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What’s happening in UAE campuses this year

Institutions in Dubai Academic City are offering 21 new programmes

Gulf News

Dubai: The start of the new academic year has just gotten under way and as the UAE’s higher education landscape continues to grow, Education caught up with universities across the country to update you on what is happening on campuses across the UAE this year — 2012/2013.

First off, we had a quick chat with Dr Ayoub Kazim, managing mirector of Tecom Investments’ Education Cluster which hosts nearly 60 per cent of the UAE’s branch campuses.

He said with the addition of 21 new programmes by institutions in the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), domestic and international students can now choose from more than 400 programmes. In addition to the regular disciplines, the University of Bradford is now offering a BSc in Midwifery Studies and the SAE Institute a BSc in Games Programming.

The University of Phoenix, which offered online degrees, has shut down its Dubai campus and with no new universities set to open up in the DIAC education free zone, Dr Kazim said demand remains high. “From 2006 to 2011, DIAC has received and reviewed 178 university applications from 28 countries, of which only 17 were accepted.”

The DIAC community can also expect the addition of a shopping centre to the free zone, Dr Kazim added.

The Tecom Education Clusters of DIAC and Dubai Knowledge Village may make up 23 per cent of universities in the Gulf region. For now, let’s take a look at what is happening at universities across the UAE.

The University of Dubai (UD)

This academic year, work officially starts on the new three million square foot site in Dubai International Academic City, marking a new era for the University of Dubai. The new campus is expected to be ready by the summer of 2015.

With an estimated new intake of 400 students, UD launches its fully accredited MSc in Information System Management (accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research as well as the Commission for Academic Accreditation).

UD has also had a PhD in Business Administration accredited but will not offer it until the autumn of 2014.

Fees at UD have increased by six per cent to cover increased costs, but a Dh11.2 million scholarship scheme was also introduced this year.

What’s new: Moving to its new campus in Dubai International Academic City.

Amity University

Amity University is the newest addition to the Dubai International Academic City’s institutions, having opened its doors in the emirate last year. However, Amity starts the new academic year with a fully-functioning student services department to help both domestic and international students settle in. This year, Amity has also awarded 18 students 100 per cent scholarships as well as many other partial subsidiary schemes under its extensive scholarship programmes. This year, Amity also introduces an undergraduate course in architecture as well as a foundation programme.

What’s new: A fully functioning student services department.

The American University in Dubai (AUD)

For this academic year, the American University of Dubai has seen a four per cent increase in its tuition fees. Now the current tuition fee per semester is Dh36,000, but it has also bumped up its scholarship budget to Dh28 million — compared to Dh17 million last year.

With an approximate student body of around 2,800, AUD has restructured its School of Business and added a new Department of Business and Economic. Adding to its existing 13 programmes, AUD has introduced four new ones, namely bachelors in international studies and computer science and masters in education and construction management. In a new initiative to preserve the Arabic language, AUD also recently inaugurated its Centre of Arabic Studies and Translation.

What’s new: Four new courses.

Manipal University, Dubai

The new 2012/2013 academic year sees Manipal add an architecture undergraduate programme to its existing degree offerings. The five-year architecture programme is approved by the Council of Architecture in India.

Manipal expects to welcome more than 700 new students this year, adding considerably to its 1,500 current student body. According to Dr B Ramjee, director of Manipal, the university has seen a 25 per cent growth in student applications from last year, the most popular programmes being the MBA programme and the engineering undergraduate programme.

Having recently introduced the Manipal Academic Excellence in Schools Trophy (MAESTRO) Scholarships, the university has allocated an additional Dh1 million in scholarships this year.

What’s new: Undergraduate programme in architecture.


This French fashion design school welcomes more than 100 students this year. Esmod Dubai is now offering a fashion and marketing certificate to help aspiring fashion designers get the right foothold in the UAE market.

This year, the institution’s primary focus will be on incubating new fashion brands developed by its graduates and expanding collection ranges available at the Esmod Fashion Store in Wafi Mall.

The recently launched fashion store allows ESMOD students and graduates to essentially create their own brands through the Esmod Fashion Designers Incubator initiative.

What’s new: A fashion and marketing certificate.

Canadian University of Dubai

This year, the Canadian University of Dubai has seen a 30 per cent increase in student enrolments compared to last year, which would explain the addition of a new floor to its premises.

A third floor is being added to a section of the campus to accommodate more classrooms and offices, Spencer Semple. production promotion manager, said.

The university has also launched a new Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Translation. This year, the institution welcomes more than 500 students onto its Dubai campus, taking its student body to approximately 2,700.

What’s new: BA in English language and Translation.

BITS, Pilani Dubai

BITS, Pilani Dubai has admitted more than 500 students onto its undergraduate engineering programmes as well as its masters and doctoral programmes, taking its student body to 1,600.

