At a Glance
- Delivering an American education in Dubai
- Enabling faculty meetings from anywhere anytime
- Distance learning
- Providing on-demand recording of lectures, courses
With Polycom Video solutions the International Horizons College in Dubai delivers an International Academic Model
Founded in 2011, International Horizons College (IHC) is a highly selective, independent and international undergraduate institution committed to meeting the highest standards of intellectual excellence and providing an education that is relevant to the 21st century world. Reaching out to high-potential students with records of strong academic performance in high schools across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA), IHC strives to make higher education both affordable and accessible in the MENASA region, providing an American curriculum college education in the arts and sciences, while preparing students for pre-professional studies in fields such as law, business, engineering and medicine. IHC students complete their first two years of the bachelors degree in Dubai and can complete the final two years at top ranked US and regional universities. The IHC faculty engages students in a collaborative environment, using the best of modern information technologies to promote active learning. By combining academic partnership with US universities with personalised academic planning for each student, IHC offers students a truly unique academic experience and provides a pathway to a wide range of post-graduate opportunities.
For IHC’s President Michael Dobe, partnering with institutions globally is strategic for the success of the college, and most importantly for the success of students. “We prepare students during two years of study in Dubai to identify the best career options and to succeed at elite globally recognised institutions in the USA and regionally during the final two years of a bachelors degree,” explains Dobe. “The core of the Associate of Arts degree program is a selection of courses that are typically offered during the first two years of study at any top ranked US university. Being in regular contact with American universities is mandatory to maintain curricular alignment and ensure student success.”
Having used video collaboration extensively in education before, Dr. Dobe chose Polycom as the best solution for the college. The IT team worked closely with du, a Polycom partner and leading telecommunications company based in Dubai, to architect a a complete Polycom video solution that is now delivered as a managed service solution by FVC, the Polycom Platimum partner for the Middle East. For IHC, video-as-a-service was the best option, as it reduces capital expenditures and rapidly delivers results as a turnkey package of remotely managed services that ensure consistently high-quality user experiences.
Classrooms are equipped with Polycom RealPresence HDX 7000 solution and Polycom EagleEye Director cameras, and most of the faculty are using Polycom RealPresence Desktop software from their PCs and Polycom RealPresence Mobile software for Android and iOS devices. The hosted solutions also include the Polycom RealPresence Collaboration Server, to support multipoint conferences, and the Polycom RSS for recording and streaming lectures and other video content.
Broad Adoption of Video
Now, as faculty and board members are travelling, they can join staff meetings from their laptops, from anywhere. The college has recruited an all-American faculty, and being able to lead interviews via video conferences has saved costs and time. “The Polycom video conferencing solution makes everything easier,” says Katherine Green, Dean of Counseling and Student Services. “We are able to lead our interviews via video, with the top academic talent we aim to recruit. We can record the interview, which can later be reviewed by other faculty members.”
Anytime, Anywhere Learning in a Global Classroom
IHC has big ambitions, a clear vision and a unique strategy for the MESENA region. The college just started delivering classes in January 2013, and looks to create partnerships with other universities around the world. Video conferencing will allow students to participate in lectures from other universities, share teachers, co-teach classrooms, and share research projects. Says Dr. Dobe, “With Polycom video collaboration solutions in our Global Classrooms, the possibilities are endless. We are in the process of developing many programs that build on real-time video-based interactions to benefit our students and help them build a strong foundation for their future careers.”