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Knowledge Update

Introduction & Purpose
Knowledge update and Industry update at Skyline University College (SUC) is an online platform for communicating knowledge with SUC stakeholders, industry, and the outside world about the current trends of business development, technology, and social changes. The platform helps in branding SUC as a leading institution of updated knowledge base and in encouraging faculties, students, and others to create and contribute under different streams of domain and application. The platform also acts as a catalyst for learning and sharing knowledge in various areas.

Mathematics and Decision Making

Decisions shape our lives. Mathematics rationalizes the shifting of information and the balancing of alternatives inherent in any decision. Mathematical models underlie computer programs that support decision making, while bringing order and understanding to the overwhelming flow of data computers produce. Mathematics serves to evaluate and improve the quality of information in the face of uncertainty, to present and clarify options, to model available alternatives and their consequences, and even to control the smaller decisions necessary to reach a larger goal.

Public – Private Partnership (PPP) towards UAE Healthcare Reforms

Public-private partnership (PPP) is a legal agreement between public and private sectors by sharing its assets and skills in delivering quality facilities and services to the people. PPP is becoming like a fad, however, it is a long-term process. It entails a broader capacity of understanding between the public and private entities that requires experience and knowledge advisers in facilitating the partnership between public and private sectors.

In the healthcare industry, most of the services are being delivered by the private sectors. Somehow the public sector provides the facilities but the management is usually being commissioned to the private sectors.

The healthcare industry in UAE is becoming fast improving and competitive to cater the needs of its citizens and the expatriates. The continuing move of the government in integrating policy to for a quality healthcare is also being challenged on how it can provide the most affordable services to offer to the public.

Improving the healthcare system, while considering the high cost in every health care provider is the main challenge for the policymakers. The UAE healthcare system both the private and public sectors provide funding leading to various payments, insurance coverage, and services offered. Thus, the system becomes so complex and very costly to manage and sustain because of the varying expenditures.

In 2014, during the World Government Summit, the UAE government has commissioned a report from Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government, indicated that healthcare and education ranked the lowest in terms of quality based on the public perception in the lower middle-income countries. One of the six pillars of the Vision 2021 National Agency is to provide world-class healthcare. The government is now working in having all the public and private hospitals accredited according to the joined national and international quality standards of medical services and medical practitioners.

As stated in the Vision 2021, the UAE government set forth the following objectives: (1) enhancement of quality healthcare services; (2) attraction, retention, career development of healthcare professionals; (3) ensuring patient safety and wellbeing; (4) emergency preparedness; (5) health-hazards precautionary awareness to improve public health; (6) ensuring value of money and sustainability of healthcare spending; (7) inclusion of private sector health providers and endorsing their investment initiatives in the sector; and (8) launching electronic health program as a primary facilitator for the other priorities as stated above. The objectives are not only to set to be achieved but it will be a mechanism for innovation, reform, and development of the healthcare sector in UAE.

The UAE government enacted a law on public-private partnerships (PPPs) in 2015. The law encourages more partnerships between the public and private sectors in the development of projects in the country in order to improve the delivery of goods and services to the people.

Public-private partnership policy is a tool which requires a proper mindset on how to set its agenda, its policy objectives and how it will be implemented.  Commitment to the partnership needs a solid foundation in order to have a successful UAE healthcare reform.

Dr. Sharon Mendoza-Dreisbach is an Assistant Professor at Skyline University College, a university in Sharjah that offers the best MBA programs in UAE and one of the top universities in UAE.

Encouraging UAE Students to Volunteer


Volunteering for social organizations is an increasing trend among students all over the world. Smith et al (2010) conceptualized student volunteering as “outward-looking, focusing on students volunteering within their local communities.” What motivates students to volunteer is the opportunity to gain work experience and skills necessary to their interests and personal development.

Astin and Sax (1998) went beyond personal development and found that volunteering enhanced students’ academic development and their sense of social responsibility. Moreover, it increases their employability after graduation.

AIESEC (Association internationale des étudiants en sciences économiques et commerciales) introduced the idea of being a ‘Global Volunteer’ wherein students are able to go to 120 countries all around the world to be exposed to its respective local cultures and promote sustainable development. That way, exchange students are creating an impact on the lives of the local people in the communities where they went to.

