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UAE post-graduates ‘keen on doctoral degrees’

Dubai, December 30, 2009

Over 90 per cent of masters degree holders in the UAE are keen to pursue doctoral programmes, while 72 per cent think a doctorate would boost career advancement, says a study.

The results of the online survey commissioned by the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), ahead of the launch of its doctoral programmes in September 2010, were endorsed by business and industry experts at a roundtable organised recently by UOWD.

The survey, conducted by Bayt.com, covered Asian expatriates, Arab expatriates, UAE nationals and Western expatriates. Approximately 74 per cent of the respondents came from the private sector and 14 per cent from the government sector.

Asked about the reasons for pursuing a doctoral degree, 72 per cent said it was for career advancement, 63 per cent for self-fulfillment and 28 per cent each for social recognition and career change.

On the choice of a degree, 64 per cent said they would opt for a PhD and 36 per cent for a doctorate in business administration (DBA). On the preferred type of research, 78 per cent opted for applied research and 22 per cent for theoretical research.

As high as 89 per cent of respondents said they would prefer a part-time program, against 11 per cent who wished to do a full-time doctoral program.

At the roundtable in which some leading industry experts took part, the general consensus was that the time was ripe for introducing doctoral programs in the UAE as the industry had reached a state of maturity where research had become critical.

“Research, which involves gathering and analyzing key information, is a crucial component of any industry for enabling strategic decisions,” said Dr Amina Al Rustamani, chief executive officer, Tecom Business Parks.

“Research is also important for governments to provide statistical information and participate in benchmarking exercises. I would say that a doctorate in business administration would certainly contribute to catalysing some of our local industries that rely on research based findings for fast-track growth,” she added.

Dr Ayoub Kazim, executive director, Dubai International Academic City and Dubai Knowledge Village, said: “The strategic areas of research include education, science, healthcare, sustainability, hospitality, tourism and media. The UOWD is doing a commendable job by involving industry experts in the design of doctoral programs.

“We are confident that many of our students will benefit from the availability of such advanced curriculum and working with mentors for an incisive understanding of the local markets.”

Slim Saidi, director, Arthur D Little, Dubai, a top management consulting firm, said: “Programmes like the DBA and PhD are very much needed as local industry has reached a stage where there is a strong need for researching professionals and employees capable of doing environmental scanning and business intelligence, developing innovative business models and conducting sophisticated market studies.”

“UOWD will capitalise on its existing research strengths by offering doctoral degree programs in a number of areas. The introduction of these programs locally would mean UAE residents would no longer have to travel abroad to take these advanced degrees. Also, they can continue working with their organizations, and do these programs part-time,” said Rob Whelan, president of UOWD.

Professor Mohamed Khalifa, vice president (Academic), UOWD, said: “UOWD has matured as an institution and is today fully capable of delivering doctoral programs. We are pleased to engage industry and government to address the needs of the UAE to develop research collaboration and support the UAE government’s goal for a knowledge-based economy through our doctoral programs.” – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: UAE | Dubai | Bayt.com | UOWD | Masters degree | Doctoral programme |

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