The academic team at Gulf Medical University (GMU) has compiled the long-term strategic growth plan of doubling its capacity in the next three to four years and aligning to future requirements and strategic direction of education policies laid down by the UAE and thereby, creating an Emirati healthcare workforce to serve the community.
The university recently announced the project for accepting payments through crypto currencies, thus becoming the first private university to be featured in the metaverse. The university continues to scale new heights through its use of technology and fostering brilliance to over 2,600 students, plus 2,000 part-time from more than 90 different nationalities. GMU has 29 accredited undergraduate and graduate programmes, which are run by the six constituent colleges in the fields of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, biomedical sciences, anesthesia technology, medical laboratory sciences, physiotherapy and healthcare management and economics. Owned by Thumbay Group and Founded by Dr Thumbay Moideen in 1998, the university has grown with its focus on providing international quality education and healthcare through GMU’s academic health centre at Thumbay Medicity.
The six colleges under the academic leadership of professor Hossam Hamdy, chancellor of GMU and his team have progressed well in the last decade, growing the university’s global footprint in more than 96 countries. GMU and the Thumbay network of academic hospitals, daycare, labs, pharmacies and clinics together train around 20 per cent of the doctors and approximately 60 per cent of the healthcare professionals in the country, creating a significant impact on the healthcare sector of the UAE and the region.
Students of the university are provided with adequate opportunities to showcase their achievements through activities, inter-professional skills, sporting and cultural events, which groom them to be future healthcare professionals. In addition, students can also avail the chance to learn in the eight hospitals, 10 clinics, five labs and 48 pharmacies that are at their disposal. There are a total of 700 beds, besides other tie-ups with local entities as clinical training sites with over 400 qualified faculty, doctors and adjunct faculty who provide one-on-one clinical training to students and quality care to patients in the UAE.
GMU has created unique technological platforms and an outstanding infrastructure for research on imaging, functional genomics, sequencing with NGS facility, pioneering the establishment of the first liquid biopsy facility in the region, the zebra fish and a platform for drug discovery and development. It is the leader in research in medical education in the UAE and the entire region with 70 per cent of all papers published in medical education in the UAE coming from GMU.
Since its inception, around 2,000 students have graduated from GMU and made successful careers working at various positions — including as CEOs, COOs, medical directors and heads of departments — in the healthcare and research sectors in the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Europe, North America and Australia. Moreover, the university’s academic and research tie-ups with over 70 international universities and research institutions ensure global recognition and employability for GMU graduates.
The strategic plan Includes several unique growth opportunities, which include the opening of a branch campus in Dubai by the end of next year, starting of vocational courses, identification of 82 short-term certificate programmes, blended learning and online programmes to help professionals develop better skills for jobs and placements and to fulfil future needs of the healthcare industry.
Dr Thumbay Moideen, founder president, board of trustees, said: “We have always been innovative in what we do and have laid down a strategic growth plan to double the capacity of our university, which aligns with the future requirements and needs of the country.”
The university is planning to start several new programmes under the colleges of medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, health sciences and healthcare management and economics to expand its health profession training offerings and double its training capacity in the next three to four years.
The recent developments have led to dual entry programmes in medicine and pharmacy, where high school graduates get entry to pursue an MD or PharmD degree or the chance to opt out in four years to get a bachelor in medical sciences or bachelor of pharmacy degree or continue for an MD or PharmD degree in six years respectively. The new PhD in precision medicine is a dual degree programme in partnership with the Paris-Saclay University in France.
The GMU College of Pharmacy has introduced the first-of-its-kind fellowship in clinical pharmacy research in the Middle East, providing a unique path for pharmacists and pharmacy graduates in the country and the region to become clinician scientists. The fellowship programme is being offered jointly between GMU and Washington State University.
GMU’s collaboration with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has led to humanitarian learning in healthcare to create a model youth force in the country that will be equipped with all the basic skills and knowledge to fight any emergency crisis as per international standards.
The future scientist programme is an innovative educational enrichment internship programme designed to attract young male or female Emirati talented and exceptionally motivated school students, to nurture their interest in biomedical and drug discovery research and prepare them for an exciting career as research scientists. GMU has recently achieved international accreditation by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), the agency responsible for accrediting higher education institutions in the UK, utilising European standards and guidelines for quality assurance.
GMU has won several awards from Forbes, Dubai Quality Award, QS Awards, QS Reimagine WRC Leaders and has been ranked in the QS University Rankings and the Times Higher Education impact ranking, placing it among the top universities in the region. Globally, GMU has emerged as an international university, creating a landmark in the global map of medical education providers.
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