This volunteering trend is being increasingly seen in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the authorities are encouraging students by giving them opportunities to participate in various activities.

In an effort to increase volunteering activities in Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of the said Emirate, issued Law No. 5 of 2018 in April to promote social engagement in the communities.

The new law requires public, private, and non-profit entities to register to Dubai’s Community Development Authority (CDA) before conducting volunteering activities and fundraising events. The program is also operating under the slogan ‘Volunteering makes UAE proud,’ as it encourages to spread the culture of volunteerism in all of the Emirates.

The CDA is tasked to implement this legislation as part of the agency’s strategy this year in achieving sustainable development by creating a cohesive, happy, and well-knit society.

Volunteerism in the UAE

A national volunteering platform, UAE Volunteers, was first launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, in 2017 to promote volunteering as a vital pillar of social cohesion.

Through the said program, the volunteer sector aims to maximize its impact on the country’s population. Individuals will be able to apply their specialized skills and interests via the guidance of the platform and the management of its accreditations.

It also sees the need of 30,000 volunteers for the upcoming Expo 2020 Dubai as 25 million visitors are expected to come to the Emirate for the said event.

The platform includes 14 volunteering categories: education, care for the elderly, health, culture and arts, sports, leisure, environment, community service, hope-making, professional development, international volunteerism, and emergency response.

As a proof of completion for the volunteers, UAE Volunteers will provide a certificate of participation that includes the number of accredited volunteering hours.

At the national level, the program is implemented through the partnership of the Ministry of Community Development and the Emirates Foundation.

Implications on the Dubai communities

The CDA’s plan goes beyond Expo 2020. Its Dubai 2021 Plan is setting the Emirate to become “one of the world’s most advanced countries (sic) in the community development sector.”

The agency is spearheading the said program through a four-level strategic plan: involving the public, private, and non-profit stakeholders in community development, improving their financial performance, increasing the effectiveness of operations by being compliant to social standards, and supporting innovation and creativity through smart technologies.

Aside from increased engagement to the communities, the new law includes safeguards ensuring the safety of the volunteers by requiring organizers to provide insurance against injuries and equipment that will prevent people from harm.

Volunteering opportunities are not only limited to professionals. Students may also take part in the said activities provided that their volunteer registration is approved by their parents.

As a melting pot of cultures and varying skills necessary for the further development, this initiative may lead Dubai to a more sustainable and empowered community.

Dr. Sharon Mendoza-Dreisbach is an Assistant Professor at Skyline University College, a university in Sharjah that offers the best MBA programs in UAE and one of the top universities in UAE.



Astin, A. W., & Sax, L. J. (1998). How undergraduates are affected by service participation. Journal of College Student Development, 39, 251-263.

Community Development Authority Dubai. (2018). Dubai Volunteering Program. Retrieved from

Global Volunteer. (2017). AIESEC. Retrieved from

Smith, K., Holmes, K., Haski-Leventhal, D., Cnaan, R. A., Handy, F., & Brudney, J. L. (2010). Motivations and Benefits of Student Volunteering: Comparing Regular, Occasional, and Non-Volunteers in Five Countries. Canadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, 1(1) 65-81.

Next Generation Supply Chains

Supply Chain Management (SCM) has been one of the major differentiators of many companies during the recent past. Be it an online retail outlet or a brick and mortar traditional grocery store or a manufacturing company,

Economic Development and Health: Sharjah plans to build new AC Walkways to counter rising Non communicable diseases (NCD’s)

Empirical research has established a strong relationship between economic growth and health (Bloom et al. 2011). Economic growth is affected by ill health through increased expenditures on the individuals, households and the health system.

Digital marketing: A powerful approach to grow and compete

Management of every organization serving any sector and operating in any industry must prioritize marketing and related activities. Understanding and improving customer experiences are important. Digitization and technology enhancement has become a need of hour. Survival is in digitization.  But to what extent? That’s the question to answer and answer lies on the quantum and scalability of operations of the company.

