The British University in Dubai (BUiD) held its 2nd Doctoral Research Conference on Saturday 14 May 2016 under the patronage of its Chancellor H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum. More than 60 postgraduate students attended from across the UAE, GCC and Europe, presenting the ongoing outcomes of their research in the areas of sustainability, innovation, knowledge management, project management, finance, curriculum and instruction and educational leadership. The conference was sponsored by Al Maktoum Foundation, Al Sahel Contracting, Dubai International Academic City, Atkins, Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Road and Transport Authority (RTA), and Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects.
Vice Chancellor Professor Abdullah Alshamsi welcomed students, research supervisors, faculty members, and visiting professors from BUiD’s UK partner universities emphasising the importance of interaction between students and academics for the exchange of ideas. He described how events such as the conference facilitate this exchange and so add to the overall postgraduate learning process. He described how the research of BUiD students and academics fulfills the university’s mission in developing a body of relevant and impactful research knowledge in and about the UAE.
Professor Ghassan Aouad, President of the Applied Sciences University, Bahrain, delivered a keynote address on the factors critical to a successful PhD journey. In celebration of the UAE Year of Reading Dr. Maureen Farrell of the University of Glasgow, UK, talked about her research in the use of picture books within children’s literature and demonstrated the relevance of this work to pedagogical practice, home literacy, understanding the uses of storytelling, and the development of communities of critical readers. The students delivered their presentations in break-out sessions hosted by professors who facilitated critical questions and discussions by the audience. Student presentations were also made by Skype from the UK.
BUiD Dean of Research, Prof Ashly Pinnington, said, “It is an exciting opportunity for BUiD’s doctoral students to discuss their research with other students from the UAE and European countries. It is also an intellectually stimulating and inspiring experience as an important part of the learning process for our students.”
A Committee of academics from BUiD assessed the student presentations at the end of the event; six best papers received awards from Professor Alshamsi and Professor Pinnington.