Study in an adaptable setting

Randa Bessiso, Founding Director — Middle East, The University of Manchester, speaks on how, in an increasingly digital-reliant world, the University is a guiding light to students

Published: Wed 28 Jul 2021, 9:14 AM

How would you describe the ethos of the University?

The University of Manchester places a great deal of emphasis on the ‘impact’ of our work across our teaching, research and social responsibility activities. Manchester is the UK’s only university with social responsibility as a core goal and was named the world’s number one university in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. Alliance Manchester Business School’s Global MBA has been ranked by analyst QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) as third in the UK and fifth in the world. Higher education is about student experience but rankings are an important guide to quality and reputation — and impact.

How is the university adapting to the new UAE and digital education landscape?

Digital transformation has accelerated across the world reinventing the workplace and the classroom. The University already has a high degree of ‘digital’ content in our part-time Master’s programme content and much of the learning content is delivered through our own ‘edutech’ digital tools. An increasingly digital-reliant world still needs the unique ‘human touch’ and contact with faculty, peers and the regional support team. While the top hard skills in demand for 2021 are digital focused, the soft skills — adaptability, collaboration, creativity, emotional intelligence, persuasion — remain equally important and a focus in our face to face hybrid workshops. A balance of the two is a strong combination.

Have any new programmes been introduced this year?

Starting in September 2021, the new part-time MSc in Financial Management is a flexible programme introducing sophisticated tools and techniques and is designed to help students transform their finance and business careers by developing their financial understanding, expertise, skills and confidence. The new part-time MSc joins the two part-time MBA options and the specialist MSc degree in Real Estate, and MA in Educational Leadership in Practice in the regional portfolio.

What medium will students be taught through — online, in-person or hybrid?

All the University’s programmes are faculty-led and delivered through the blended learning format offering working professionals all the flexibility and convenience of online self-study complemented by valuable face-to-face (physical and virtual) hybrid workshops and course conferences hosted in Dubai and other global centres. These forums give students the opportunity to develop their professional networks, share experiences with fellow students and meet the academic team.

What sets the University apart from other higher educational institutions?

The University of Manchester is ranked as the world’s 27th best university and among the world’s elite institutions for graduate employability and research. The University is committed to creating access to world-class blended learning opportunities designed to meet the needs of working professionals, focusing on the quality of teaching, research and social responsibility.

What scholarships and discounts is the university offering?

The University offers some scholarship benefits for certain programmes; members of accountancy bodies and staff of the University’s strategic talent partners in the region can benefit from tuition fee discount arrangements.

Randa Bessiso, Founding Director — Middle East, The University of Manchester

Building back better in the UAE

"Confidence is essential for any successful community and the UAE’s response to the health crisis is rapidly restoring confidence. The country’s advanced digital platform provides the foundation for business and education to bounce back and this has also helped the Middle East Centre ensure continuity for students on our part-time, blended learning Master’s programmes. We have also been able to build online engagement with our growing regional community of students, alumni and partners. This has given us the confidence to move ahead with expansion of our programme portfolio with the launch of a new part-time MSc in Financial Management in September."

Tim Shelton, Global Product Owner, Arcadis

"The Manchester Global MBA experience gave me the confidence to speak about contemporary business challenges, with thought provoking ideas and research, and the opportunity to apply these to real-world case studies and in my own company. It was a chance to collaborate with like-minded, motivated fellow students. It gets you thinking in new ways and it has set me up for success as my career develops.”

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