and General Conference, Jerusalem, Israel. http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla73/papers/151-Saw_Todd-en.pdf
  • MAJOR ISSUESWhat has changed worldwide since 2000?Importance of academic accreditation to the UAE LIS programs.NOTE – worldwide introduction of more formal monitoring of tertiary education (all disciplines)Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in the UKLIS Education in Europe: Joint Curriculum Development and Bologna Perspectives Europe 2005 (and follow-up articles e.g. Virkus 2008/2012 or Abdullahi 2007)Current revisions of the Standards for Accreditation of Master’s Programs in Library and Information Studies (ALA) USA 2013Gerolimos (2009) Skills developed through library and information science education. LIS skills analysis in USA, UK, CanadaRe-conceptualizing and re-positioning Australian library and information science education for the 21st century Australia 2011National Qualifications Authority in the UAE – a Qualifications Framework in Higher Education. UAE 2012Great value and importance of establishing a professional association.National and international standards of academic accreditation.
  • A goal that is valuable for the country. Our legacy?LIS Community of Practice (Partridge et al 2011 p7) LIS educators working together to explore and respond to the many issues facing information education now “to ensure the nation’s LIS educators continue to exchange innovative practices, undertake collaborative ventures and create opportunities for more open communication to support and guide the future of LIS education in Australia” p8
  • Not a surprise for those who know me Build on the research completed in this feasibility study, if nothing else!

UAE MLIS FEASIBILITY STUDY @ ABU DHABI LIBRARIANS NETWORK FORUM UAE MLIS FEASIBILITY STUDY @ ABU DHABI LIBRARIANS NETWORK FORUM Presentation Transcript

  • Feasibility study: Graduate Programs in INFORMATION MANAGEMENT at Zayed University, UAE. Dr. Janet Martin Back to School Forum - ABCs of MLIS Qualifications: A Global Perspective January, 2014.
  • Zayed University Feasibility Study, 2013. Office of Graduate Studies undertook a consultancy to investigate the feasibility of establishing a Graduate Certificate or Masters level library and information studies qualification at ZU.
  • Impetus for establishing LIS in the UAE 1. Building a knowledge economy. For example: UAE Vision 2021 Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 UAE in the Global Knowledge Economy Arab Knowledge Report 2010/11 2. Historical Impetus. Several attempts to initiate MLIS programs at ZU in 2009/10.
  • Impetus for establishing LIS in the UAE 3. Development of research capacity within the UAE. For example: National Research Foundation 4. National recommendations or mandates for establishing information services. For example: Federal Law No. (7) for 2008 re NCDR CAA licensing for higher education KHDA and ADEC handbooks and strategic plans 5. Emiratisation of the UAE workforce* For example: Emiratisation Plan in Federal Government Sector & Mechanism for Coordination and Followup (2010-2013)
  • Impetus for establishing LIS in the UAE 6. Paucity of options for obtaining professional qualifications in information management in the UAE in most locations. This is not an available career path for most Emiratis, despite the push for Emiratisation in this field (as well as in other vocations). 7. International imperative for non-traditional LIS professionals. Wide recognition of need for technological, flexible and transferrable skills.
  • Data Collection Quantitative data collection included: Completed survey by 699 potential students in the UAE. Student surveys were distributed through as many library and information services and networks as possible (after ethical clearance), though notable exceptions were HCT and UAEU, despite great effort to include them. Separate completed survey by 28 potential employers in the UAE and Qatar. Employer responses were largely from higher education, school and archival services. HCT and UAEU were included here. Qualitative data collection: 30 personal interviews with potential employers in the UAE. Several potential employers also sent in lengthy personal viewpoints on this topic via email
  • Data Analysis – Employers Almost without exception, there was strong support within the library community for the development of an internationally recognized, good quality LIS program at ZU.
  • Data Analysis – Employers “The lack of an accredited MLS program in the UAE is a real problem as we would like to recruit well-trained, well-educated Emiratis for library positions.”
  • Data Analysis – Employers “There is a strong need for bilingual Arabic/English speakers and library professionals who can catalog Arabic books.”
  • Data Analysis – Employers Reservations were expressed by some potential employers about: • Desire of Emirati students to work in libraries/archives • Understanding within the UAE about the value of libraries/archives
  • Data Analysis – Employers “The librarianship profession is not well understood, even within the organization.” “Due to perceived low pay, too long working hours, and lack of child care facilities, [Emirati] staff resigned in favor of better paying government jobs.”
  • Data Analysis – Employers “Libraries in government schools are often locked, poorly resourced, and lucky to have any staff at all. Staff are often failed teachers… There is usually no teaching, and no computers or internet in these libraries. They are just a babysitting service when used at all.”
  • Data Analysis – Students SAMPLE of 699 potential students 86% Emirati 54% lived closer to Abu Dhabi than Dubai 45% “interested” or “very interested” in undertaking further studies in LIS 50% of these interested in Masters level 66% of these would begin within 2 years
  • Data Analysis – Students SUMMARY? Over 1,000 Emirati students per year are potential candidates for graduate studies in the information management field in the UAE. Most interested in Masters level. Most interested in higher education, archives, government or company employment.
