Dubai education experts take part in US conference
Dubai, June 8, 2014
More than 8,400 professionals from the field of international education gathered for five days of training, workshops, educational sessions, networking opportunities and special events in the US.
Officials from Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) were among those who took part in the Nafsa annual conference in San Diego, led by Dr Ayoub Kazim, managing director of DIAC and Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV).
Dr Kazim gave a presentation titled ‘Globalisation of Higher Education and the Emergence of Education Hubs’ at the conference.
It included comparative analysis of key student mobility trends in light of the globalisation of the higher education sector. He highlighted that the sector has witnessed the emergence of transnational students, who are able and willing to travel in order to receive the best quality higher education, giving them the best change of security rewarding employment opportunities.
Nearly five million international students are likely to be studying for degrees outside their own countries this year, a figure that is expected to grow, he said. The number has increased by 140 per cent, since 2000 when 2.1 million students left home to enrol in a foreign college or university, according to data from the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Transnational students’ motivations in selecting a university were also discussed at the presentation, with influencing factors such as international recognition, study costs, employment prospects and location, seen as being the most important.
Dr Kazim also highlighted the fact that the Expo 2020 win is creating more job opportunities across various industry sectors. Oxford Economics estimates that Dubai winning the bid for the expo will create more than 277,000 job opportunities in the UAE between the year 2013 and 2021, with most new jobs being in the construction and tourism sectors.
Another factor contributing to the forecasted growth in the UAE job market is the fact that one of the major strategies issued by the Dubai government is the goal of Dubai as capital of Islamic economy, which is currently valued at $8 trillion, or 11 per cent of the global gross domestic product.
“With the rise of transnational education, students are willing to travel across the world for international higher education. Education hubs like DIAC, with many universities from different nationalities all in one location, make this choice easier for students and parents,” said Dr Kazim.
The DIAC team emphasised the international education opportunities in Dubai, as it hosts a number of universities from multiple countries, saving students the effort of having to travel to the US or Europe to obtain an internationally recognized degree. In addition, while certain political conflicts and rising living costs made it difficult to obtain visas to certain countries, Dubai is a viable alternative to other high quality international education providers.
Another key objective of the team’s participation was identifying best practices in International Branch Campus (IBC) setup, using lessons learned from the UAE’s experience.
They classified the use of extensive studies and market research, regional knowledge, and having robust business and academic plans as key steps towards setting up a successful IBC. The presentation also offered an overview about the major shifts towards emerging markets in transnational education and how to create a roadmap to ensuring success in launching an IBC.
“We will continue to work on further improving the UAE’s global ranking as an education hub, which is currently ranked as the fourth most attractive education destination in the world according to the Workforce Planning study conducted by Deloitte,” added Dr Kazim. - TradeArabia News Service