Join the HCT’s epic journey as we highlight many of the important milestones in its rich history. This remarkable journey of discovery started more than 25 years ago with the vision of establishing a national higher education institution for young Emiratis. It then gains momentum with the opening of the HCT’s first colleges and continues moving forward up to the present day, with a view to the future.
1988 Formation of HCT
In 1985, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan made a commitment to establish a new system of tertiary education for UAE nationals that would stress the ideals of productivity, self-determination and excellence.
Al Ain Men’s College opened in September 1988, in a rented residential villa located in the city’s Al Sarooj district. It had 61 students and 18 faculty and staff.
Al Ain Women’s College opened on September 10, 1988 in a rented compound of six small villas located in the city’s Al Mowaiji district, before moving to its current spacious location. There were 57 students and 16 faculty and staff.
Abu Dhabi Men’s College opened in September 1988, with 52 students. It occupied two floors in Al Masaood Tower, Hamdan Street, Abu Dhabi. A year later this increased to three floors.
Abu Dhabi Women’s College opened in September 1988 in a villa in the city, with 45 students originally enrolled. It later moved to a temporary location, which today is known as Building 4 of the HCT Central Services division in Abu Dhabi. Eventually, it moved to its current location near Hazza Bin Zayed Street.
Dubai Women’s College opened in December 1989, with 145 students and 125 faculty members and 85 staff. It originally offered a Higher Diploma in Business and Technology.
Dubai Men’s College officially opened in August 1989 with 104 students and its first location was a former “car showroom” with eight classrooms, two computer labs and one engineering lab.
H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology, officiated at the Abu Dhabi Women’s College’s first graduating class in 1991.
Ras Al Khaimah Women’s College opened on September 4, 1993 with 104 students, in order to meet the tertiary education needs of female Emirati students in the northern emirates, including Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. It was officially opened on April 26, 1994.
Ras Al Khaimah Men’s College opened on September 4 1993, with 46 students, in order to meet the tertiary education needs of male Emirati students in the northern emirates, including Ajman and Umm Al Quwain. It was officially opened on April 26, 1994.
In 1994 the Higher Colleges of Technology were awarded the Jan Amos Comenius Medal by the International Bureau of Education of UNESCO. The medal is named after Jan Amos Comenius (1592-1670) who was known as the ‘Teacher of Nations”, and who was considered to be the first educator to have put forward the concept of […]
Dubai Men’s College moved to its second campus, referred to as the “Pink Building”, on Al Wuheida Road.
The Centre of Excellence for Applied Research & Training (CERT) is the commercial, research and training arm of the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT).
Sharjah Women’s College opened in 1997 as part of the HCT’s commitment to meet the tertiary education needs of female Emirati students in that emirate.
The new campus for Dubai Women’s College was officially opened on December 15, 1998 by H.H. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the then Crown Prince of Dubai and H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the UAE Minister for Higher Education and Chancellor of the Higher Colleges of Technology.
Dubai Men’s College moves to its third campus location, referred to as “Old DWC”, behind the Abu Hail Shopping Centre, to cater for its rapid growth.
The Sharjah Men’s College opened in 1998, as part of HCT’s commitment to meet the tertiary education needs of male Emirati students in the growing emirate of Sharjah.
Fujairah Women’s College opened in August 1999, followed by the official opening on March 11, 2000. It had 364 students and offered a Certificate in Business as its first program.
In April 2001, the vision of a group of college students from Abu Dhabi came to life as delegates from around the world arrived for the inaugural E-ducation Without Borders (EWB), International Student Conference. This first of its kind three-day international conference, sponsored by the Higher Colleges of Technology, was distinctly “by students for students. […]
On Friday, January 16, 2004, at Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall, the HCT organised more than 6,500 people, dressed in red, white, green and black t-shirts and caps, to form a giant UAE flag, measuring over 800 square meters. It was to be the creation of the largest human flag in the UAE. The flag was […]
Fujairah Men’s College opened in August 2004 with 112 students. It originally offered a Diploma in Information Technology/Business and Higher Diploma in Business Administration.
The Abu Dhabi Industry Award (ADIA) was the initiative of industry leaders and executives, representing a wide spectrum of Abu Dhabi industries, who formed the HCT’s Programme Advisory Committees (PACs). The annual ADIA grants significant cash prizes to the top HCT graduates, selected for their overall academic performance in their professional programme specialisations. These awards […]
Under the patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, the HCT Dubai Women’s College inaugurated its annual event – the Insight Dubai Conference.
The first edition of the HCT’s unique biennial Festival of Thinkers (FOT) conference was inaugurated in November 2005.
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, made a surprise visit to Dubai Men`s college on September 5. He toured the college and met with the students. Afterwards, at a small executive meeting, he announced his approval of increased funding to admit an […]
HCT Press is the academic publishing imprint of the Higher Colleges of Technology. It commissions and publishes works of a scholarly nature sourced from the HCT faculty members and relevant to the HCT programmes. It operates in collaboration with the HCT’s established and ongoing partnerships in education, business and industry throughout the UAE, the Gulf […]
Madinat Zayed Men’s and Women’s Colleges were officially opened on September 3, 2006. The Men’s College had 31 students and the Women’s College had 136 students enrolled at the commencement of that academic year.
The first biennial Education Without Borders (EWB) World Forum was opened and hosted by HCT. It is designed to bring together leaders representing educational institutions, governments and a diverse range of local and international industries, to discuss strategic issues and trends of our time and to reframe higher education in the context of increasing globalisation […]
Under the patronage and presence of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Women’s College inaugurated phase III of its campus on March 28, 2007.
Ruwais Women’s College opened in 2007 to help meet the tertiary education needs of young women in the Western Region. It had 82 students as the first cohort.
The HCT Nikai Student and Faculty Awards were launched in 2007.
The Nikai awards are proudly sponsored annually by the Nikai Group which supports innovation in education, by students and faculty members who demonstrate great aptitude, creativity, innovation and dedication to their studies and fields of endeavour at the HCT. The awards are a highlight of the HCT calendar and see the winners receive significant cash prizes, electronic equipment and a commemorative certificate.
In celebration of its 20th year of operation, the Higher Colleges of Technology established ‘The HCT Foundation’. The Foundation’s mandate is to provide partnership opportunities for the corporate sector, fulfilling the HCT’s mission to develop UAE national youth for effective nation building. Since the launch, the HCT has entered its third decade of operation and […]
In 2009, Abu Dhabi Women’s College opened a campus at Khalifa City A to meet the demand for tertiary education for women in the towns and areas surrounding downtown Abu Dhabi. The state-of-the-art college is now known as the HCT Khalifa City Women’s College.
Ruwais Men’s College opened in 2009 to help meet the tertiary education needs of young men in the Western Region. It had 25 students as the first cohort.
The UAE Journal of Educational Technology and eLearning was launched on 28 May 2009 by Dr. Tayeb Kamali, Vice Chancellor of the HCT and Mukul Pandya, Executive Director/Editor-in-chief, Knowledge@Wharton. The journal is the UAE’s premier journal dedicated to the advancement of professionals by providing an open, online platform for UAE educators to share their experiences, […]
H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai created history by officially launching the HCT’s Arabic website – the world’s first educational website with an Arabic URL address.
The Higher Colleges of Technology’s suite of Engineering Programmes was awarded international accreditation from the prestigious U.S.-based Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology (ABET).
In September 2012, the UAE Federal Mobile Learning Initiative was inaugurated by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, and John Couch, Vice President – Worldwide Education, Apple Inc. at the Abu Dhabi Men’s College.