Dubai universities see 25% rise in enrolments Filed on August 31, 2021
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The robust vaccination drive and effective management of the pandemic have primarily prompted many students to study in the emirate.

Dubai universities have registered a strong growth of more than 25 per cent in new admissions for the new academic year, figures reveal.

Education experts say the spike in enrolments is a result of a combination of factors, but the robust vaccination drive and effective management of the pandemic have primarily prompted many to study in Dubai.

“There is a 35 per cent increase in enrolments as compared to previous year. With the UAE Government’s proactive measures and superb vaccination drive, we all feel extremely safe,” said professor Srinivasan Madapusi, director, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus.

“Our staff, students and their families are also fully vaccinated, which reinforces safety. The number of cases has also been declining consistently over the last few days, and with vaccination rollout for almost all age groups, we are certainly heading to a better start. We will reopen on September 5 with orientation and registration for existing and new students, while classes commence on September 6,” he added.

The focus this year will be on face-to-face learning, varsities say. However, an online study option is still available to those unable to travel because of Covid-imposed restrictions.

Some universities have already welcomed new and existing students to campuses for the new academic year, while others are preparing to greet students next week.

A number of institutions, like Middlesex University Dubai and Capital University College, are set to receive a record number students.

“We currently have over 3,800 students studying with us from over 116 nationalities, and we are expecting to welcome the highest number of students we’ve ever seen for the September 2021 intake. This is a clear sign that both domestic and international students are continuing to rethink travel to traditional destinations such as the UK or US, and remain in or come to Dubai to study,” said Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, pro-vice chancellor of Middlesex University, and director of Middlesex University Dubai.

“The UAE has one of the world’s most successful vaccine rollouts. Throughout the pandemic, it has demonstrated excellence in ensuring the health and safety of its residents and tourists. Teaching for the 2021-2022 academic year begins on September 19, but we remain open throughout the summer for students to come onto campus at any time to use our facilities or meet with our student support teams,” Fernandes said.

Capital College particularly witnessed a spike in enrolments for its bachelor’s programmes, according to its co-founder and director, Dr Vikas Nand Kumar Batheja.

“With our programme allowing students to complete their study in just two years, we have recorded an increase, especially with students who have taken a gap year or would have switched to pursue a business degree. This year, they can expedite their higher education pathways by receiving international degrees in just 24 months.

“Additionally, we have seen an increase in enrolments even for schemes where students can complete their bachelor’s and master’s in just 36 months. This has worked phenomenally well, as many pupils look to complete their studies in one go.”

Although most of the college’s programmes are offered in online and blended formats, several students are now opting for on-campus learning, thanks to the UAE’s vaccination programme and safety protocols, Batheja said.

While a complete university experience includes social interactions, events and practical coursework in a safe and secure environment, colleges are determined to make sure that students experience interactive learning that will help them grow into future leaders.

Dr Kavita Shukla, vice-president for student affairs at Amity University Dubai, said: “Dubai is high in demand, thanks to our unmatched safety and healthcare services. We have also seen a record number of enrollments among students that have completed school in Dubai, who have chosen to stay back and study here in a safe and secure environment.”

She added: “We are welcoming new students to the University for Orientation Day on Sunday, 12 September, and classes will begin on September 13. The response to face-to-face learning has been incredible; almost all students have opted to return to the university. Student vaccinations are also being monitored to ensure that they are eligible for on-campus learning.”

Nandini Sircar

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