The UAE offers many education and training opportunities to support cultural professionals and youth to acquire more experience, skills, and knowledge in media sectors. The courses and programs are provided by different institutions as follows:
The Mohammed Bin Rashid School for Communication (MBRSC), at the American University in Dubai, is the first academic institution in the region to offer world-class and specialized undergraduate courses in various communication fields. The MBRSC offers a Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation in Contemporary Media (M.A.) and a Bachelor of Communication and Information Studies (B.C.I.S) with two majors; Digital Production and Storytelling, and Journalism. MBRSC boasts 98% employability rate within the first year of students' graduation and offers annual scholarships to select undergraduate students, removing barriers to participation and enabling students to gain access to education and training in the media field.
In5, an initiative launched by TECOM group, is an innovation center and hub for media freelancers, and entrepreneurs to work collectively on media related endeavors. In5 incubates, trains and guides aspiring entrepreneurs to conduct successful businesses in media. It offers its members an educational program that includes both international as well as in-house training programs and workshops to develop the latest skills and knowledge and offers creatives spaces including editing suites, green rooms, multimedia and meeting rooms.
CNN Academy is a tuition-free, five-week course led by a team of experienced journalists that combines online learning with in-person workshops to teach participants how to pitch, prepare and produce a broadcast-ready story. The online workshops and webinar sessions led by senior CNN journalists teach participants how CNN gathers information, verifies sources and produces content for its multiple platforms. The in-person workshops at CNN Abu Dhabi give the participants a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the network's flagship current affairs show, Connect the World with Becky Anderson. Furthermore, throughout the five-weeks, participants work on producing their own multiplatform content with a team of professional photographers and editors to shoot, edit, script, and present their work with the best content being featured on CNN.
New Media Academy is an academic institution offering a broad range of career-oriented educational programs to nurture innovation and creativity in the field of digital marketing. The educational programs include social media professional program, youth youtuber program, storytelling program, open content creator program and impact digital creator program. The learning experience includes mentorship, e-learning, and on-demand online learning along with opportunities to apply skills.
The National Media Youth Program (NMYP), a joint initiative of the Dubai Press Club and Watani Al Emarat Foundation, and the largest program of its kind in the region, is an annual training program that aims to develop a new generation of Emirati journalists that are equipped with the tools and skills needed to excel in the media industry. The program is held in partnership with leading media and academic institutions and includes specialized workshops designed to improve the analytical and professional skills of participants.
Arab Film Studio: Image Nation, in collaboration with local, regional and international partners, offers training and education opportunities for the film industry. These include internship opportunities on the set of TV series, one year film programs involving making a movie, a 5 month in-depth program for scriptwriters, online filmmaking workshops for high-school students, online scriptwriting courses, and online media content development courses for marketing and communications executives.
Creative Lab in collaboration with its partners including Zayed University, the Korean Culture Center, Louvre Abu Dhabi, and CNN, to name a few, offers students and media professionals with opportunities to develop their skills by volunteering on projects, shadowing or interning alongside industry experts, and networking with a community of over 14,000 media professionals with a passion for film, TV, publishing, music, gaming, animation and illustration.
Culture and Creative Industries Training Program, launched by the Ministry of Culture and Youth and the Abu Dhabi School of Government, is a program dedicated to the Culture and Creative industries in the areas of art and design, journalism and media, self-development, entrepreneurship, music, videogames, and computer science. Through the program, the creative community, university students and interested youth can register for training courses offered online by international universities such as Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, Harvard University, Yale University, University of Melbourne, Michigan State University, University of Chicago, University of Washington, and University of Pennsylvania, among others.
Media Laboratory, a collaborative initiative between Ajman Media City and Ajman Vision Foundation, offers university students media training courses that include a research component and hands on experience.
Below are some examples of the outcomes of the education and training opportunities:
* The National Media Youth Program has trained 188 media students and media professionals over three years.
* The Creative Lab community has collaborated to complete 27 short films, 6 digital apps, 8 documentaries, 2 music projects, 8 short form series, 1 long form series, 3 digital e-books, 1 podcast, and 7 music videos.
* Arab Film Studio has had over 150 participants from 28 countries.
* Over the last five years, TECOM group has offered roughly 55 free media related workshops to over 2,000 participants. In 2020, they offered 10 virtual sessions tailored to the media, film and music industry.
There are many initiatives related to education in the UAE because the interest in nurturing the cultural sector and creating jobs and a cultural economy is real.
The UAE is currently assessing the arts and cultural education at school level to ensure that it is provided with high quality and to capitalize on investing in talent at its early stages.
Furthermore, an assessment of the available higher education programs is currently being conducted to ensure that a range of cultural programs are available and meet the requirements of the market and are in line with the UAE's future plans for the cultural and creative sector.
Another assessment on the status of vocational education for the cultural and creative industries is being conducted.
Once a clear and full assessment is available, an action plan to consolidate all various efforts in providing long term education to meet the requirements of the UAE economy will be put in place, to ensure continuity and impact from all the various investments done to support the arts and people interested in pursuing real careers in the cultural sector.