Marketers have to realize the increasing changing patterns and lifestyle of post millennials. Their likes are different and so are their life styles. Marketing is not only a company centric activity but a customer centric activity as well. Turning to the digital content and creating a mutual value for all stake holders through digital marketing has harvested great results. We have witnessed the marvelous growth and brand emergence of companies like Amazon, Linked-In and e-Bay through digital marketing concepts and ideas. The fact being that digital marketing approach ensures that information is available to all the stakeholders. Digital Marketing gives power to marketers to engage with customers completely 24/7 which is of course an excellent opportunity. This is what big brands are following and that is the power they have gained by digital marketing. For customers availability of 24/7 is what they want and companies are counting on each bit of content that is produced by consumers on social media, blogs and various other feed forward and feedback mechanisms.

Content has been most crucial element of digital marketing. The power of digitization is immense and is unchallenged in its position. Content may be in form of blogs, videos and written format as well. Facebook live and Bumps video content has been a latest addition in content market strategies. Companies are offering high level of interactivity to their clients through digital marketing. Social media and blogging has offered highest levels of interactivity to the customers. Clients are more empowered and confident when it comes to expressions. Digital channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and blogs have proved to be brand revamping. Hashtags, likes, shares are representing the companies in digital world. Digital marketing provides a growth and development opportunities for companies to enhance the scalability and effectiveness of operations. Digital marketing has enabled companies to improve their business profiles thus enhancing the brand power and reputation, because the content is well read by customers and on the basis of power of content purchase decisions are taken. Facebook has a major role to play in SEO and page rankings. Customers take the content on Facebook very seriously and keep following the brands they like, keep up with the information and latest happening and offerings with their favourite brands. So companies must focus on the online content more often, keep it updated and transparent to catch on customer’s positivity and brand love.

Bottom-line: Digital marketing has immense scope to reach and every segment of target consumer but how successfully companies tap the potential, that need to be looked upon. So it’s not only how we did but also how strongly and seriously we succeeded to create a useful content.

Using Learning Stations as a Teaching Tool

It is easy to become overwhelmed with the sheer amount of syllabus that we, as faculty, need to work through during the semester. Inevitably, there are sections that even we struggle to find interesting. It can become hard to motivate students when we are teaching such sections. I’ve found that learning stations work well for me in such cases. The preparation that I have to put in to design the stations and process always means that I end up finding an interesting angle from which to approach the lesson. The fact that students have to move around the classroom and complete activities with differing levels of difficulty always means that they are not distracted from the core material and engage with it in a more meaningful way.

Some of you may be familiar with the concept of a learning station and others not. Therefore, for those of you who have not used this particular tool before, I will provide a brief outline as to what it is. So what is a learning station? Rollins (23 March 2017, online) writes: ‘at their best, stations encourage student autonomy, critical thinking, collaboration, and student engagement’. Learning stations can only achieve this when they have been well designed by us, the lecturer. Picture your classroom with between four – six learning stations in the form of desks spaced about your classroom with different activities based on the material you are teaching that day. Each desk has a set of instructions and an activity. Students move around the classroom in groups and are given time at each station in order to complete the activity. The teacher keeps a strict monitor on the time and can either go from group to group offering encouragement or be stationary at one group and have a “teacher-led station”. Stations are not a way of removing any responsibility for the learning from the teacher but are a way of placing some of the responsibility of learning on the students. They are a dynamic and interactive way of bringing some fun to your classroom, without sacrificing content time.

Rollins (23 March 2017, online) provides the following tips to think about when planning learning stations so that the experience can be maximized by both you and your students.
Six tips for planning Learning Stations

1. Assign team leaders to help students navigate the stations.
2. When appropriate, place answer keys at the stations so that students can self-assess.
3. Consider incorporating an engaging anchor activity. Students carry these with them from station to station and work on these during any free time.
4. Plan furniture arrangement and travel routes to expedite stations.
5. Have materials already on tables ready to go.
6. Utilize a timer, and announce when they have about a minute left, to “Pack up the station, and get ready to move!”

There is no doubt that to start, using learning stations will be a labor intensive process for you the lecturer. Once you have your basic first lesson planned though, it is easier to plan further sessions based on this principle. I use learning stations to teach referencing systems and the dangers of plagiarism. My students appreciate the fact that they are not simply sitting and being talked at about a subject that at its very best can be described as challenging and I appreciate the fact that my students are actually engaging with the concepts and techniques and not merely playing around on their cellphones.

