Director - Institutional Effectiveness
Ahmed Elhakim is a member of the executive leadership team at Sharjah Maritime Academy, a dynamic and forward-thinking institution in the realm of maritime education and training. Situated strategically in Sharjah, UAE, the Academy occupies a prominent position in the maritime sector. Boasting cutting-edge facilities, a seasoned faculty, and a strong emphasis on practical training, Sharjah Maritime Academy offers an extensive array of maritime programs that equip students for thriving careers in the maritime sector. Its unwavering commitment to quality, academic rigor, and industry-relevant training distinguishes it as a rising star in the maritime education sector. Ahmed Elhakim engaged in a one on one interaction with us, let’s hear from him.
Could you elaborate on your professional journey and the motivations that drive your daily activities?
Over the span of 15 years, I've charted a diverse career path primarily within the field of higher education. Currently, I hold the role of Director of Institutional Effectiveness at the Sharjah Maritime Academy. My academic underpinnings include the pursuit of a Ph.D. in Higher Education Research, Evaluation, and Enhancement at the prestigious University of Lancaster in the UK, along with the attainment of a master’s degree in educational leadership from UAE University.
The driving force behind my daily routines is a profound belief in the transformative potential of education. I am passionately dedicated to the realms of quality management and academic accreditation, with my typical day revolving around the meticulous assessment of institutional policies, systems, programs, and courses. Yet, my primary motivation remains unwavering: the relentless pursuit of excellence and the shaping of the future of higher education.
How do you enhance educational programs to meet the most rigorous standards in maritime science and technology in your current role?
As the Director of Institutional Effectiveness at Sharjah Maritime Academy, I am deeply committed to the advancement of educational programs within the maritime field. My objective is to elevate our offerings to the utmost standards, guaranteeing that our students are exceptionally well-prepared for the dynamic and ever-evolving maritime industry. Our curriculum undergoes thorough enhancement, guided by our collaboration with industry experts and stakeholders, ensuring its continual alignment with industry needs.
We diligently adhere to established benchmarks and routinely review our programs to sustain the highest educational standards. Our commitment to research and innovation also propels us to conduct pioneering studies that contribute to the progress of maritime industry.
Furthermore, our student-centric approach emphasizes active learning, hands-on training, and practical exposure, offering our learners a comprehensive grasp of maritime knowledge, skills and competencies. Through these strategies, I work with great enthusiasm to guarantee that our educational programs at Sharjah Maritime Academy consistently lead the way in the field of maritime education, consistently meeting and surpassing the loftiest standards. Our unwavering dedication to quality, innovation, and adaptability lies at the core of this mission.
How do you cultivate an environment that promotes innovation and encourages active participation to contribute to the advancement of scientific research and professional standards in the field?
At the heart of our mission at Sharjah Maritime Academy lies the cultivation of a culture of innovation and the encouragement of active participation in scientific development and professional practices. We envision the regular organization of innovation challenges and competitions in the future, motivating both students and faculty to think creatively and present fresh solutions to real-world maritime challenges. We are dedicated to actively promoting interdisciplinary collaboration, bringing together experts from diverse fields to create fertile ground for innovative ideas to flourish. This cross-fertilization of ideas is expected to result in groundbreaking advancements in the realm of maritime, ensuring that our programs always remain at the forefront.
Our future plans also encompass robust support for research initiatives, active engagement with the industry, opportunities for professional development, and an open exchange of ideas. This will establish a dynamic environment where innovation is deeply ingrained in our institutional culture. This vision positions Sharjah Maritime Academy as a hub for creativity and progress, where innovation thrives and has a positive influence on the maritime industry.
Tell us about your leadership approach. What are the guidelines or methodologies you follow as a leader?
I believe in inclusive leadership, valuing the input of all members of our academic community to encourage diverse perspectives and enrich our decision-making. Leading by example, setting high standards through my own actions, is integral to my leadership style. Empowering faculty and staff to take ownership of their roles and make informed decisions within their expertise is crucial for fostering creativity and responsibility.
I prioritize clear and transparent communication to keep our academic community informed and aligned with our goals. Continuous learning and professional development are emphasized, urging faculty and staff to stay updated with industry trends and explore innovative teaching and learning methods.
Above all, my leadership centers on a student-focused approach, recognizing that our institution's main purpose is to benefit our students. Every decision and action is geared toward providing the best educational experience. I also value adaptability, remaining flexible and open to adjusting our strategies in response to evolving challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing world.
What is the future destination you are headed towards?
Sharjah Maritime Academy is resolutely committed to its future goal of becoming a regional center of excellence in maritime education and research. Their vision includes continuous expansion and enhancement of educational programs to equip students with a comprehensive grasp of maritime knowledge, emphasizing skills and a mindset to thrive in the ever-evolving maritime industry. We aim to be at the forefront of this journey, championing innovation, inspiring excellence, and fostering collaboration to establish Sharjah Maritime Academy as a symbol of knowledge and progress in maritime education and research, both on a national and international scale.
Ahmed Elhakim, Director of Institutional Effectiveness, Sharjah Maritime Academy
Ahmed Elhakim comes armed with 15 years of professional experience primarily within the field of higher education. His experience is built on the strong educational foundation which includes a master’s degree in educational leadership from UAE University, Ph.D. in Higher Education Research, Evaluation, and Enhancement at University of Lancaster in the UK. As a resolute leader, his leadership centers on a student-focused approach.