The Future of Well-being in Higher Education: New Directions from Students’ Perspectives in the UAE

Conference: The Paris Conference on Education (PCE2022)
Title: The Future of Well-being in Higher Education: New Directions from Students’ Perspectives in the UAE
Stream: Higher Education
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Lana Hiasat, Higher Colleges of Technology-Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Leilani Radaideh, Maastricht University, Netherlands


What does it mean to live well? Can we expand our imagination to explore how living well could be like 50 years from now? The authors share the findings of their focus group research of youth in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the youth have expanded their imagination, rethought the future of wellbeing, and connected these elements to the focal issue of higher education. In a practical workshop and through focus group interviews, university youth in the UAE from a variety of disciplines including law, fashion, engineering, and international relations and politics engaged in thinking about the future of well-being; and their collective intelligence was leveraged to invent new frameworks for resilient futures of well-being and happiness. As a result, energized youth have a roadmap for implementing changes, and capitalizing on innovation for achieving shock-resilient well-being. By working together to imagine the future, this consultative focus group approach provided an opportunity to better understand the origins of what the youth imagine, why and how they create the images of the future, and crucially the powerful influence such images have on their fears and hopes, perceptions, and choices. The authors of this presentation provide a summary of the opportunities, key concerns of well-being in higher education and make several recommendations for the way forward in higher education.

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