Manipal University
to open new campus
in September

DUBAI - It’s the season of admissions for universities in Dubai. Innovative courses, new areas of study and a focus on affordable education have spurned the growth for higher education providers in Dubai as universities cringe to get the student numbers.

by

Muaz Shabandri

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Published: Tue 28 Jun 2011, 10:22 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:41 AM

With its new campus opening in September, Manipal University is set to expand its student community and teaching staff.

In an interview with Khaleej Times, Dr B Ramjee, Director, Manipal University (Dubai Campus) spoke about the university’s plan to open a new medical facility in Dubai, while continuing to develop course offerings. Here are the excerpts:

When is the new campus expected to be operational and what facilities will be on offer for students?

The expansion of Manipal University in Dubai comes as part of our long-term objective. We are committed to this region and our new purpose-built campus in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) is a reflection of our commitment to support students in the UAE and MENA region. The 1.1 million square feet facility is ready to receive students when the new academic year begins. Also, during the second and third phase we plan to build permanent residential facilities for students.

Manipal is synonymous with medicine and healthcare education. Are there plans to establish a medical education facility in Dubai?

Our primary focus is to bring medical education to Dubai and we are currently in the final stages of planning to launch a medical learning facility in Dubai. In the next couple of years, we should have our own campus for medical studies and allied sciences, in accordance with the regulatory provisions. We are also looking at the feasibility of running short courses for working professionals.

Following a tough time for universities during the economic crisis, what are the admission trends this year?

Dubai is a place with a lot of resilience and UAE will certainly bounce back from the financial crisis. Clearly the last two academic years showed a downward admission trend in line with the economic crisis. Student numbers were on the decline till last year, but this year has showed strong signs of recovery. We expect 650 new students to start their studies at our campus this year and we are here to serve the students with better facilities and expansive learning opportunities.

What new courses will be launched over the next few years keeping in line with the changing needs of the student community?

We will continue to increase our course offerings. Liberal arts will be introduced through courses in history, literature and philosophy over the coming years. However, the real challenge is to find quality faculty while providing the students the right facility to undertake learning activities. Currently, we have over 1600 students studying in our premises at Dubai International Academic City. With the expansion and move to our campus, we anticipate growing to 3000 students over the next five years.

A host of Indian education institutions have opened their branch campuses in Dubai. How will the competition affect Manipal University?

The opening of other Indian institutions does not pose a serious threat to us. Manipal has been very successful because of the diversity of its course offerings and reputation. There are many private universities which have started recently with exotic courses, curriculum and degrees. To the dismay of students, these universities close down because of various reasons. With nine different fields of study to choose from, students at Manipal have a wide variety of courses backed by the credibility associated with our name.

—muaz@khaleejtimes.com


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