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SAUDI ARABIA - Health & Education

Mohanad Dahlan

CEO, University of Business and Technology (UBT)

Bio

The CEO of UBT, Mohanad A. Dahlan is an experienced and performance-driven executive with a demonstrated 14-year history of working in a multinational environment with international exposure in five countries. His experience includes trainings, certifications, and degrees in various business-related aspects—most recent of which is a certificate focused in corporate social responsibility strategies for creating business and social value delivered by Harvard Business School.

"We view academia as a tradition; however, like any other businesses, we were able to transform and bring it into the digital age."
By focusing on Vision 2030 objectives such as employability, market growth, innovation, and sustainability, UBT has emerged as a top accredited institution in the Kingdom.
What achievements and accomplishments has UBT achieved over the past two years?

We view academia as a tradition; however, like any other businesses, we were able to transform and bring it into the digital age. We would not have been able to digitize and transform the same way today, if it were not for COVID-19. I would highlight that the most change occurred on that digital level, not on the physical level. Over the past two years, UBT achieved a lot. We received five-star recognition from QS. We have also achieved an international accreditation for our finance department. UBT has achieved 14 accreditations at the program level from the Ministry of Education, the highest by far. We have received the institutional accreditation as well, for six years and that is the first time a private institution has received a full accreditation at one point in time. We take our business seriously, and we are able to measure the ins and outs of the business to be able to be as efficient possible. We try to envision what the future will hold and adapt from today. That is why we have invested in digital infrastructure.

How is UBT supporting Vision 2030 and the efforts to diversify?

UBT was founded in 2000 with its slogan the “education for job opportunities.” This runs parallel to Vision 2030 which focuses on employability, market growth, innovation, and sustainability. We have achieved top-level recognition in terms of employability. UBT is the institution with the highest employability numbers in terms of the time between graduation and the first full contract. We are strong in linking our programs with the market because we look at each discipline requirements in terms of competencies. Looking ahead at the digital world, we will pioneer technology in terms of higher education and we will do our best to create a new model for ourselves so that we become the number one in the next 20 years in digital skills.

What is your assessment of how the private sector is helping to achieve the education industry grow?

The private sector did well by innovating new specific programs and bringing them to the market. They were able to create a market for specific jobs. In terms of UBT’s role, we will help, because UBT is on a fast track. We are unique and we hope that we will lead what we are doing today. We are so much closer today to the private sector than we were three years ago. We are leading by innovating our business model. We understand the relationship between employers and between the programs, faculty members, case studies and students. So we have a positive look for the future.

What are UBT’s upcoming goals and objectives?

To validate our hybrid model, we have constructed our new building. We are in a prime location. We will be attractive to the generation coming out of the pandemic starting the full term because we have the best facilities, the newest technology, a new faculty, new programs, and hybrid solutions, linking physical and digital students from all over the world. We have doubled our incentives for our faculty, and we have tripled our research incentives. So, we have changed a lot in our business model. We have some unique master’s programs that we will introduce to the market. They will recreate a new image for the university and are coming in 2023 as well. There is a big appetite for local and international investors in KSA. UBT is looking for tier-one universities to partner with to expand its scope in the market. There are so many things that we do not do that they could do and vice versa. We have the infrastructure, land, and buildings that are already regulated. We have over 230,000sqm of university space and a newly established in Bahrain with 170,000sqm.

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