AQF Views & Voices: Policy & Practice


Welcome to the Al Qasimi Foundation’s Policy & Practice Blog

The Policy & Practice blog highlights works and discussions that impact our community, inform policy decisions and best practices, and affect the social, cultural, and economic development of our emirate, the UAE, Gulf region, and beyond. Below you will find our blog posts, op-eds, and reviews.

Want to contribute?

In addition to discussing the Foundation’s own research findings, best practices, and priority areas, we welcome contributions from local and international academics, practitioners, policy makers, as well as our peer organizations and partners. If you would like to contribute, email for more information.

  • The Recipe for Education: 2018 UAE-Vietnam Teacher Exchange

    Reham Zahran, RAK Academy
    July 15, 2018

    During the UAE-Vietnam Teacher Exchange Program in March 2018, UAE teachers conducted the first stage of action research projects comparing the UAE and Vietnamese education systems, looking at classroom, teacher, administration, and ministry level policies and practices that we could potentially apply in our own schools to improve student achievement and international assessment results.

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  • Funding Experiments in Education: Essential Considerations for Paying for Success

    Holly Cook, Al Qasimi Foundation
    June 05, 2018

    Over the past few years, innovative out-come based funding models have been receiving increasing amounts of interest from governments, philanthropic organizations, and NGOs worldwide. One such model, Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), uses private capital to fund social services and promises both social benefits as well as financial returns.

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  • To Sustain Standard Arabic, Invest Early in Grammar

    Dr. Helen Abadzi, writing for Al-Fanar Media
    April 25, 2018

    Dr. Helen Abadzi, writing for Al-Fanar Media, discusses how the near-absence of inflection in English has helped make it an international language. And that has spoiled the prospects of Modern Standard Arabic as an easy vehicle of communication. Why is that, and what should be done about it? Recent research she conducted at the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, in the United Arab Emirates, points to possible solutions.

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  • Challenges to preparing GCC national students for higher education abroad

    Dr. Natasha Ridge, writing for Edu Alliance
    April 23, 2018

    AQF Executive Director Dr. Natasha Ridge, writing for Edu Alliance, discusses the challenges of preparing GCC students for higher education abroad. While the domestic higher education sector in the GCC has been growing and improving in recent years, there remains a strong desire on both the part of families and policymakers to send national students to study abroad. This however, has not been an easy task and many students are only offered a conditional admission that usually requires some kind of foundation program. Through our experiences working with students and educators at the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, we have identified four key challenges to GCC students being directly admitted into degree programs.

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  • Exploring the Promises and Pitfalls of Public, Private, and Philanthropic Partnerships in Education: The 2018 Gulf Comparative Education Society Symposium

    Susan Kippels
    March 28, 2018

    Philanthropic support of education has been rapidly growing across the GCC region. However, there has been a shortage of research and discussions of the implications of this increased involvement for the education sector. These discussions are essential for developing inclusive, sustainable policies and practices.

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  • Philanthropy in the Arab Region -reflections from the UAE

    Dr. Natasha Ridge
    March 21, 2018

    AQF Executive Director Dr. Natasha Ridge, writing for Alliance Magazine, reviews the new report Philanthropy in the Arab Region. The report makes a valuable contribution to understanding philanthropic efforts across the region and draws attention to the challenges facing the nascent sector.

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  • A day in the life of Old Ras Al Khaimah

    Matthew MacLean
    February 25, 2018

    In most of the Gulf, 'heritage' is separated from 'modern' daily life. Unlike other cities, Ras Al Khaimah is different; it mixes buildings from multiple time periods. Encounters of heritage are part of everyday life, with the Old Town seeing a resurgence as its authenticity, slower pace, and accessibility draw Emiratis and tourists.

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  • Fathers May be Key to Improving Education in the Middle East

    Dr. Natasha Ridge
    January 29, 2018

    AQF Executive Director Dr. Natasha Ridge, writing for Al-Fanar Media, looks at how the role of the father is changing in the Middle East. She explains her research, which found that Arab father involvement has a positive influence on their children's lives, particularly on their academic success.

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  • The tangible benefits of arts education in the Gulf, soft-skill development for the 21st century

    Holly Cook
    January 28, 2018

    Studies show that arts education improves students' learning outcomes and soft-skill development. Organizations and policymakers should consider it as a way to foster innovation and creativity, increasing students' future employability in the coming knowledge-based economy.

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  • Education, Training and Agenda 2030: What Progress One Year On? The Role and Impact of Gulf Philanthropy in Relation to SDG4

    Susan Kippels
    January 01, 2017

    Gulf philanthropic organizations have become increasingly prominent actors in the global education arena. While they are often working to support inclusive and equitable quality education, there is little research examining the overarching activities of these institutions. This piece describes why Gulf philanthropic organizations operating in education deserve greater attention from academics and policymakers.

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