Rollins, S.P. (23 March 2017). Three questions to guide teaching through learning stations. Available at:


By: Prof. A M Sakkthivel, Skyline University College

Post millennium witnessed numerous disruptions in the way of doing businesses such as emergence of internet, online business, online banking, digital currency, driverless automobiles, free information to all, and many more. Such disruptions leading to creation of several new ventures focusing on creating products and/or services of disruptive nature such as UBER, AirBNB, Facebook, Tesla, Google Glass, YouTube, Instagram, and WhatsApp to name a few.  Some of them went on a rampage mode of expansion and few of them stopped abruptly. However, the momentum of disruption began which paved a way to creation of new era of disruption. Such a new phenomenon motivated companies to rethink their way of doing businesses and targeting consumers. Needless to say the role of marketing in running a successful business. Therefore, marketing in era of disruption required an innovative and disruptive approach to tackle competition and targeting consumers. Marketing managers need to rethink ways of approaches and strategies done traditionally and develop new disruptive marketing strategies to create a new market space which ensures a protection from competitors or identify a new market space which does not attract competition. Such a disruptive thinking is required to succeed in the era of disruption.   

Companies have moved from traditional P’s of marketing to newer P’s and C’s. Ever mounting competition forced marketing managers to add new P’s in their marketing arsenal such as Positioning, Payment Procedures, Promise, and People (Consumers). They also converted traditional P’s into C’s such as Product becomes customer solutions, price becomes cost of acquiring consumers/customer individual profit, place becomes convenience and promotion becomes communications. Such conversions changed the orientation of companies doing business through selling products/services into creating and delivery value to target consumers. It is a major shift from companies focus on doing business through reaching and wooing target consumers through positioning a product/service through Unique Selling Proposition (USP) into offering Unique Value Proposition (UVP) i.e. aligning and matching company’s USP with target consumers’ expectations. Top universities in UAE and MBA universities in Dubai offer state of the art IT and Management and MBA Marketing programmes understanding recent requirements of students, thus offering courses involving latest technologies and tools such as Marketing analytics, Online Marketing, Digital Marketing, Enterprise Computing, Big Data Analytics, Robotics etc.

The era of disruption requires massive use of technologies in targeting, reaching and ensuring the sales among target consumers. Thus, heavily using technologies to achieve such goals such as taking business to wherever the consumers are (TESCO Korea launched virtual stores at Metro stations enabled waiting time of consumers into shopping time, thus increased its business and connection with target consumers), ensuring reach, recall and sales by using ONE GO technology (Donkin Donuts Korea used Flavor radio advertisement spreading coffee flavor through radio advertisements MRTS (Mass Rapid Transportation System) enabled target consumers recall Donkin Donuts coffee, thus increasing its sales on coffee), know target consumers before entering stores using facial recognition technology (X stores would know the entry and existence of target consumers, thus could offer customerised offers  based on such consumers purchase history, motivating them to buy products which they have not before). Such use of technologies marked the arrival of the era of disruption and setting such trends would continue in the future. It is imperative that technologies would rule the future of the world, needless to say, their intervention and impact over businesses, specifically marketing strategies and practices. Therefore, it is up to marketing managers to embrace new age practices including such aspects into marketing strategies to survive and succeed in the era of disruption.

Financial statement lending

Written by: Abdula Ali Elabed

Financial statement lending places most of its emphasis on evaluating the information from the firm's financial statements (balance sheet and income statement). Financial statement lending information is often hard data and it’s a type of transaction-based lending.

The terms of the loan contract and decision to lend are principally based on the strength of the balance sheet and income statements. Financial statement lending is best suited for relatively transparent firms with certified audited financial statements. Thus, it is likely the technology of choice in bank lending to large firms. However, some small firms with long histories, relatively transparent businesses and strong audited financial statements also qualify for the financial statement lending.

Lenders rely on financial statements to obtain critical information about the financial health and risks of businesses. The average lenders don’t have ongoing inside access to the day-to-day operations of a company. Instead, they rely on the financial statements to provide accurate, readily comparable information, and observe the profitability and value of a business. A lender can review the financial statements to assess liquidity, cash flow, leverage and overall solvency.

