January 2017
What Have We Learned? New Publications

Teacher quality is often considered one possible factor affecting student achievement. However, existing research has typically focused on easily observable measures such as teachers' content knowledge, years of experience, and education levels. This working paper presents results of a study that explored the impact of unobservable teacher characteristics (behavioral traits) on student achievement in English. Using lab-in-the-field experiments, 118 English teachers in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah participated in risk, patience, and altruism tasks and results from the experiments were then mapped to their students' performance.  Read More

FIRE: Forum for International Research In Education (Volume 3, Issue 2, 2016) Special Edition from GCES 2015 Symposium

This special edition of FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education celebrates the rich variety of research included the 6th Annual Gulf Comparative Education Society (GCES) Symposium in April 2015. The symposium's focus, "Inclusion not Exclusion: Comparative Educational Perspectives at the Heart of Sustainable Development in the Gulf States," brought together a range of speakers from across the region and around the world. This peer-reviewed edition includes a sampling of papers presented during the meeting.   Read More
In October the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research hosted an event to share findings from a collaborative case study with UNESCO Doha on Ras Al Khaimah's education system. The case study was one of six included in a broader research initiative which was funded by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF).  Read More
In the Headlines 

Despite the UAE maintaining its top ranking for the region in a survey conducted by the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) on pupils' proficiency, it experienced a drop in its global rankings across two other subjects. Dr. Natasha Ridge discusses that while country comparisons can be useful, the UAE should use its country data to identify areas where it believes improvement is needed.  Read More

Dr. Natasha Ridge, Executive Director at the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research, discusses the organization's current projects and plans for the future, including initiatives related to research, teacher professional development, and arts and culture.  Read More

Most countries in the Arab world have been placed in the "very high" category of a worldwide table that ranks countries based on young people's digital skills and their access to basic and secondary education. Predictably, the Gulf states top the Arab list. Dr. Soohyun Jeon discusses other improvements that still need to be made to continue improving education in the region. 
Read More
UNESCO Doha has successfully conducted the Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates Case Study in collaboration with the Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation and the National Commission of UNESCO in the United Arab Emirates and Ministry of Education, which was launched on 13 October 2016 in the RAK Chamber of Commerce. 
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5th Annual Ras Al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival Updates
Tickets now on Sale!

Tickets for all Festival-related events are now available for purchase in-person at the Al Qasimi Foundation offices or online through PlatinumList. Buy your tickets now as you won't want to miss:
  • Red Carpet & Gala Night (February 17)
  • Film Screening & Film Awards Night (February 18)
  • Visual Arts & Photography Night (February 19)
  • Fine Arts Exhibition at the Ras Al Khaimah National Museum (February 20-23)
More information on all events can be found on the Festival's website. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-serve basis through February 15th. Some venues have limited space and may sellout sooner, so don't wait to reserve your tickets today!
You can also watch what goes on behind the scenes at #RAKFineArts and follow the Festival Committee on snapchat using the Festival's new snapcode: rakfaf.
Tips & Tricks

Foundations and nonprofits are mission-driven organizations, and there is growing acknowledgement that communications play an important role in achieving their social change goals. While new practices and social media platforms often garner the most attention, it would be a mistake to underestimate the value of more traditional tools in effectively reaching stakeholders. Annual reports are one such tool.  Read More
We're Intrigued: Resources with Relevance

Schools and parents alike understand the importance of reading and that greater literacy is needed for the 21st Century workforce. But how do you help students develop a love for books and believe that reading is fun? While there may not be a single solution, there are evidence-based things families can do to foster readers.  Read More
Effective communication strategies and social media are critical but no longer enough for nonprofits to achieve social change. Redesigning nonprofit organizations to become more participatory, open, authentic, and effective requires a networked mindset-which include practices to more broadly leverage professional and organizational networks.  Read More

Teachers develop deep knowledge about their students through every interaction, yet when it comes to identifying mental health issues troubling their students, teachers are often unprepared.  Read More
The excitement and frustrations of city life have inspired poets from 18th-century Grub Street to the 50s Beats and modern-day rappers. But can poetry actually help us make cities better? Can it serve as a way to experience and understand our environment more richly?  Read More
According to a new report, the number of international branch campuses (IBCs) worldwide reached 249 by the end of 2015-a 26% increase since 2010-and China has now surpassed the United Arab Emirates as the country hosting the highest number of such campuses.  Read More
2016 Sheikh Saqr Overseas Scholarship Program Highlights
During the summer of 2016, select students from the Sheikh Saqr Student Enrichment Program participated in study abroad programs in the United States, United Kingdom, and South Korea. Learn about their experiences abroad and stories from their programs.
Join Us: Events & Deadlines 
February 17-23, 2017:

Members of the press who are interested in covering or learning more about the Al Qasimi Foundation's research, events, or other initiatives may contact  Ms. Caitrin Mullan , Director of Community Engagement and Outreach.
Our Mission

To aid in the social, cultural, and economic development of Ras Al Khaimah and the United Arab Emirates through high-quality policy research, strategic capacity development, and purposeful community engagement.
Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research