Due to the wealth of courses on offer from some of the world's leading academic institutions, Dubai is fast becoming a regional hub for education and this was evident by the 20% increase in the number of students studying within Dubai International Academic City, DIAC, compared to the previous year.
Students from 145 countries have chosen to study in DIAC due to its excellent facilities, with UAE nationals now accounting for more than 10% of the student population. Over the past three years, there has been a 129% increase in students from Russia, a 45% rise from Bahrain, up 60% from China and a 50% increase in Filipino students that now study in the UAE. These increases can be directly attributed to a series of student recruitment and sourcing initiatives organised by DIAC over the last 2 years.
In the academic year 2014/2015, the total number of students studying in DIAC reached 24,065, with Heriot-Watt demonstrating the largest student population at 4,778 followed by the University of Wollongong Dubai with 3,363.
Compared to the academic year of 2013/2014, the number of students taking Masters Degrees this year increased 20% and the number of students studying for Doctorate Degrees rose 12%. Students are increasingly seeking higher education options to enhance their skill sets and establish a career path due to the significant competition they experience as they enter the working world.
Commenting on the side-lines of the Gulf Education and Training Exhibition, GETEX, an event attracting 35,000 local and expatriate students actively looking for higher education, professional development and training options, Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director of DIAC, said, "The population of Dubai has increased significantly in recent years, along with rapid economic growth. As a result, we have witnessed a substantial growth in the number of international students choosing to study at one of our institutions due to the quality of training and prevalence of internationally recognised higher education options on offer here.
"From an industry perspective, we are continuing to attract international operators to establish a regional presence in Dubai owing to the ease of market entry, absence of bureaucracy, and positive demographic and socioeconomic indicators. We are proud to be able to offer the advice and expertise needed to assist them in their plans and as such, the number of educational facilities we now support has grown from strength to strength, allowing us to support the UAE Government's ambitions to drive an innovation-led economy based on knowledge and expertise," Dr. Kazim added.
He noted that by providing quality, world-class education, the numbers demonstrate DIAC's strong ability to attract transnational students from all over the world to study in the UAE.