Asset-based lending:
Asset-based lending is a type of lending where the collateral is generally the account receivables and inventory. Asset-based lending information is often hard data and it’s a type of transaction-based lending. The credit decisions are principally based on the quality of the available collateral. This type of lending requires that the bank intensively to monitor the turnover of these assets. It is available to small firms of any size, but requires that the firm have high-quality inventory and receivables available to pledge as collateral.

When this type of lending is referred to as fixed-asset lending, the main data are estimated values of the real estate, motor vehicles, or equipment leased or pledged as a collateral. Fixed asset lending is quite cheap for the bank since it doesn’t involve any continuous monitoring activity and only requires an evaluation of the pledge assets when the loan is provided. Hence that it is very monitoring-intensive and relatively expensive for the bank.

The most important benefit that the company gets from using asset-based financing is improved liquidity. The facility can provide financial stability and predictable cash flow when it used correctly. This can help to stabilize operations for companies that are growing rapidly, have seasonal revenues, or have tight cash flows. Also, it is easier to get than loans and lines of credit, more flexible than other types of financing, and it can be obtained quickly (The application and underwriting process is much faster than qualifying for a conventional loan or line of credit).
In addition, it has fewer covenants than conventional lines of credit, can be used as a stepping-stone to other products, and have lower costs than comparable solutions, such as factoring. On the other hand, it’s have costs. In the asset-based lending, the lender gets to seize the assets in the event of failure of repayment, and the high rate of interest on the assets which lead to the limit of lending to be lower in this approach. Also, it requires a lot of monitoring and auditing, and it has many appraisal costs and the up-front legal costs of this system are high.

Lending technologies for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)

Written by: Mohammad Ali Elabed & Abdullah Ali Elabed

Lending technologies can be distinguished based on many different dimensions such as structure of the loan contracts, screening and underwriting policies or procedures, monitoring strategies and mechanisms, and the primary source of information. These technologies are deployed to address the types of problems that can lead to either over lending or credit rationing. The changes in the economic environment in which banks and small businesses operate have heightened concern about the availability of credit to the small businesses. Part of this concern reflects the fact that the small businesses are often informationally opaque and have far fewer alternatives to external finance than large companies. Also, many small businesses are highly dependent on banks for external finance.

There are two main types of lending technologies that are distinguished by the type of information that the banks use in monstering and granting the loan. These lending technologies are used to finance small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The first type is the Transaction-based lending technologies which are primarily based on borrowers’ hard quantitative information, like the strength of the financial statement or the value of their assets, which are relatively easily available at the time of loan origination, easily to document them, and transfer. It may come in a different forms, including financial statement lending, small business credit scoring, factoring, asset-based lending, equipment lending, real estate-based lending, and leasing. It is better suited for relatively transparent small businesses and it focuses on one transaction with a customer, or many repetitive and standardized transactions with various customers.  Lending decisions are made after borrowers go through a formally structured application process where they are required to meet certain requirements like providing specific financial information in order to qualify for a loan. The transaction-based lending or arms-length lending can be more cost-effective and also allows larger and non-local banks to lend to SMEs.

The second type is the relationship lending which is extended primarily based on borrowers’ soft qualitative information, such as the entrepreneurs’ characteristics that include skill and integrity, which are not easy to verify. As the soft information is accumulated through close bank-borrower relationships, broad and long banking relationships should accompany the relationship lending so they need to be located close to their borrowers which enables the loan officers to personally contact their borrowers at a lower cost.

The relationship lending was better suited for more opaque small businesses. Traditional literature emphasizes that the use of the relationship lending methodology when dealing with SMEs because these firms are considered informational opaque and lack collateral.

Relationship lending is one of the most important technologies that employed by banks in extending credit to informationally opaque small businesses. The process of relationship lending is not well understood. However, a clear understanding of how the relationship lending technology work, and how the organizational structure of the bank affects their ability to deliver this service that are needed to assess how recent changes in the economic environment are likely to affect the availability of the credit to the small businesses.

Key Words: Lending technologies, SMEs, Small Businesses, Relationship lending, Transaction based lending