Over the past decade, the UAE has seen the stature of its higher education institutes go from strength to strength. While expatriate students who had grown up and established roots in the country might previously have had to look to either the West — if they could afford it — or home countries for a path towards high-quality further education, universities here in the UAE have narrowed the gap to become excellent contenders in their own right.
Thanks to the country’s growing stature as a hub for business, culture and tourism — as well as the attractive lifestyle it offers — universities here have been able to attract some of the best tertiary educators in the world to their faculties.
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Additionally, a number of world-class British, Indian and Australian universities have opened UAE campuses here. This brings all of the advantages of their academic prowess, teaching and grading to the fore. Students can also graduate with a full degree from the original school of study, thanks to the fact that papers and exams are all sent back to the mother campuses for grading. Faculty in the UAE collaborate with their counterparts at the home campus to discuss learning materials, while students often also get access to the same e-learning and research platforms as their peers abroad.
This applies at every level, whether it’s a bachelors, masters, PhD or an executive diploma.
Whether it’s in the oil sector or infectious diseases, there is a lot of scope for engaging in thorough, potentially world-changing original research in the country.
Smart construction and sustainability — particularly in the district cooling sphere — are also areas in which the UAE is keen to see progress, in order to help meet a number of its long-term goals. Renewable energy is another key area the country is focused on.
With the Dubai Health Authority’s recent opening of a specialised centre for the treatment of infectious diseases, you can be sure that there will be opportunities abound for research in the healthcare space.
Research into smart logistics solutions and driverless transport are also being explored at universities here.
Universities around the country have established innovation and entrepreneurship centres, where students are given access to the latest technologies — 3D printers, for example — and have a safe space in which to experiment and actually put into practice some of the theory they have been studying. Faculty may also help students at the helm of particularly promising projects pitch these to start-up accelerators, investors and seed funds.
Thanks to the large number of multinational companies basing their regional headquarters in the UAE, the potential scope of partnerships between industry and academia has never been stronger.
A number of free zones have opened up over the past couple of decades — many of which are specialised in technology, healthcare and other sectors — allows students carrying out work placements and internships in these areas to benefit from learning amidst leaders of the industries they are interested in entering.
Many of the UAE’s best universities have either mother campuses or partnerships with institutions across the globe. This offers learners the chance to enjoy the international student experience for a semester or two, without needing to commit the funds or time for a three- or four-year programme.
Those returning after studying abroad bring a fresh perspective to their peers here at home, coupled with invaluable experience and connections that can serve to help them whether they choose to work in the UAE or look to emigrate elsewhere following graduation.
Gulf News EduFair: What you need to know
The Gulf News EduFair is a comprehensive, fully virtual education experience that allows students and their parents to explore the UAE’s various further study options from the comfort of their home, or anywhere with a computer and good Wi-Fi.
Once you login, you’ll be able to navigate the digital exhibition space with just a few clicks of your mouse. The EduFair includes webinars with experts diving deep into the UAE’s higher education sector’s growth; information on tuition fees and scholarships; and career and employability guidance; student mental health issues; and details on postgraduate and part-time study courses in the country.
Participating higher education institutes are Middlesex University Dubai, Heriot Watt University; University of Sharjah; Amity University Dubai; Westford University College; American University in Dubai; SP Jain School of Global Management; University of West London; Canadian University Dubai; Abu Dhabi University; BITS Pilani Dubai; Murdoch University Dubai; and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai.
Our strategic partner for the event is United Arab Emirates University; knowledge partner is the British Council, styling partner is SHEIN and consulting partner is Y-Axis.
University representatives will also be on hand to chat with you in real time, just as they would in a flesh-and-blood setting.
The Gulf News EduFair is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about university in the UAE. See you there!