Higher education in UAE: All you need to know about upcoming IITs, IIMs

These institutions not only enhance the academic landscape but also enhance the cultural ties between the two nations


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sat 11 Nov 2023, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Mon 13 Nov 2023, 3:15 PM

The UAE is increasingly becoming a destination for Indian students pursuing higher education offering a diverse range of career opportunities.

Apart from the IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi campus that is making nascent inroads into the country, other higher education Indian institutions have already made their presence here. They include BITS Pilani-Dubai, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Amity University-Dubai and SP Jain School of Global Management - Dubai.

These not only enhance the academic landscape but also enhance the cultural ties between the two nations.

Framework and policies in general and higher education including national qualifications frameworks to facilitate mutual recognition of qualifications have been high on the agenda on both sides.

Here’s a look at what we know so far about the prestigious higher education institutions in India that are coming to the UAE in the foreseeable future.

Where will the IIT Delhi-Abu-Dhabi campus commence its operations?

The inaugural international campus of the esteemed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in the UAE, known as IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi, is set to establish its interim campus at the Zayed University in Abu Dhabi.

When will the academic operations begin?

The IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi campus is gearing up to start the academic operation by January 2024 with the first programme being Master’s in Energy Transition and Sustainability.

What are the initial courses on offer?

IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi will dedicate its inaugural course to Energy transition and Sustainability to support the sustainability objectives for future generations as envisioned by COP28, the UN Climate Change Conference scheduled for later this month in Dubai.

Will there be any student exchange programmes with the mother campus?

Facilitating academic collaboration between Higher Education Institutions in both the countries for offering Twinning, Joint Degree and Dual Degree Programmes is actively under consideration. This means that IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi students will go to Delhi IIT for research. Conversely, researchers from IIT Delhi will come to the Abu Dhabi campus as the UAE has a great network of energy and petrochemical industry and is a global economic hotspot. India on the other hand is a global talent hotspot. Therefore, proving to be mutually beneficial.

When was the idea for the IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi conceived?

India and the UAE signed an agreement to set-up a campus of IIT-Delhi in Abu Dhabi during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Abu Dhabi in July 2023.

More recently, India’s Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Dharmendra Pradhan met the UAE’s met Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Education and Human Resources Council (EHRC). They exchanged views on the emerging landscape of the education sector and the opportunities for closer cooperation. The ministers also reviewed the progress on the IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi campus.

Will there be an IIM in the UAE?

The UAE might see the establishment of an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) campus, marking the first instance of an IIM expanding internationally, similar to how the Indian Institutes of Technology, Delhi (IITs), has already established its overseas campuses. Speculations have been rife that it’s IIM Ahmedabad that could first see its campus here.

Are there any other Indian higher education institutions coming to the UAE?

More universities from India may set up their campuses in the UAE soon. This includes the Symbiosis International Educational Centre whose management recently came to Dubai to open a Symbiosis campus here.

Students here can apply for courses including Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA), Bachelor of Computer Applications (BCA), Bachelor of Arts (BA), Bachelor of Commerce (B.Com), Master in Business Administration (MBA) and Masters in Communications.

Separately, India’s education minister also met Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, UAE Minister of Education. They discussed the opening of other campuses of elite Indian colleges and universities in the UAE.

They also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for cooperation in the field of education. Additionally, collaboration in the field of Capacity Development of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) teaching staff has been envisaged under this MoU.


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