42 Abu Dhabi, the GCC’s first-of-its-kind disruptive tuition-free coding school due to open in the UAE capital in February, has signed partnership agreements with five telecoms and I.T. heavyweights to open up a host of internship, mentorship and recruitment opportunities for students, as well as exclusive access to partner events, industry themed challenges and hackathons.
The partnerships with local and international tech giants Huawei, Du, Microsoft, Intel and Oracle were signed at this week’s GITEX Technology Week in Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC).
Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) launched 42 Abu Dhabi project in September as a major enabler in Abu Dhabi’s strategic vision to create a diverse and inclusive education infrastructure that empowers and enables human capital. The school will operate from a purpose-built campus in the heart of the UAE capital’s new creative hub Mina Zayed warehouses district.
The campus, which aims to accommodate up to 750 students when fully operational, is an initiative of Ghadan 21, Abu Dhabi’s three-year accelerators program that aims to fast-track the emirate’s economic transformation through investment in the economy, knowledge, and community to support business, innovation, and people.
“These partnerships illustrate 42 Abu Dhabi’s inclusive approach to open-minded cross-sector collaboration which will ease our graduates’ integration into the job market and provide a ‘future-ready’ workforce,” commented His Excellency Amer Al Hammadi, Undersecretary at ADEK, which is behind the 42 Abu Dhabi initiative.
“While each partnership will bring its own benefits to the 42 Abu Dhabi program, students will have access to a myriad of benefits to take them from the coding lab to the workplace. With the support of these five global technology leaders, we can shape the future of young coders by immersing them in real-world challenges where they can test their skills and express their disruptive thinking.”
With business partnerships having proven successful at French and US campuses of the international 42 Network of coding and computer programming schools, 42 Abu Dhabi has mirrored the strategy ahead of its February opening.
“Students are consistently offered jobs at early stages during their journey at 42 Network, so it’s a proven opportunity for young coders to impress potential employers and for partners to access the unique talents that 42 Abu Dhabi will build,” said Majid Al Shamsi, ADEK’s Director of Higher Education Business Development and 42 Abu Dhabi Project Lead. “The partners will enable the students to gain real time project experience utilizing the most up-to-date technological innovations. With students’ experience primed and relevant, they come out with an impressive portfolio at the end of the program.”
As a leading provider of ICT infrastructure and smart devices, Huawei has committed to collaborating in providing internships, delivering industry-related workshops, as well as holding knowledge transfer events and competitions. Huawei will also provide 42 Abu Dhabi students with access to its online training courses and vouchers for its HCIA certification examinations covering AI, 5G, Big Data, Security, Cloud Services and Computing, WLAN, Routing and Switching, and Storage.
Jerry Liu, Huawei UAE CEO, said: “People are the most important factor for maintaining the vitality and sustainable growth of society. In the past 30 years, Huawei has made many efforts to cultivate ICT talents by sharing accumulated knowledge systems and best practices. Facing the challenges of the ICT industry in the future, Huawei believes the partnership with 42 Abu Dhabi will create more talents in the ICT industry which will empower and enable a future-ready workforce to better support Abu Dhabi’s strategic vision.”
du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunication Company (EITC) will collaborate with 42 Abu Dhabi to provide internships, work placements and job opportunities for its students. It will also provide industry-themed programming competitions, challenges and hackathons to 42 Abu Dhabi students and the emirate’s wider tech community and encourage its own staff to study at the school and support its events.
Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Technology Officer, du, said: “Providing valuable avenues for up-and-coming talent is an essential component of personal development and career progression. Today, future industry leaders require platforms that will equip them with the knowledge, skillsets, and competencies they require to gain experience, realize their potential, and shape the future landscape. As such, we are delighted to working alongside 42 Abu Dhabi and lending our support. This initiative was the result of the efforts of the du Youth Council, which is chaired by Ali Al Mansoori, Vice President – Human Capital Development at du. We believe national talent pool will be crucial to social and industrial sustainability in the decades ahead. The onus is on us as influencers to act now and ensure they are prepared to overcome challenge and capitalize on the opportunities that await.”
Meanwhile, as part of its agreement, Microsoft will provide 42 Abu Dhabi students with access to its ‘Future-Ready Skills’ ready-to-teach curriculum, covering various topics such as software development, cloud, data, AI and security. Teaching materials are aligned to industry-recognized, Microsoft certifications that provide self-paced learning delivered through Microsoft Learn online. Both organizations will work together to cultivate greater interest in coding, science, technology, and innovation among the UAE youth through encouraging students to apply to Imagine Cup competitions, workshops, industry-themed visits, learning journeys and real-life challenges.
“With industries being disrupted at global scale, we have a collective responsibility to create a more resilient world for a better tomorrow,” said Sayed Hashish, General Manager of Microsoft UAE. “Technology will play a profound role in this journey, and we are committed to building the digital skills of young talent to advance Abu Dhabi’s vision of an open, efficient, effective and globally integrated business environment.”
The world's largest and highest-valued semiconductor chip manufacturer and microprocessor developer, Intel, will provide internships and mentorship for 42 Abu Dhabi students, support industry-themed programming competitions, challenges and hackathons, host talks, encourage its employees to take part in the school’s events and conduct and sponsor industry-related workshops.
One of the world’s largest enterprise technology corporation, Oracle intends to guide 42 Abu Dhabi program administrators and students for potentially gaining access to the Oracle University’s Learning Explorer Portal Program as a resource pathway towards acquiring and strengthening latest digital skills to kickstart a rewarding career in the region’s fast growing IT industry.
Oracle experts will also aim to explore mentoring, industry focused sessions, talks, workshops and guest lectures within the school’s wider events program. Furthermore, visits to Oracle offices in the UAE for selected students to gain new technology insights will also be explored.
“Today, more than 2 million Oracle certified professionals are part of the global workforce. With hundreds of specialized learning paths on latest digital technologies including Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), Machine Learning and many more, Oracle University plays a vital role in preparing students and professionals for the global IT industry”, said Abiy Yeshitla, Vice President – Technology, Gulf States and LEENA markets, Oracle.
“Preparing the UAE’s next gen workforce for the digital economy is a key priority for Oracle, and we have been at the forefront of initiating a host of capacity building initiatives locally. We are confident that our collaboration with 42 Abu Dhabi will help accelerate digital skills learning and open a host of rewarding career opportunities for students”, added Abiy Yeshitla.
42 Abu Dhabi will follow the tuition-free model of coding and programming education that was pioneered by the 42 Network’s first school Paris, École 42, in 2013. The 42 Network has since expanded to over 20 schools globally.
“Business partnerships are integral to the long-term vision of 42 Abu Dhabi, with organizations benefitting from access to high calibre graduate talent for internships and full-time positions. Organizations can also reap upskill benefits by investing in their own employees to source not only next-generation coding skills, but also an ability to think critically,” added Undersecretary Al Hammadi.
42 Abu Dhabi believes the headline partnerships will incentivize other industry and academic organizations to partner with the disruptive school.