The PhD in Philosophy is a new addition to the university’s course offerings.

This year, BITS, Pilani is offering Dh2 million in scholarships and will host one of the first international conferences in the Middle East on cloud computing technology in December. The event promises key prominent and regional speakers such as Peter Norvig, director of research at Google Inc.

What’s new: Ph.D in philosophy.

The University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD)

The University of Wollongong in Dubai will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2013, making this a special academic year for the university.

UOWD recently announced a Doctoral Research Training Centre in collaboration with the National Research Foundation. Having introduced three new programmes — a bachelor of engineer and masters in international studies and media and communications — earlier in 2012; the university’s focus for this academic year will be on the expansion of its existing doctoral programmes.

UOWD has increased both its postgraduate and undergraduate fees by nearly eight per cent, which only applies to new students.

UOWD has seen a 10 per cent increase in student applications and welcomes 1,500 new students this autumn, taking its student body to a total of 3,650.

What’s new: Total students: 3,650.

Michigan State University Dubai

The Michigan State University (MSU) Dubai shut down its undergraduate programmes in 2010 and decided to only offer postgraduate programmes. This initially began with the offering of a master’s in human resources and labour relations and a master’s in public health.

This year, MSU Dubai has rolled out two more law programmes — the Master of Law (LLM) for foreign-trained lawyers, and the Master of Jurisprudence for students with a first degree in a subject other than law.

MSU Dubai will also host the Dubai International Conference in Higher Education at the end of January 2013.

What’s new: Two more law programmes.

Ajman University of Science and Technology (AUST)

The Ajman University of Science and Technology welcomes more than 2,237 students this year, a significant increase from 1,941 last year. This year’s student admissions are expected to take AUST’s total student body to more than 11,000 from 40 different nationalities — with a majority being Emirati.

AUST has introduced a BSc in information systems and a BA in sociology and social work this year. Both degrees are accredited by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Dr Ahmad Ankit, assistant to the president of AUST, assures students that tuition fees will remain unchanged this year. “Fees will remain at the same rate per credit as published in the university financial regulations,” he said.

What’s new: Two new degree courses on offer.

The University of Bolton, RAK Campus

The University of Bolton, Western International College, Ras Al Khaimah campus, opening its doors in the UAE in 2010, has experienced a 50 per cent increase in its student admissions from last year. The admission of close to 200 new students will take Bolton’s student body to about 400.

New to its programme offerings this year are Higher National Diploma (HND) courses in business management and computing — both of which can be topped up to full undergraduate degrees. This year, the fees at the institution have increased by 10 per cent for new students.

The fees are expected to increase further but will be pegged at 30 per cent, Dr Tony Auchterlounie, dean of academic affairs and development, said.

What’s new: Higher National Diploma courses in business management and computing.

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD)

The New York University Abu Dhabi is quickly gaining in regional and international popularity, which is reflected in its application growth of a whopping 150 per cent from last year.

The institution received more than 15,000 applications for 150 places, bringing its total student body to 450.

This year, the university has expanded its engineering curriculum and introduced the Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed NYUAD Scholarship for Exceptional Emirati Students, for which admitted UAE nationals are eligible.

As NYUAD approaches a transition to its Saadiyat Island campus in 2014, its research infrastructure continues to grow; the most notable of which is the addition of one of the most powerful super computers in the region and a new laboratory for social science experiments.

What’s new: Addition of super computers and a new laboratory for science.

Abu Dhabi University (AUD)

The Abu Dhabi University will launch three new centres of excellence this year in the fields of ‘Environment, Health and Safety’, ‘Transportation and Safety,’ and ‘Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosives,’ Dr James Mackin, provost of ADU, said.

The university will also partner with McGraw-Hill Publishers on an eBook initiative that aims to transform ADU into a ‘bring your own device’ university by 2014.

Student applications are up with the expected addition of 1,229 new students, taking ADU’s total student body to 4,464.

ADU has also increased its fees by five per cent this year to cover increasing costs.

The university also plans to launch several new programmes, including a Bachelor of Arts in Arts, Culture and Heritage Management.

All of ADU’s new degree are currently being reviewed by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research for accreditation.

What’s new: Three new centres of excellence being launched this year.

The American University of Sharjah (AUS)

The American University of Sharjah welcomed more than 1,000 new students this autumn, taking its student body above 5,000.

AUS has also launched two new programmes this year — a bachelor’s of industrial engineering and an MSc in mathematics.

AUS has increased its tuition fees by three per cent. However, it has also increased its scholarship budget to more than Dh80 million. “This increase in the Financial Grants and Scholarship translates to about 20 per cent of the AUS budget,” Ali Shuhaimy, vice chancellor of enrolment management, said.

What’s new: Two new programmes — bachelor’s of industrial engineering and an MSc in Mathematics — launched.