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Education Attaché of the Year winner announced

A United Arab Emirates embassy official who transformed links between the diplomatic corps and Britain’s higher education community has won the inaugural Education Attaché of the Year Award in the UK.

From left: Facundo Santiago (Argentina), Abdulaziz Almagushi (Saudi Arabia), Elizabeth Stewart (Embassy Group), Mohamed Elansari (UAE), Rommel Romato (The Philippines) and Zainal Al Sanusi (Malaysia). Photo: Embassy Magazine

The award recognises exceptional contributions to academic diplomacy

Education adviser at the UAE Embassy, Mohamed El-Ansari, was voted top attaché at the 2018 Embassy Education Conference in London.

“Links between educational institutions in the UAE and the UK is going to happen more”

The award recognises exceptional contributions to academic diplomacy and the competition attracted a strong field of nominees from Africa, Asia, Central Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.

El- Ansari is the president and co-founder of the London Education and Research Network, a professional association of diplomats and representatives at diplomatic missions who are responsible for academic relations with the UK and provide assistance to international students.

Through his work as LEARN president, El-Ansari has been an invaluable interface between the diplomatic community, Britain’s higher education institutions, government and parliament.

His current role with the Embassy of the UAE as education consultant involves managing and leading the training activities related to higher education.

In addition, El-Ansari offers guidance and welfare assistance to Emirati students and scholars and has coordinated international cooperation in education between universities in the Middle East and the UK.

El-Ansari told The PIE News he was “very surprised but also really pleased and honoured” to have won the award recognising his work in international education.

“Creating links between educational institutions in the UAE and the UK is something which is going to happen more and more in the next few years, especially with Brexit. I think there are enormous advantages for both nations,” he explained.

El-Ansari added that he is currently authoring a book about the importance of  social responsibility in the field of transnational education

“Many institutions have failed to successfully set up colleges or campuses overseas and a big reason for this has been their approach to the local community as a whole. The worst approach is one where no account is taken of local communities or cultural differences,” he told The PIE.

“When universities set up campuses in other countries, they need to relate more effectively with a broader range of stakeholders: employing local academics and administrators… and making the campus of benefit to the community as a whole.”

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