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Dubai’s education sector increasingly positive with construction in full swing

Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park are collectively home to more than 27,000 students and believe the emirate’s education sector has more than a few reasons to be optimistic about the future.

A COVID-19 vaccine roll-out encouraging more students back to campus, progress on key projects and the introduction of golden visas has created a favourable wind for the UAE’s academic community, despite ongoing global challenges.

After breaking ground in 2019, construction on The University of Birmingham’s state-of-the-art campus in Dubai International Academic City is in full swing. Ranked among the world’s top 100 universities, the elite British institution will accommodate up to 2,900 students upon completion.

Meanwhile, the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD) opened the doors of its 200,000 sq ft Campus of the Future in Dubai Knowledge Park in August 2020. It features a modern architectural design that combines contemporary and innovation-focused learning spaces with cutting-edge technologies. As the first international university in the UAE, UOWD also generated the highest admissions intake in seven years in 2020, following a series of successful marketing campaigns.

Heriot-Watt University Dubai has also been readying for a move into a new state-of-the-art 218,000 sq ft campus in Dubai Knowledge Park in 2021. The digitally-enabled campus is conceived to adhere to the latest directives from the government, guaranteeing students’ safety, from blended learning to providing remote access to resources, allowing for the changing landscape of education post COVID-19.

Australia’s Murdoch University also inaugurated a 27,000 sq ft campus in May 2020 in Dubai Knowledge Park, twice the size of its former premises in Dubai International Academic City. It features world-class facilities including a dedicated cybersecurity lab and education-focused furniture and interiors to promote a collaborative teaching and learning environment.

All of the institutes are focused on future-proofing the next generation of graduates, a task that has become more pertinent following the global academic upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Park, said: “Education is facing its biggest upheaval in decades, but our communities are uniquely positioned to adapt. With a number of future-focused campuses already open or poised to do – alongside favourable rules and regulations from our wiser leaders – the emirate has become an even more attractive destination for learning and development.

He added: “Education and talent are intrinsically linked to the UAE’s vision for a knowledge and innovation-based economy. Recent studies have shown that young people are confident about competing for jobs globally and we have a responsibility to ensure they succeed. As the world’s largest academic ecosystem, it’s our role to create the right environment with state-of-the-art infrastructure, space to scale, and business-friendly regulations to attract the best universities to Dubai to capitalise on the confidence of youth. The optimism of youth is reason alone to be cautiously optimistic about the future.”

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