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HBMSU and Starbucks partner for smart learning

Cloud Campus Starbucks to offer free online learning to customers in the UAE

Cloud Campus Starbucks has been launched in Dubai to offer free smart learning courses to Starbucks customers.
Cloud Campus Starbucks has been launched in Dubai to offer free smart learning courses to Starbucks customers.

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) will make select educational content from its Cloud Campus initiative available for free to customers of coffee chain Starbucks for the next three months.

As part of the Year of Reading initiative, 27 Starbucks stores in the UAE will offer direct access to 10 hours of free interactive lectures which can be viewed using mobile devices, laptops, tablets, and smartphones running on Android, iOS, and Windows.

Cloud Campus Starbucks will offer a virtual library of interactive resources, including more than 5,000 illustrated lectures as well as references and educational courses in business, science, and creative and professional skills.

The initiative was launched at an event in Dubai attended by HE Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and HE Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of the University's Board of Governors, with other dignitaries.

HE Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim said: "The launch of HBMSU's initiative across UAE Starbucks branches falls in line with the vision launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into a smart city. The strategic partnership between Hamdan Bin Mohammed Social Smart Learning initiative (Cloud Campus) and an internationally acknowledged brand such as Starbucks, helps expand and further instil the concept of smart learning, particularly among today's youth, who frequently visit and spend long hours at Starbucks. This initiative will allow them to make best of their free time - reading and gaining knowledge, in a seamless and smarter way, without feeling bored.

"Smart learning has become today's modern language and is widely available to everyone. We are witnessing a radical change in the traditional concepts and learning systems in the UAE, where educational attainment and having a degree is no longer expensive or complicated as it was decades ago when learning was mainly based on paper work, classes and going to libraries. Today, smart learning enables everyone to seamlessly, easily and cost-efficiently dive into the sea of knowledge anytime and anywhere. Moreover, communication between the learner and professor is now around-the-clock or on a 24/7 bases, so it honours me to say that the UAE's wise leadership has no limit for its ambitions to raise the bar on the country and position it among the most developed smart learning countries in the world," Khalfan added.

Dr Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor, HBMSU, said: "The initiative will be available across selected Starbucks stores in the UAE. It aims to provide new and promising educational opportunities for all in line with HBMSU's commitment to life-long learning; a fundamental pillar to effect positive community change and reshape the future of education in accordance with the requirements of modern development."

Dr Al Awar said that the initiative would help meet national goals of producing qualified, intellectual, and culturally competent generations with outstanding scientific skills. "These generations will help lead the country in its march towards excellence and position the UAE as the world's leading knowledge centre.

"The UAE has been focusing on enhancing knowledge and learning in accordance with the directives of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who emphasized that ‘building human capital is a national need.' Today, the UAE is steadily moving forward under the wise leadership of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, and HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE one of the most developed nations in the world. Under the leadership of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU, we will continuously provide learning opportunities for all and foster a culture of innovation and excellence through smart learning across the Arab region. We are confident that our strategic partnership with committed, responsible and influential entities such as Starbucks will result in tangible results and significant contributions to ensure community development and building generations who will lead the country towards progress."

Matthew Holgate, President of Starbucks - MENA commented: "Starbucks has always been part of the communities where its operates, and we always strive to create positive change in people's lives by offering more than a cup of coffee. Through the partnership with HBMSU, we are enabling youth across UAE to have wider and easier access to the right education in the creative and engaging Starbucks' environment. We aim to provide young Emiratis the opportunity to learn new and exciting things while enjoying their favourite coffee at Starbucks. This partnership will continue for three months giving more opportunities to our customers across the UAE."

HBMSU's Social Smart Learning initiative (Cloud Campus), is an interactive educational platform developed to disseminate knowledge using 60-90 minute videos and micro-learning methodology. The platform includes more than 5,000 courses and 170 learning materials covering various professions and topics to enhance digital skills. The courses are given under the supervision of a team of experts and academics who are committed to provide round-the-clock support. The learners business skills can be further improved through its 10 program offerings in leadership, entrepreneurship, communication, talent development, operation management, marketing, HR Development, and Islamic banking, among others. Upon completion of each program, a certificate from HBMSU will be issued to them.