  • Zayed University Implementation Reservations 1. “Location” of the program within the academic structure 2. Need to determine a US partner program 3. Lack of understanding of LIS value within university management, and by students 4. Need to have a financially viable program – are there “guaranteed” cohorts/ are Emirati students willing to work in this profession?
  • Issues confronting MLIS education in the UAE at present? 1. Size of LIS population in the UAE Compare the estimated number of LIS workers and libraries in several developed countries, to a very rough estimate in the UAE (based on this feasibility study research):
  • Issues confronting MLIS education in the UAE at present? 2. Academic and Professional accreditation IFLA Conference 2000, CIRT researchers reported on their quest for establishing international LIS education standards. “No worldwide approved standards for LIS education, and no formalized methods for determining the equivalency of LIS qualifications between different countries.“
  • Issues confronting MLIS education in the UAE at present? 2. Academic and Professional accreditation Academic accreditation: there was great flexibility and interpretation involved in deciding on academic accreditation of particular courses. Definitions of what makes good practice in LIS education vary greatly. There was no single way to identify school or program excellence. Professional accreditation: In many countries LIS qualifications were academically accredited, but not professionally accredited (that is, accredited by a professional library or information association within that country).
  • Issues confronting MLIS education in the UAE at present? 3. Working together Competition divides Ideas for the future? Communication Independent Stakeholders Professional Association Community of Practice ….?
  • Issues confronting MLIS education in the UAE at present? 4. Need for more research! What is needed? How can it be funded? Who can do it? How can results reach the right ears? …..
  • References – LIS in the UAE Dr. Janet Martin January 2014. Abu Dhabi Education Council. (2009). Strategic Plan. Retrieved 29 May, 2013, from http://www.adec.ac.ae/en/Education/P12Education/Pages/Strategic-Plan.aspx American Library Association. (2014). Standards, process, policies and procedures (AP3). from http://www.ala.org/accreditedprograms/standards Arab Knowledge Report 2010/2011. (2010). Dubai, UAE: Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) and The United Nations Development Programme / Regional Bureau for Arab States (UNDP/RBAS). http://204.200.211.31/Update_March_2012/AKR%202011/AKR_%20English.PDF Commission for Academic Accreditation. (2011). Standards for licensure and accreditation, 2011 (pp. 1-63). Abu Dhabi, UAE: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Commission for Academic Accreditation. (2012). Extracts from the Qualifications Framework Emirates Handbook: Emirates handbook and implementation of QFEmirates in higher education. Abu Dhabi, UAE: Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Comparative international statistics for LIS organizations and workers from: INCITE 34 (5), May 2013, p.32 Dalton, P., & Levinson, K. (2000). An investigation of LIS qualifications throughout the world. Paper presented at the 66th IFLA Council and General Conference, Jerusalem, Israel. http://archive.ifla.org/IV/ifla73/papers/151-Saw_Todd-en.pdf Emirates Competitiveness Council. (2011). The UAE in the global knowledge economy: Fast-forwarding the nation Policy in Action (Vol. 1, pp. 1-12). Dubai, UAE. Federal Authority for Government Human Resources. (2011). Emiratization plan in Federal Government sector & mechanism for coordination and follow-up (2010-2013) (pp. 1-62). Abu Dhabi, UAE: The Federal Authority for Government Human Resources. Gerolimos, M. (2009). Skills developed through library and information science education. Library Review, 58(7), 527-540. doi: 10.1108/00242530910978217
  • References – LIS in the UAE Dr. Janet Martin January 2014. Government of Abu Dhabi. (2008). Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030 (pp. 1-146). Abu Dhabi: Executive Council of the UAE. Knowledge and Human Development Authority. (2012). Inspection handbook 2012-13: Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau (pp. 186). Dubai, UAE: Government of Dubai. Martin, J. (2013) Technology, education and Arab youth in the 21 st century: A study of the UAE. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia). Retrieved from http://drjanetmartin.wordpress.com/research/ Martin, J. (2013) Feasibility study: The development of Graduate Programs in Information Management at Zayed University, UAE. Unpublished Report, Zayed University, UAE. Retrieved from http://drjanetmartin.wordpress.com/projects/ National Center for Documentation and Research. (2008). Federal Law No. ( 7 ) for 2008 On National Center for Documentation and Research Abu Dhabi, UAE: Ministry of Presidential Affairs, UAE. National Research Foundation. (2008). NRF at a glance. Retrieved May 29, 2013, from http://www.nrf.ae/ Partridge, H., Hanisch, J., Hughes, H., Henninger, M., Carroll, M., Combes, B., . . . Yates, C. (2011). Re-conceptualising and repositioning Australian library and information science education for the 21st century (pp. 161). Sydney: Australian Learning & Teaching Council. Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. (2014). QAA: Safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education. from http://www.qaa.ac.uk/Pages/default.aspx UAE Vision 2021. (2011). Retrieved 9 October, 2012, from http://www.vision2021.ae/home-page.html