Classifieds powered by Gulf News

American universities come to the UAE

A top ranked American university plans to offer its quality education in the Middle East by August 2008 when it opens international campus in Dubai.

Image Credit:Rangarajan/Gulf News
Dr Lou Anna Simon, President, Michigan State University during the opening press conference at the Dubai Academic City.

A top ranked American university plans to offer its quality education in the Middle East by August 2008 when it open s international campus in Dubai. Michigan State University (MSU), founded in 1855 and rated among the top 100 global universities, is a non-profit university accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1915.

The launching was announced recently at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) a joint initiative between investments and MSU and will have its campus situated at the Dubai International Academic City.

Until its new Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) campus becomes functional, the MSU will maintain a contact office in Knowledge Village.

The campus will bridge regional higher education needs while collaborating with premier institutions of higher learning in the emirate. MSU will have full academic authority and quality control over its courses and programmes.

"When students graduate from Michigan State University in Dubai, they will receive the same MSU degree respected around the world," said Dr Lou Simon, MSU president.

Why in the UAE?

The importance of MSU for the region is crucial as the region has the highest population of people under the age of 18. This is enhanced by the idea of introducing scientific research, a much needed field for the development of education in accordance with the economic development of the country, said Dr Abdullah Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

"The arrival of a top institution in Dubai is a significant aspect of KHDA's strategy to establish the emirate as a regional centre of excellence in higher education, university research and development," said Dr Al Karam.

The programmes

The university will offer a series of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes over two years, said Dr Brendan Mullan, Executive Director and Director of Academic and Research Affairs of Michigan State University in Dubai.

According to him, MSU in Dubai is keen to attain five crucial goals: academic excellence, academic quality, advancing knowledge, sustainability and exclusiveness.

In terms of demography, no other region in the world offers the challenge and excitement as Dubai, said Dr Mullan.

The degree options include media, communications, public relations, computer engineering, construction management, family studies and business and technology related programmes.

"We want the economy to decide on the area of study in the region," said Dr Al Karam when asked whether he thought there is a lack of programme variety in higher education.


When asked whether students in the UAE are qualified to enter such a prestigious university, Dr Al Karam said that regional and some of the local population will be, but not all. "To maintain the high quality of our standards in higher education, we should also pull the educational outcomes of high school," he said.

The importance of international universities

Currently only two per cent of UAE nationals students attend international universities in the UAE, which calls for more social awareness of the significance of an international degree, said Dr Ayoub Kazim, Executive Director of Dubai Knowledge Village.

This is also not to undermine the quality offered in governmental institutions but with this university "we are for the first time introducing a non-profit university dedicated to the area of research."

Developing the research field

Research is significantly lacking in Dubai and the wider region and with an institution like MSU, Knowledge Village (KV) and KHDA want to draw an educational map that conform to Dubai strategic plan to improve the outcome of education, specifically higher education, said Dr Kazim.

High quality education

According to Dr Simon, the design of the classes and overall infrastructure will be similar to Michigan State University and will have some of the teaching staff operating at the Dubai campus. The university is considered highly selective as it intends to offer the highest quality of American education and will not offer any pre-college courses.

"Our presence in Dubai will broaden MSU's reach into an important region of the world. It also reflects our dedication to building international partnerships that provide enhanced global educational opportunities and experiences for all of our students," she said.

With a heritage of more than 150 years, MSU has long been ranked alongside Harvard, Yale and MIT, as a Carnegie Foundation Research I University, offering a full range of academic programmes from undergraduate to doctorate degrees.

DKV and DIAC host 20 reputed international universities from 10 countries including the US, the UK, Belgium, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Australia, France and the Indian Subcontinent.

Some of the MSU in Dubai undergraduate and post-graduate programs that will begin on a phased basis over the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 academic years include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering
  • Bachelor of Science in Construction Management
  • Bachelor of Arts in Family Community Services (First time offered in the UAE)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media
  • Master of Science in Retailing
  • Master of Arts in Advertising
  • Master of Arts in Public Relations
  • Master of Science in Human Resources and Labour Relations
  • Master of Science in Packaging
  • Master of Science in Supply Chain Management
  • Additional programmes will be added in the future.

Check out the New York University opening in Abu Dhabi. Rayeesa Absal has all the details.

Studying at one of the world's finest educational institutions has just been made easier with New York University opening its campus in Abu Dhabi. The partnership between the Abu Dhabi government and NYU was announced on Tuesday, bringing the 175 year old university to Abu Dhabi's Saadiyat Island.

Called New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) this university will be a residential university built with academic quality and practices consistent with the standards of NYU's Washington Square campus. NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts campus established abroad by a major US university and is expected to take in its first batch of students by 2010.


NYUAD will be a full-scale liberal arts college, with select graduate programmes driven by advanced research. The state of the art campus will include extensive classroom, library and information technology facilities, laboratories, academic buildings, dormitories, faculty and residential housing, student services, athletic and performance facilities. Eventually the campus will have 2,000 students.

Admissions process

Admission will be based on academic potential and qualifications of the students without regard to race, religion, sex, nationality, or sexual orientation. Scholarships will be available too.


The classes at the university will be conducted in English and will be co-educational. Students enrolled in NYU Abu Dhabi will also be offered opportunities to spend a semester on the Washington Square Campus and a semester in one of NYU's other global sites.

The campus

It is an opportunity study at the Saadiyat Island, which plays the role of an international cultural gateway. The campus will be housed in the Cultural district of the island, also home to world renowned Louvre Musuem Abu Dhabi and Guggenheim as well as Maritime museum, Shaikh Zayed National museum and a Performance Arts Centre.


Professors will take simultaneous lessons in New York and Abu Dhabi by physically being in one class and technologically binding with the other.

The college and graduate programmes will offer a wide range of NYU degrees in the humanities, arts, sciences and social sciences.

Though the university only opens in 2010, NYU will establish 'NYU Abu Dhabi Institute' in 2008 to host conferences, research workshops, short courses, and seminars involving scholars and students from NYU and the Middle East.

About New York University

Founded in 1831, New York University is the largest private university in the United States. The university, which is composed of 14 schools, colleges and divisions, occupies five major centres in Manhattan.

Often described as a university "in and of the city", it operates branch campus and research programmes in other parts of the United States and abroad, as well as study abroad programmes in more than 25 countries. NYU is also one of the largest employers in New York City, with over 16,000 employees. The university has nearly 350,000 alumni from all 50 states of the US and 163 foreign countries.