The battle for Dubai’s students

Nieuws | de redactie
27 september 2012 | The trend towards worldwide universities with branch campuses 'overseas' is gaining momentum. Dubai is one of the world’s frontrunners in attracting such universities, but only the very best are selected. Who will be allowed to stay?

Dubai International Academic City

One of the most prestigious locations for these overseasbranches is Dubai International Academic City (DIAC). Since 2006,only 17 new universities have been accepted into DIAC out of morethan 178 applications.

What do these selected universities have in common? Ayoub Kazimof the Investments’ Education Cluster in Dubai: “We follow ameticulous selection process while reviewing applications andensure education standards of branches at DIAC match those of theparent university.”

Good preparation

The criteria seem to be so strict that the number of selecteduniversities is dropping steadily. Last year not a single newuniversity was selected. Ayoub Kazim explains why: “Newlyestablished branch campuses must ensure they have the backing ofsolid market research and in-depth regional knowledge in order toput well-defined objectives in place.”

“Coupled with support from the parent university, branchcampuses must ideally start operations in an incubation setting,with a focus on specific areas of expertise such as the mostreputable programs. This will enable the institution to establishitself and ensure measured and consistent growth”.

Knowledge based economy

Students educated at these international universities could playan essential role in the economy. Dubai focuses on programs innano-technology, water engineering, aerospace, nuclear science andpsychology as major studies. These programs are so popular thatthey draw talent from the entire Middle East. But just like inother countries, it is a lot harder to find enough students forniche courses.

As more students chose to study in the Arab Emirates, privateuniversities in Dubai will no doubt continue to benefit from thegrowing need for higher education. The question remains whethermore international universities will be allowed to open-up inDubai.

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