In an interview with Khaleej Times, Professor Raed Awamleh, director, Middlesex University in Dubai, outlined the various courses on offer on the university campus in Dubai Knowledge Village. Excerpts form the interview:
What efforts are the university making to create graduates with job skills?
Our aim is to prepare graduates who are able to self-develop in a quest for life-long learning and add value to the organisations they wish to join. The university has been developing year on year at a rate of 20 per cent and it is a reflection of our success in higher education. Students successfully completing the course receive a degree accredited by Middlesex University London.
How close is the student experience when compared to the university campus in London?
The student experience cannot be identical as in London but it is comparable. Dubai offers students with a lot of diversity and the mix of international and domestic students makes the environment very multi-cultural. Also, a number of students transfer to London during their study on the Dubai campus. The course structure, assessments and exams are conducted as per the standards of the Middlesex University in London. Even the exams are held on the same day and time on both campuses. The timetable is synchronised and every course is identical when it comes to material and assessment.
What are the most popular courses in the university?
At the undergraduate level, our media and psychology programmes are very popular. The business programmes continue to strike a chord with a large group of students but there is also a rising interest in international development and global social sciences. There are a lot of careers that students can orient themselves to and the scope for career development is very large.
At the postgraduate level, the MBA programme continues to hold its position as one of the most popular programmes. Other popular post-graduate courses include Masters in Human Resource Management and the MA in Marketing Communications.
What new courses will be introduced in the university during the next three years?
Health and education are always considered a priority and our new programmes will be geared towards developing qualified teachers to support the changing school system. In terms of health education, fitness and public health will be a key area of focus in our next stage of development. In 2012, we are aiming to start a whole set of programmes. They will include health and fitness, risk management, logistics, law, environmental sustainability and occupational health and safety.
Is the university planning to apply for a CAA accreditation?
The Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) is a very solid system. From a resource point of view, we mostly meet the requirements needed to comply with the CAA procedures but the question is whether our graduates really need this accreditation. Our students require a global quality assurance and we have a direct link with the university in London, which serves as a benchmark for the quality of education offered here.
Are there any plans to shift the campus from its current location in Knowledge Village?
Our location in Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV) offers a lot of strategic benefits for our students. The businesses around us in Dubai Media City, Dubai Internet City and TECOM offer our students with a lot of opportunities in terms of internships and work opportunities. The area gives us a lot of advantages and we prefer at this point of time to be located at DKV. Also, the metro has added to the convenience of students as it makes travelling to the university easier. Our post-graduate students also prefer this location as they come from businesses around us after completing their work in the evening.
As we grow, we may look at shifting to Dubai International Academic City, among other options.