The UAE Ministry of Education has rolled out a new campaign targeting UK students which promotes the UAE as a prime destination to pursue a university degree.
Details of the campaign was revealed at this year’s Bett Show at the ExCeL London when Educate interviewed Dr. Sheikh Ammar Al Mualla, director of department of educational organizations and external relations, to find out more.
The UAE has become a popular destination for students from the UK, with an overall 10% rise since 2016. Last year, the UAE invested more than £2 billion into its education sector with a particular focus on innovation and technology.
The UAE has established the Emirati School Model a few years ago to raise the standards of teaching and learning, enabling all schools across the country to operate under a standardised framework, developed according to the best international practices, and aiming at keeping up with future changes and developments that compete with international education systems.
The Emirati School Model consist of seven pillars, each focusing on a different aspect of mainstream education. These include:
- A curriculum designed to create a comprehensive scientific mindset in students, blending different sciences, critical analysis, discovery and practical experiences
- Activities including the Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Series (AIRseries). The AIRseries aims to promote interest and development in robotics and artificial intelligence and to raise the UAE’s presence globally in this field
- Learning streams including an Elite Track for distinguished students, in addition to the General and Advance Streams, and forward thinking Technical Career Paths
- Each Emirati school classroom will be equipped with a high specification laser projector, to maximise learning opportunities
- Incorporating regular monitoring of students’ progress ensures they are supported on an individual level
- Training to support students in perfecting their strengths
- Evaluating students’ achievements by measuring the quality of learning experiences and developing a comprehensive evaluation framework to measure the quality of schools performance
According to His Excellency, students are attracted to the UAE’s social stability, cosmopolitan environment, human and development capabilities and strategic plans that enhance individual progress.
During BETT, the Ministry of Education presented the ‘Advanced Skills Strategy’, which was previously announced by H. E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, which aims at establishing the concept of ‘Lifelong Learning’ for all UAE nationals and residents.
The ‘Advanced Skills Strategy’ provides students, fresh graduates and experienced individuals with the most important skills required to prepare them for the fast-changing future. The skills include advanced skills identification and measurement, target segments identification, policies and program setting and movement creation, which all help create a ‘Lifelong Learning’ environment.
The strategy sets out 12 skills that can be acquired and students can apply in all practical sectors. The list of skills, which appears in the form of an interactive electronic game, include scientific literacy, tech literacy, financial literacy, critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, adaptability, leadership, social and cultural awareness, empathy and growth mindset.
Speaking about the advantages for UK students studying at UAE universities, His Excellency told Educate: “We have an exceptional selection of universities that offer a safe place to study – security in the UAE is second to none – which gives parents a lot of peace of mind.
“We come from a society that really respects families, so we like to make sure that the families know that their children are going to study somewhere safe, so we ensure all the paperwork is in order before they come to us.
“The mix of nationalities is vast here but no one judges you and no one cares where you are from. We have over 1 million students from 70 different nationalities.
“Registration and applying for a visa is very straightforward too, there is a misconception that it is complex and expensive, when it really isn’t, especially in the last few years.
“Most importantly, the job opportunities – we’re a nation that works and a country full of dreams. You can go there, study and almost by default you will find a job.”
His Excellency added: “In our latest survey, the general satisfaction for studying in the UAE was 95%, so the students are very happy! The cultural diversity is one of the most highlighted points [which shows] that they are really enjoying it.”
Discussing the courses that UAE universities are renowned for, His Excellency said: “Khalifa University in particular has a space programme, whilst another specialises in AI, so there are lots of interesting courses which steer away from the orthodox ones.”
“The survey also forecasted that there will be 50 new jobs for this part of the world that are totally new and have never been thought of, so this is why the universities are shifting their courses to something new and exciting.”
For those interested in finding out more about studying in the UAE, visit: www.moe.gov.ae