Dubai International Academic City officials extend activities to China and South Korea

29 March 2014

DIAC continues to play a key role in supporting Dubai to become a knowledge-based economy and a leading international education hub

29th March 2014:Dubai, UAE: Officials from Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) concluded a tour in Asia that included Chongqing and Zhengzhou in China and Seoul in South Korea. During the tour, the team participated in multiple events and activities aimed at promoting Dubai as a leading education hub in the world and supporting its vision for establishing a knowledge-based economy.

As part of their visit to China, officials from DIAC, lead by Mr Ibrahim Moosa Jamel, Director of Operations, TECOM Investments Education Cluster, participated in the China International Education Exhibition Tour (CIEET), the largest education fair in China. DIAC, who was the only representative of the UAE and MENA region in the exhibition, participated alongside exhibitors from countries like the UK, USA, Australia, France, Canada, Malaysia, China, Turkey and Thailand. This edition marks the first time anyone from the UAE has actually exhibited in any of the CIEET events.

The DIAC team aimed to create awareness among Chinese students of the higher education opportunities in Dubai, and more specifically in DIAC-based universities, through the multiple presentations they offered. It was estimated that during the year 2013 alone, more than 450,000 students pursued their studies overseas, which makes China one of the key markets for the education industry.

Through their participation at CIEET, the DIAC team worked on rectifying a common misperception among Chinese students that the spoken and teaching language in Dubai was Arabic, and hence Chinese students feared that they will not be able to study in Dubai. The team explained that it was actually English, and hence with Dubai’s average cost of living, it was in fact cheaper for the students to study in Dubai than to go to the UK or the USA. The DIAC delegation also noted that the Chinese students were particularly interested in the potential job opportunities in Dubai due to the latest EXPO 2020 win.

The DIAC team also highlighted the international education opportunities in Dubai, as it hosts world-class universities from multiple countries. DIAC is home to 21 of the UAE’s 37 International Branch Campuses from 10 countries, which saves 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 high quality international education.
In Seoul, South Korea, the team, lead by Dr Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director of DIAC and DKV, presented at the Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) Annual Conference and Exhibition, one of the most distinguished forums in the Asia-Pacific region that brings together policy makers and education experts from around the world. The event is aimed to activate and reinforce the globalization of higher education.

At the event, Dr Ayoub Kazim gave a presentation titled “Cross-Border Education Cooperation in the UAE – Lessons Learned and Future Considerations”. The presentation included a comparison between the education landscapes in the UAE in the past versus now, where the UAE has the highest number of International Branch Campuses in the world. He shared the lessons learned from the UAE’s experience, such as starting small and slow – using the ‘incubator concept’ first, and the importance of offering courses demanded by the industry that aren’t commonly offered by other institutions nearby.

Dr Ayoub concluded his presentation with recommendations and future considerations, such as the importance of adopting virtual and smart education, and the importance of borderless education among IBCs in terms of removing the traditional boundaries associated with learning, with initiatives such as blended learning and allowing students to study in multiple institutions at the same time. He also highlighted the opportunities in terms of students, faculty and staff exchange, shared facilities and research collaborations.

This tour came as part of a series of international student events that included countries such as Russia, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Turkey, and London, and will cover the GCC region as well.

Dr Ayoub Kazim said:

“Asia is increasingly important to the UAE with ties strengthening between both markets. Besides promoting Dubai as one of the major educational destinations in the world, we aim, through this tour, to support our academic partners by undertaking recruitment drives such as these to bring new students. Our achievements over recent years underscore our emergence as a leading global hub for higher education and vocational training.
“We will continue to support the development of our partners and students, and by extension, further the progress of the UAE as a diversified, knowledge-based economy. We will also 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.”

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