A master’s degree in Smart City, anyone?

Filed on June 5, 2014

RIT Dubai to start offering programme from next year

Dr Shaikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan conferring a degree on one of the students during the commencement ceremony of the Rochester Institute of Technology in Dubai. — Supplied photos

With 1,000 government services expected to go smart in the next three years, the concept of smart city programme will be taught at the graduate level for the first time in the UAE at the Silicon Oasis.

“An agreement to this effect was (signed) ... two months back with the Polytechnic University, Spain,” Dr Mohammed Al Zarooni, vice-chairman and CEO, Oasis Silicon Authority, told Khaleej Times on Monday on the sidelines of the 3rd commencement ceremony of the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai.

The concept of ‘Smart City’ was initiated by His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in March this year.

“The ‘smart city’ master’s degree programme will kick-off ... next year in collaboration with the universities of Polytechnic, Harvard and Oxford, London Business College and RIT Dubai.”

RIT New York Provost Dr Jeremy Haefner said they are “proud” to support Dubai’s initiatives to become a ‘Smart City’ over the next few years.

Dr Shaikh Khalid bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of RIT Dubai Board, said they provide students with intensive training at the Silicon Oasis and other major companies like Dubal, Emal and Dewa.

The university, which was established in Dubai in 2008, is a not-for-profit global campus of the RIT in New York. “RIT Dubai offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business and leadership, engineering and computing. The university, which is expected to attract up to 5,000 students, half of which are Emiratis, will have a big new campus within three years at the Silicon oasis,” Dr Yousef Al Assaf, president, RIT Dubai, said.

Rob Waller, U.S. Consul-General of Dubai, said while technology keeps evolving and improving, the importance of earning an American degree has not diminished.

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