The University of Birmingham officially opened its iconic new Dubai campus in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), a member of TECOM Group, marking the next stage in the global Top 100 University’s long-term commitment to positioning Dubai as a regional hub for world-class higher education and talent development.
In addition to high-ranking officials from the UAE, the University of Birmingham’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Adam Tickell and Chancellor Lord Karan Bilimoria, travelled to Dubai to attend the landmark ceremony.
Located opposite Dubai’s first purpose-built student housing community, the campus has been home to students since January. It encourages collaboration across academic disciplines, offering flexible learning spaces and formal teaching spaces to ensure that teaching and research work in tandem to benefit students.
Professor Adam Tickell said: “Officially opening our iconic new campus is another exciting milestone which demonstrates the University of Birmingham’s long-term commitment to contributing to UAE society – through in-country partnership in education and areas of research strength that support the National Agenda.
“I would like to thank the UAE Ministry of Education, Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), TECOM Group, DIAC and all our partners in the region for their generous support in helping us reach this point.
“Our new campus will provide students from the UAE and beyond with excellent, innovative facilities and a first-class education from an elite British university, that sees them graduate as high-achieving and employable problem solvers.”
The campus can currently support up to 2,900 students and will eventually be able to support up to 4500 students and feature innovative teaching and research space to encourage cross disciplinary working. Learning spaces incorporate digital technology and a student hub supports student needs across teaching and wellbeing.
Designed by Hopkins Architects and built by Khansaheb, the buildings overlook parkland and natural spaces. They reflect the ‘green heart’ of the University’s campus in Birmingham, giving the student community a complete campus university experience. Sheltered courtyards and social spaces aim to enhance the campus’ sustainability while providing students and staff with a relaxing environment in keeping with Dubai’s unique climate.
H.E. Malek Al Malek, Director General of Dubai Development Authority and Group CEO of TECOM Group said: “Our leadership has always underscored education as the backbone of sustainable economic development, ensuring the availability of skilled and innovation-minded talent across key sectors. For the past 20 years, Dubai has succeeded in attracting global companies and academic institutions to consolidate our knowledge-based economy and boost our competitiveness on a global scale. Leading institutes like the University of Birmingham Dubai have been integral to setting and maintaining high standards of academic excellence, reinforcing our attractiveness to ambitious students who will fuel the success and advancement of our industries, and that of the wider region.”
The University was the first global top 100 and UK Russell Group university to establish a campus in Dubai in September 2018, and now adds to the leading education hub’s roster of global and local internationally accredited academic institutions. DIAC has played a key role in enabling, advancing and promoting Dubai’s position on the regional and global education scale, and in recent years, the agility and resilience of the Emirate has further boosted its attractiveness to universities and students alike.
The University of Birmingham Dubai is accredited by the UAE Ministry of Education – recognising the quality of its educational experience. The University offers degrees taught, examined and accredited to the same high standards as those delivered on its UK campus with students receiving a University of Birmingham degree.
Study programmes include Biomedical Science, Accounting, Financial Management, International Commercial Law, Business, Economics, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Construction Management, Public Health, Psychology, Sport Coaching, Urban Planning, Water Resources Management and Education degrees, including teacher training in Special Educational Needs. The range of degree programmes will continue to grow in the new campus.
University of Birmingham Dubai Provost Professor David Sadler said:
“Our range of programmes in Dubai is already very broad and that is because we believe students benefit from an actively inter-disciplinary environment, where they can learn from different perspectives.
“We are crafting our academic offer in Dubai to deliver the experience that every student needs to develop and grow – a ‘digital first’ approach to teaching, learning and assessment.
“Sustainability is important to us and partnering with Siemens will make our campuses in Dubai and Birmingham as sustainable as possible. Our beautiful new building is accessible to everyone – as in Birmingham, it is open to the local community for events and opportunities that will enrich the lives of Dubai residents.”
The University’s partnership with Siemens combines digital sensor and analytics technologies, artificial intelligence, decentralised energy generation and storage, renewable energy and concepts that help change users’ behaviour to transform the Edgbaston and Dubai campuses into the world’s smartest global campus, creating a ‘Living Lab’ where research, teaching and learning all benefit from access to new data and connectivity.
The ‘Living Lab’ will capture data from the University’s building technologies, estates infrastructure and energy plants and use it for innovation, R&D activities and teaching. Live data from across the sites provides a unique opportunity for applied learning for students and creates a platform for cutting-edge research.
For more information about the University of Birmingham Dubai, please visit www.birmingham.ac.uk/dubai