Dubai continues bid to attract international students

Since 2007 there has been a significant increase in higher education students in Dubai. The emirate is drawing international students from around the world as it transforms into an education hub.

Dubai sunrise, education in the emirate continues to bloom
Recent research, presented at the International and Private Schools Education Forum (IPSEF) in Dubai, shows that Dubai is continuing its bid to attract more international students.International students currently make up 30 per cent of all higher education students in the city. Latest figures show there are over 60,000 higher education students in Dubai, accounting for a 65 per cent increase in enrolment figures since 2007. Since then, enrolment has grown an average of ten per cent annually.

Why choose an international school in Dubai?

“Dubai has shown to the world it can become a leading global business hub, and is leveraging this success to attract international students to come to the Emirate to pursue higher education studies here,” said Dr Warren Fox, chief of higher education at the KHDA – the educational quality assurance authority for the government of Dubai. “This reputation as a world-class commercial and trading centre is one of the top reasons why international students are coming to Dubai.”With a quality of life and standard of living considered among the best in the world, Dubai’s appeal as not just a business and tourism hub, but also as a premier education destination will continue to strengthen.A US News and World Report survey published earlier this year, in collaboration with Y&R’s BAV Consulting and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, says the United Arab Emirates is the second-best country in the world to start a career and the safest Arab majority country.According to Dr Fox, location is also an important consideration, and Dubai is an increasingly attractive choice being only an eight hour flight away from two-thirds of the rest of the world.

Building on educational success

International higher education programmes have been operating in Dubai for a number of years, with foreign campuses from universities of 12 different countries, including the UK, Australia, India, US, Russia, Austria, Lebanon, Pakistan, Iran, France, Canada and Ireland.To further strengthen its capacity, the KHDA has set up the University Quality Assurance International Board (UQAIB), consisting of top education experts from around the world, who meet twice a year to evaluate programmes offered by Higher Education Providers (HEPs) as well as student performance.Meanwhile, Roland Hancock, director of education at PwC, says universities in Dubai would do well to continue building on their success by becoming more agile, describing this as digitally-enabled with a focus on the student journey, financially effective with data driven decision making and with high quality partnerships in place to enhance employability and research opportunities.“These universities are also profoundly focused on student experience, have a global footprint and provide teaching and curriculum offerings that are aligned to student and labour market needs,” Hancock added.
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As IPSEF came to a close, Rhona Greenhill, co-founder of IPSEF, said, “We hope to continue to provide a relevant platform for those involved in the education business in the Middle East, including our international audience who wish to be a part of this growth.”IPSEF now moves to Asia for its next event in Shanghai on Monday 23 to Thursday 26 April 2018 to highlight opportunities in the world’s emerging economic and education powerhouse.To read more about the growing international schools market in the region, click here
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