Representatives from DIAC meet with international counterparts at leading conference to share experience in developing a world class education hub
Dubai, UAE; Dr. Ayoub of TECOM Investment’s Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) led a delegation from UAE to present at QS Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education (QS-APPLE) in Taiwan. QS APPLE celebrated its 10th anniversary as the biggest, longest-running conference and exhibition for international educators in Asia, Europe, America and Australia. The event is designed to build world-class universities for regional communities through global partnership and collaboration.
There are currently 220 International Branch Campus (IBCs) worldwide, and the UAE is currently host to 37 of them, more than any other country in the world. TECOM’s Education Cluster is home to more than 50% of the UAE’s IBCs. By grouping together multi-tiered universities from multiple nationalities in one convenient location, ‘educational hubs’ such as DIAC, encourage and facilitate the sharing of expertise, research and development and collaborative practices.
The Education Cluster in Dubai is a leading example of the development of the IBC model. The Education Cluster in Dubai has steadily grown into an education hub for the region attracting both world class institutions in the form of International Branch Campuses such as the University of Wollongong in Dubai, Manipal University and Heriot Watt University and an abundance of students. The newest example, and one that the QS APPLE conference highlighted, is in South Korea, the site of the Incheon Global campus, a Free Zone dedicated to higher education that is currently home to four universities.
DIAC is currently home to 20 IBCs representing ten different countries, catering for 20,000 students representing 125 nationalities. These students chose to study in Dubai due to the significant range of courses of offer, from undergraduate to PhD. Key to this success is the management’s understanding of the needs of their students.
During his presentation about the internationalisation of the Education Hub Model, Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director of TECOM Investments Education Cluster (DIAC) said: “We understand that education hubs, no matter where they are, must be innovative in order to be successful as in today’s ever increasingly globalised world, students can choose any number of countries to study in. These universities must offer bespoke courses that cater to industry demand, and create employable global citizens with adaptable and transferable skill sets. This is why we strive to attract world-class universities to reside within the Cluster.”
DIAC are thought leaders in the field of developing IBCs. With this knowledge, DIAC’s management travel the world to share their experiences with academics looking to establish similar freezones. In doing so, they describe the key factors integral to launching a successful IBC; a three step series of recommendations that includes robust research and due diligence to understand the demand, an operational plan that enables the site to grow steadily and finally, financial reporting to measure the growth achieved.
Dr. Ayoub continued: “Asian universities, similar to those in the Middle East, are taking advantage of their booming economies. Increased spending power of the likes of China, Singapore and South Korea has led to a rise in rankings of universities from those countries due to an increased budget on scientific research and multi-million dollar investment programmes. Another way of taking advantage of the uptick in GDP growth is to increase their partnership and collaboration with other, global universities.”
A study by Deloitte and DIAC found that the UAE is currently perceived as the fourth most attractive education destination by students intending to study abroad. In addition, the UAE was also recently ranked 6th in Higher Education and Training and 24th in Innovation by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report.