With state-of-the-art facilities, innovative learning techniques and future-ready courses on offer, the UAE is fast becoming a leading player in the world of higher education. It’s not surprising that UAE universities are now enticing students to stay here and study. As the local universities are proving, whether you travel all the way to Australia and the US, or stay in the UAE, the education is certainly comparable.
“Murdoch University Dubai offers Australian-accredited courses that are of the same quality as those offered at our home campus in Perth,” says Dr James Trotter, Dean and Academic President of Murdoch University Dubai.
“All courses follow the same academic requirements as the courses offered in Australia and Singapore. Students are also taught by teachers who are both experts in their subject areas and have significant industry experience.”
Interactive strategies encourage collaboration and opportunities for social construction of meaning. Via interactive learning, students learn from one another as well as from their course facilitator.
Although higher educational institutes in the UAE provide a highly-qualified level of teaching staff, teaching has had to become more innovative to stay ahead of the times. Traditional methods are long gone and the whole learning experience is now much more interactive.
Classroom experience matters
“Murdoch University promotes active and collaborative learning, as opposed to only direct instruction via lectures,” says Trotter. “Interactive strategies encourage collaboration and opportunities for social construction of meaning. Via interactive learning, students learn from one another as well as from their course facilitator.
“There are many different tools and facilities that can enhance classroom learning, but none of it works if the pedagogy is wrong. Technology allows for a lot of collaborative learning to happen both in and out the classroom, and Murdoch University Dubai’s impending move to state-of-the-art facilities in Knowledge Park, along with the ongoing development of teaching strategies and skills, will all combine to enhance student learning.”
Meanwhile, devices, such as smartphones, are now playing a role in education and coming to the aid of students. For example, at Zayed University, a pioneering app called The Academic Vocabulary App (AVA) has been created that provides academic words for Arabic learners. With the use of this app students can practise the vocabulary that they may require for their studies at anytime on their device. Indeed, the world is changing at a fast pace, and UAE universities are taking many initiatives to keep up with the latest developments in higher educational trends.
While there will always be demand for the predominant courses such as medicine and engineering, new future-ready courses are springing up too.
The Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), which has a campus in Masdar City, was recently announced to become the first graduate level, research-based, artificial intelligence university in the world.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE Minister of State, who is the Chair of the MBZUAI Board of Trustees said, “Artificial intelligence is already changing the world,
but we can achieve so much more if we allow the limitless imagination of the human mind to fully explore it.
“The university will bring the discipline of AI into the forefront, molding and empowering creative pioneers who can lead us to a new artificial intelligence empowered era.”
Further developments, which will enhance academic excellence in the UAE include six research centres at Zayed University.
The facilities include centres in the fields of prototype digital manufacturing, smart cities research, energy and environment economics, Arabic language learning and the Zayed Architecture Research Institute.Research capabilities are essential to the success of students and this is something that the UAE is keen to promote.
Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Chairman of the Educational and Human Resources Council, said at the launch of the new research centres at Zayed University,“Providing Emirati young people with an innovation-conducive environment and advanced research skills and capabilities is a priority on the UAE government’s agenda in order to create a brighter future for current and next generations, and to consolidate the prestigious status boasted by our country on the international stage.”
At SP Jain, due to its unique Australasian footprints, we do interesting research in different management and business specialisations, encompassing different geographies to give a cross-cultural and transnational perspective.
Prof. Christopher Abraham, CEO and Head, SP Jain School of Global Management, Dubai Campus, explains how UAE universities have been focusing on enhancing their research capabilities over the years. “This includes independent and individual research by professors and also joint research with professors from other universities,” he says.
“At SP Jain, due to its unique Australasian footprints, we do interesting research in different management and business specialisations, encompassing different geographies to give a cross-cultural and transnational perspective.”
UAE universities are also offering student exchange programmes to encourage collaborations with other renowned institutes.
“As a top-ranked business school in the world, SP Jain has prestigious partnerships with many leading institutions across the world.
“These strategic partnerships allow for faculty and student exchanges and other joint initiatives. Currently, SP Jain has partnerships with the Schulich School of Business — Canada, IE Business School, and ESADE Business School, Spain, Graduate School of Management, St Petersburg University, Russia, Nyenrode Business Universiteit, Netherlands, IESEG School of Management, France, among many others,” he says.
Thus, with lucrative exchange programmes, impressive research capabilities and unique teaching facilities, the UAE has the framework in place to provide students with the academic excellence they need to succeed.