A number of students from U.A.E. universities participated in the U.A.E. Youth Ambassadors (UAEYAP) for 2014 by visiting South Korea, China, and Germany in order to explore the scientific, cultural and leadership potential and skills of the university students.
The U.A.E. Youth Ambassadors Program was launched in 2012 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the U.A.E. Armed Forces to prepare young Emiratis to take on prominent roles in strategic sectors and strengthen engagement with selected strategic partners of the U.A.E.. It also aims to develop & equip young Emiratis to lead strategic partnerships with these countries.
The number of students who completed the YAP for this year was 70 male and female students from the U.A.E. University (UAEU), Zayed University, Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR), Petroleum Institute, and Abu Dhabi University.
Designated as the "Advanced Program", and comprising 15 students out of 70 participants, the program involved advanced language training, in-depth discussions with experts from government and industry and individual research papers. It aims to advance the Ambassadors' understanding of the bilateral relationships between the U.A.E. and host countries, through individual research projects research topics, which have been tailored to the background of the students, where each student is paired with a local academic to guide him/her on the project, and advanced students given the opportunity for in-depth interviews with officials and experts.
Already, the program has given three successive waves of students totalling 116, the opportunity to visit South Korea, Germany and China to explore language and culture and learn about government and the private sector. The program also aims to achieve the learning objectives through first-hand experience of government institutions, awareness of the functioning and governance model, insight into the industrial landscape, first-hand experience in new industries, intensive language acquisition, professional communication ability, and strong understanding of countries' history, heritage & traditions.
A thorough and rigorous selection process is followed to select students from U.A.E. universities. Selection criteria included academic achievements (GPA), character and leadership potential, relevant extra-curricular activities, and interest and knowledge about host country.
As a partner of the Crown Prince Court in supporting UAEYAP, the U.A.E. Ministry of Foreign Affairs has extended great cooperation for the program since its launch, and has been playing a vital role in communicating, coordinating, and following up with the embassies of selected host countries on the training program in order to achieve its goals.
Participants in the UAEYAP 2014 were divided into 3 groups. The 1st group, which comprised 28 students, visited South Korea. The visit included Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Korean Air Force Academy, Hyundai, Korea Advanced Institute for Science & Technology (KAIST), National Centre for Performance Art, in addition to a traditional pottery class. This group also met with H.E. Jong-Rok Yoon, Vice Minister, Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, and H.E. Tae-Gyun Kwon, Vice Minister, Former Ambassador to U.A.E..
The 2nd group, which comprised 22 students, visited China. The visit covered Hong Kong Monetary Authority, China Railway Company, Borouge's Compounding Manufacturing Plant, Huawei - A leading global ICT solutions provider, as well as a Chinese folk village in Shenzhen, and traditional martial art. The group met with Prof. Zhou Hanmin, Committee member of Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Mr Peng Xiongji, General Manager, Huawei U.A.E., and Mr. Wei Jianhua, Executive Chairman, the Executive Committee of China Expo 2015 Milano.
The 3rd group, which comprised 20 students, went to Germany and visited Office of the Minister-President of Saxony, the Commission Representation Office, Volkswagen - The Transparent Automobile Factory, Siemens AG, Goethe-Institut and Dresden State Art Collections. They met with Mr. Jens Drews, Director Communications & Gov. Affairs GlobalFoundries Dresden, Mr. Bjorn Bohning, Head of the Senate, Chancellery of Berlin, and Mr. Jorg Drescher, Head of Energy Communications Middle East.
For their part, the participants expressed their pleasure to join the useful program for all its scientific, practical, and cultural benefits, which enhanced their knowledge with the diverse cultures and civilisations, and helped them gain insight into the advanced industries and state-of-the-art technology.
They also emphasised that the program, with the scientific benefits it has brought, has also given them an opportunity to acquaint other nations with the U.A.E. national culture and identity, thus contributing to friendly relations and cooperation between peoples of the U.A.E. and peoples of these countries.