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UoB to Open Dubai Campus in 2018
The University of Birmingham has announced that it will be opening a new campus in Dubai. Emily Youlton reports
The announcement comes after plans were approved by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in Dubai. This move is said to be the first of it’s kind out of the top 100 world universities and the first in the Russell Group. It will build on the University’s growing connections with Singapore and China as well as improving opportunities for more research collaborations.
“'The aim is to appeal to a wider range of students across the globe'
The new campus will be located in Dubai International Academic City, an area home to 26 other international educational institutions. UoB has said that this new campus will ‘deliver a world-class British university education in the global city and international hub of Dubai’. The campus will initially open this autumn but undergraduates will begin courses in September 2018 with the aim to reach a full capacity of 4,500 students within 6 years.
UoB has said that initially there will be a ‘limited’ amount of programmes available including Business, Economics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Primary and Secondary Teacher Education. More courses will be available as the campus grows in size and will eventually move to a purpose built facility. These courses will be taught and assessed in the same way that degrees on the main UK campus are.
The aim is to appeal to a wider range of students across the globe particularly in areas of the Middle East, India, other parts of Asia and North Africa as well as British students. In addition to this, students from both campuses will have increased opportunities to study at both the UK and Dubai campus. Vice-Chancellor of the University, Sir David Eastwood has said that the education offered in Dubai will be ‘at par with that at Birmingham in terms of quality and curriculum’. Unlike other satellite campuses he has said ‘Our students will be taught in a research-rich environment’. It is being promoted as ‘culturally enriching’ in addition to having a strong focus on academic gain.
“Students in Dubai will be represented by the Guild of Students but in a different way to those in Birmingham
Eastwood has also defended the plans after critics referred to other failed satellite campuses. He has said that with a significant investment to start the new venture, it will attract enough students who will then pay tuition fees making the campus self-sustained in terms of finance.
Regarding student wellbeing, a personal tutor system will be in place as it is on the UK campus and they have said that other wellbeing services on the Birmingham campus will be made available. Students in Dubai will be represented by the Guild of Students but in a different way to those in Birmingham. The availability of extra-curricular activities and student societies remains to be seen.
The University has also promoted the social and cultural benefits of studying in Dubai and will be offering tours and trips on arrival at the University to allow new students to get to know their surroundings and make the most out of their time at this diverse and unique campus.
It seems that this new campus could lead the way for many top 100 world universities to create innovative spaces across the globe whilst offering a high quality education.