UAE: More Indian universities, CBSE office coming to the country, says minister

Indian Institute of Technology, IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi is set to start operations in January


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Thu 2 Nov 2023, 9:39 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Nov 2023, 2:36 PM

While the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi-Abu Dhabi will start operations in January, more top universities and colleges coming to the UAE and the opening of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) office are being planned, a minister said.

Dharmendra Pradhan, Indian Minister of Education, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, who is on a three-day official visit, noted that education and skills are among the key sectors of strategic partnership with the UAE.

“Today, the UAE-India has a very strong relationship. We are opening an IIT in UAE. Many prominent universities from India have already come here. More universities can come in the near future. More than 100 schools of CBSE are functional in UAE. We are soon going to open a CBSE office here,” he said in Abu Dhabi.

New opportunities for collaboration

Pradhan 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 reviewed the progress on the IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi campus, which will start the academic operation in January by offering with Master’s in Energy Transition and Sustainability programme.

Sheikh Abdullah highlighted the deep-rooted bilateral relations and their comprehensive strategic partnership in all sectors, underscoring the two countries’ keenness to strengthen and develop them sustainably.

Pradhan thanked the UAE leadership for its generosity and policies of harmony and tolerance, which have helped more than 3.5 million Indians make the UAE their second home.

Exchange programmes between schools

Separately, Pradhan met Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of Education. They discussed ongoing collaboration in the education sector and explored newer areas of cooperation, including exchange programmes between schools in two countries and the opening of campuses of elite Indian colleges and universities in the UAE.

“We expressed satisfaction on the progress made with respect to mutual recognition of academic and skill qualifications, recognition of Indian institutes in the UAE among others and underscored the need for continued work in this area,” Pradhan said and noted a shared view on speeding up processes for smooth student and workforce mobility.

MoU on student, faculty mobility

They signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of education, which will help streamline the India-UAE cooperation in the education sector besides facilitating collaboration in the newer areas.

“The MoU will enable India and the UAE to leverage their strengths for harnessing global opportunities and mutual prosperity. The MoU will pave the way for academic and research collaborations between higher-educational institutions of both our countries, facilitate capacity building in skilling, and encourage two-way student and faculty mobility,” Pradhan said.

Education and skills cooperation was a prominent part of the Vision Document unveiled by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in February last year.

IIT campus ‘exemplar’ of friendship

Pradhan toured the interim campus of the IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi housed at Zayed University and termed it as “testament to the common vision and priorities” of the leadership of both countries.

“The IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi campus marks a significant stride in our efforts to internationalise India’s education.”

Pradhan reviewed the progress made on the project with Sara Musallam, Minister of State for Early Childhood Education, Chairwoman of the Federal Agency for Early Education (FAEE), and Chairwoman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK).

“The IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi campus will be an exemplar of India-UAE friendship. Our discussion also centred around support required from the Indian side to further facilitate the progress of the IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi campus, ADEK’s support to CBSE-affiliated Indian schools functioning in the UAE, and our plans to set up an office of CBSE in Dubai. UAE’s support to Indian schools has played a critical role in ensuring Indian children in the emirates remain connected to Indian curricula and roots.”

Pradhan also visited 42 Abu Dhabi, the innovative and disruptive coding school, where he was briefed about the disruptive learning system of the institute.

As part of community engagement, Pradhan took part in an event at the embassy and interacted with expats, particularly the Odia community. The minister also interacted with students of the Abu Dhabi Indian School.

“These students are future global citizens and ambassadors of India and its civilisational ethos,” the minister added.


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