Increasing number of international schools and student mobility present unique opportunities for education sector
The UAE is increasingly gaining global importance as an ideal destination for investments in higher education as the Gulf nation gives top priority to education as a means to achieving economic success and development, said Prof. AbdulSattar A. Al-Alusi, President and CEO of Emirates College for Management & Information (ECMIT), during a presentation held recently at the Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016 in Oxford, United Kingdom.
ECMIT, a leading private higher educational institution based in Dubai, participated at the summit held under the theme ‘Investment in Science and Education: Investing in the Future.’ Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016 is an annual event for education, scientific research and business.
During the summit, Prof. Al-Alusi noted: “The UAE Government envisions an exceptional system of higher education based on innovation, academic excellence and scientific research. Its policies and regulations, programmes and initiatives are all formulated to meet its overarching goal of building a knowledge-based economy. The results of such efforts are visible in the growth and internationalization of higher education in the country.”
Data shows that the UAE has invested AED 10 billion into the education sector – equivalent to a 22 per cent increase in governmental spending on education, both general and higher.
“The UAE Government’s higher education strategies have attracted international student mobility to the country, which has exponentially grown to more than 37 branch campuses within the last 10 years – the highest number among 200 worldwide higher education providers. This has been achieved by providing the platform for the construction of state-of-the-art campuses, investor-friendly regulations and policies, world-class support services to migrating students, and a wide array of degree specializations that meet current job market requirements,” he added.
Prof. Al-Alusi further explained that in order to ensure excellent access to both public and private higher education for citizens and residents, the UAE adopts several measures and guidelines including promoting educational institution leadership in the areas of R&D, creativity, innovation and competitiveness; ensuring the sustainability of a quality control system based on learning outcomes and academic integrity; strengthening partnerships with industry to align educational outcomes and labor market needs; promoting a culture of continuous learning and providing smart learning opportunities; supporting community service and social responsibility; optimizing financial resources and the complementary role between public and private education sectors; and enhancing international cooperation and creating an attractive learning environment for international students.
“The main drivers of growth for higher education in the country lie in policies and infrastructure, and quality and standards. It is evident that the rise of higher education institutions is not random but rather a focused move to boost the economic growth of the country,” he further stated.
Oxford Summit of Leaders 2016 was participated by a wide group of decision makers, education leaders, scientists, and representatives of academic institutions, universities and specialized companies from more than 50 countries around the world. Organized by the European Business Association in Oxford, the session focused on the most important issues and aspects in the areas of education and scientific research. The Summit discussed the latest developments and emerging trends on integrating the education, business and science sectors and highlighted the best practices and cutting-edge tools in the field of learning management.