University Students
Leading universities from the West and other areas of the world have established a campus in the UAE. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: From paying local fees for international study to boosting academic, career and cultural opportunities, foreign universities in the UAE are offering several advantages to students through their study abroad or transfer options.

To cater to nationals as well as the majority expat population in the Emirates, leading universities from the West and other areas of the world have established a campus in the UAE. Besides studying at the campus here, students can also study abroad at, or even transfer to, these universities’ home campus or any of their sister campuses in other countries. Transferring students’ credit hours are credited to their new campus so they can continue their course without disruption.

Universities said these opportunities to study abroad — sometimes while paying the same fees as of the UAE campus — offer “immersive” learning in culturally diverse settings, as well as broaden avenues to study different courses while networking for international career prospects. SP Jain School of Global Management, an Australian business school with campuses in Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore and Sydney, has designed its entire programme around such a model.

‘Globally intelligent students’

Dr Christopher Abraham, CEO — Dubai Campus, S P Jain School of Global Management, said: “Studying in multiple countries as part of your university course opens up your mind. You gain the opportunity to learn other cultures, business practices, economic models, and politics. Each country has a unique model that works for that culture and business norms. So there is a lot of out-of-class learning that develops with our students. They build up this repository of knowledge from their varied experiences in different countries. Harvard University has a term for it — Global Intelligence. Through our unique and flexible model offering both academic and immersive, out-of-class learning in different countries — in the Middle East, the Far East, and a Commonwealth first-world country — we prepare our students to be globally intelligent.”

How it works

Dr Abraham added: “Normally, undergraduate study lasts four years. In view of the considerations under the pandemic, currently we are offering students a start in Dubai, for their first year. In their second year, they can transfer to their second campus, say Singapore, and then the last two years is normally always in Sydney. In Australia, they have a special provision called Post Study Work Rights (subject to government regulations in Australia), which means that if students complete their last two years in an Australian institution, such as ours, they have an opportunity to stay for a further two years in Australia after their graduation.” 

US experience at Dubai fees

At Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai (RIT Dubai), students availing the study abroad option to attend the main campus in New York state, pay the fee of the Dubai campus. “Our study abroad option is a brilliant option to get acquainted and immersed in to the US college education system … Students can elect to continue their major, or decide to take advantage of the many offerings of specialisations, i.e. Mechatronics and Bioengineering, or the array of minor options and alternative study routes available … If transferring, students can also transfer all of their relevant credits to the receiving programme which allows for a continuous and fluid academic pathway,” RIT Dubai said.

Stock university students
Universities said that opportunities to study abroad — sometimes w.hile paying the same fees as of the UAE campus — offer “immersive” learning in culturally diverse settings Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

“As a global, top 100 US university, no matter which campus you choose to study at, you will always have a host of options ready to be taken advantage of. These range from being purely social, or to be part of a competitive club that challenges teams all over the world. The NY campus simply gives students more opportunity to experience these events, with a campus close to 20,000 students, it always means there is someone else with the same interest. Getting yourself submerged in extra-curricular activities is a fantastic way to gain experiences and to boost your CV, and ultimately, career prospects.”

‘Life-changing experience’

Murdoch University Dubai also offers a transfer option, to its campus in Perth, Australia or Singapore, to all undergraduate and postgraduate students who successfully complete at least one trimester in Dubai. “While many of our students come from and chose to stay, live and work in the UAE, all our courses in Dubai follow the same academic standards and requirements as the courses offered in Australia, which offers an exciting option for our students to transfer to our campuses in Perth, Australia or Singapore to experience a truly international education and gain a global degree,” the university said.

“International study is a life-changing experience that builds lifetime friendships and unforgettable experiences. Academically, our courses follow the same industry-relevant content and innovative programme structure as our home campus in Perth. Our transfer students not only benefit from the global recognition that comes with the world-class quality of Australian education, but they also have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in different cultures, experience the local sights and sounds in three different countries, while also building their professional and personal networks all around the world, all while making the most of what Dubai, Perth or Singapore have to offer as global business hubs and innovation centres,” it added.

Gulf News EduFair 2020

The three universities plus 10 other leading higher education institutions in UAE will on Wednesday join the inaugural edition of the fully virtual Gulf News EduFair, which lasts until Friday. Prospective students — be they high school graduates, freshmen or postgraduates — will be able to ask any question and prepare for every step of the application process for the January 2021 intake or beyond. Parents will also hear directly from key representatives on how to pay tuition fees easily and scholarship offers. Besides browsing virtual booths of the universities and speaking online with admission counsellors, there will also be daily expert-led webinars featuring academic specialists and panel discussions on everything from choosing the right degree programme to career counselling — and even how to look sharp on campus.

Free to attend

Students and parents can register for free at to gain unrestricted access to all academic and extra-curricular opportunities available in the Emirates. The strategic partner for the event is United Arab Emirates University; knowledge partner is the British Council and consulting partner is Y-Axis. Apart from easy-to-navigate features of the Gulf News EduFair at the click of a button, all those who register will also avail of an exclusive discount offer on fashion offerings from SHEIN, the event’s styling partner.

Distinguished list

The virtual exhibitors at the Gulf News EduFair offering spaces for the January 2021 intake are Heriot-Watt University, University of Sharjah, Amity University Dubai, Westford University College, American University in Dubai, Middlesex University, SP Jain School of Global Management, University of West London, Canadian University Dubai, Abu Dhabi University, BITS Pilani Dubai, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai, and Murdoch University Dubai.