Dr James M. Trotter Image Credit: Supplied

What steps have you taken to minimise disruptions in learning due to the closure of academic institutes?

Murdoch University Dubai started developing contingency plans in February in collaboration with our colleagues in Perth and Singapore for the possibility of restrictions on face-to-face learning. As a consequence, we were able to move seamlessly to online delivery within a matter of days, providing our students the same high-quality learning experience in an online environment.

Apart from their online classes, students also have round-the-clock access to their library,

learning management systems and an online, on-demand study help platform. Students can schedule one-on-one online consultations with our student support team for any help on time management skills, research and writing skills, academic integrity and career development.

Since this transition might have caused some concerns or anxiety amongst our students, they also have access to our student counsellor for any guidance and support throughout the week.

How are you planning to draw students for the new academic year?

We are currently reviewing a range of ways to assess readiness for university study, so that students who would normally qualify for admission will still be able to gain access to university study and all the benefits of obtaining a high-quality Australian degree.

We have already hosted a successful virtual open week earlier this month with student participation not just from the UAE but also from South and South East Asia, East Africa and Europe. We also continue to host and participate in virtual fairs around the world aimed at providing higher education solutions to students looking for universities.

Finally, we are rolling out free university-readiness courses and webinars, geared at preparing high school students in the UAE and beyond for their transition into university by focusing on building essential skills like time management, critical thinking, academic writing and researching.

What’s unique about Murdoch University?

Our amazing teaching staff are absolutely the key strength of our university. As you would expect, they are highly trained discipline experts, but they combine that expertise with a profound dedication to achieving the best outcomes for our students. I think the other key strength of Murdoch Dubai is the opportunity to complete an internationally recognised Australian degree right here in Dubai. I should also mention that we offer double majors, in many cases taking no extra time or money – this is unique within the UAE.

Will you be launching any new programme this year?

We have been well known for our high-quality undergraduate IT courses for many years and we will be launching two new Master of IT courses in September.

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