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UAE: More students look to study psychology after Covid-19

Waheed Abbas /Dubai
waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com Filed on October 7, 2021
Shihab - KT

Pupils also show interest in computer science, other IT-related subjects due to work and study-from-home culture

Students in the UAE are increasingly opting for psychology to get into the counselling profession following the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, say education consultants.

In addition, a good number of pupils have also shown keen interest in computer science and other IT-related subjects due to work and study-from-home culture after the pandemic.

“I have noticed that a lot of girls are looking for psychology, which is really inspiring for me, and Covid-19 can be one of the factors for pupils choosing this subject as a career to offer counselling services because a lot of people have been suffering from depression and other mental-health related challenges,” said Greta Carlson, recruitment officer at Canadian University in Dubai.

Bhakti Reen, admission manager at Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai Campus, says subjects such as data science engineering, cybersecurity and IT-related fields are in demand among students.

“We also recently introduced applied psychology programme and data science engineering and both are doing immensely well,” she said during an interview on the sidelines of the two-day KT UniExpo exhibition, which began on Thursday. Thousands of students across the UAE visited the exhibition to meet with university officials and education counsellors on the first day at Conrad Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Reen added that Covid-19 can become part of medicine, pharmacy and psychology subjects in the coming years.

“Covid-19 is a global issue and could be incorporated for case studies, research and discussions in classrooms.”

Nella Basco, admission manager at Curtin University Dubai, also echoed Reen’s comments, saying there is a demand for psychology from students because a lot of working professionals have started working from home and are actually seeking some counselling and advice.

“I think there would be greater demand for psychology, going forward.”

Rora Buenaluz, student recruitment coordinator at the American University in Dubai, stated that psychology is one of the most popular programmes, aside from business and engineering. “Students are keen to choose psychology because after Covid-19, people are facing more mental health issues, and students are looking going into counselling profession,” added Buenaluz.

Speaking on the sidelines of the KT UniExpo, Yazan Shaikh, assistant marketing manager at Middlesex University Dubai, said: “We have seen a lot of students looking for psychology, business management and law programmes. The students mentioned that their friends are already studying psychology at the university so they also wish to pursue and get into counselling and market-oriented stuff.”

Husnpreet Kaur, an education counsellor and manager at PROED, an education consultancy firm, says computer science, data science, psychology and international relations are quite popular subjects among the UAE students pursuing higher education.

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Scholarships demand up

Kaur stated that the demand for scholarships has also increased since the pandemic.

“Covid-19 is one of the factors for the increase in demand for scholarships. The pandemic has brought in a vast variety of fields where students can specifically channelise their interests. I would say children have become more independent as they gain information from a variety of places and channels now,” she said.

Nahid Afshan, senior manager for admissions at BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus, told Khaleej Times that scholarship is something that every student looks for.

“After Covid-19, we started offering plenty of new scholarships so every student who scores above 70 per cent in grade 12 will get some kind of scholarship. Our scholarship budget has also increased from Dh5 million to Dh7 million.”

- waheedabbas@khaleejtimes.com

Waheed Abbas





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