Dubai-UAE: 25 July, 2017: Select members of the Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) community have announced they will offer 600 scholarships and grants to Chinese students enrolling for the 2017/18 academic year. The move seeks to promote the exchange of intellectual capital between the UAE and China through increasing the numbers of Chinese students pursuing their higher education in Dubai.
Participating institutions include Amity University Dubai, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, Middlesex University Dubai, University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD), and Edline Training & Professional Development (Edline). Ranging from partial to full, the scholarships and grants aim to reward outstanding Chinese students and help alleviate the financial burden of studying overseas.
Keen on increasing the number of Chinese students on its campus, which currently stands at 35, Amity University Dubai is leading the initiative with 300 scholarships valued at US$1.3 million. Meanwhile, Middlesex University Dubai is set to provide scholarships that cover 30 to 100 per cent of the tuition fees to the first 50 undergraduate students. With 30 Chinese nationals currently enrolled, Heriot-Watt University Dubai is offering 50 students a waiver of 50 per cent on the tuition fee for any of its foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.
In addition to prominent universities, Edline, a renowned provider of admission pathway programmes for Chinese students to learn English in preparation for university courses, has rolled out 95 scholarships offering US$1,000 off the semester price of US$8,500.
China and the UAE have always enjoyed a strong relationship, and are continuously seeking ways to boost cooperation and create new opportunities for their citizens. The UAE has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to facilitating cultural exchange through attracting Chinese students to Dubai.
In October 2016, Dubai's Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchange (CSCSE) signed an agreement stipulating that degrees awarded to Chinese students in Dubai would be verified by CSCSE and the Ministry of Education in China. Complementing the fact that Chinese nationals can now receive UAE visas on arrival, this step has gone a long way in enhancing Dubai's attractiveness to Chinese students looking to study abroad.
Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director of Dubai International Academic City, said: “With its strategic location at the crossroads between East and West, Dubai is becoming an increasingly popular higher education prospect for a growing number of overseas students. The rise of international branch campuses of leading global universities has enabled students to obtain widely recognised degrees from world-class institutions without having to travel all the way to the home campus, adding to Dubai's allure as an academic destination.”
He added: “Reasonable tuition fees and a high standard of living provide a winning combination of factors that help the UAE compete on the world stage as one of the best places to study. Leveraging the long-standing friendly ties between the UAE and China, Dubai is committed to maximising its appeal to talented Chinese students.”
Emphasising Dubai's position as an international education hub, Professor Ammar Kaka, Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University Dubai, said: “At present, we see an increase in Chinese families looking beyond borders when considering their children's higher education, with over half a million transnational students leaving to study abroad every year – more than any other nation in the world. We believe Heriot-Watt University is well-positioned to provide these students with the rigorous, globally-minded education they are looking for in the ideal setting that is Dubai.”
Professor Mohamed Salem, President of the University of Wollongong in Dubai, said: “UOWD has a long and proud tradition of attracting students from around the world. Currently, more than 120 Chinese nationals are pursuing various degree programmes at UOWD including language training in English and Arabic. With Dubai steadily gaining a reputation as a key international education hub, we anticipate a greater demand from outstanding Chinese students seeking a unique study experience in a truly diverse, multicultural, modern, and safe environment.”
Speaking on her experience of studying in Dubai, Veronica Chu from China, a fourth-year student at Amity University Dubai, said: “After four years of studying in Dubai, I am extremely comfortable here. It is such a safe city, which means less worry and more focus on my studies. A grant from the university has been a huge help in allowing me to study here. Apart from enjoying the excellent facilities the campus has to offer, it has also been easy for me to work part-time. In my opinion, Dubai has the ideal environment for Chinese students looking for a world-class education. I cannot recommend it enough.”
Chu was able to work alongside her studies due to the new Student Part-time Work Regulation that enables students to gain industry experience and boost their employment prospects after graduation in a bid to prepare sufficient numbers of qualified young professionals for the workplace. The regulation allows students of DIAC universities to work part-time across 4,500 businesses in eight business communities – Dubai Internet City, Dubai Outsource City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Science Park, and Dubai Design District (d3).
In addition to the possibility of part-time work while studying, full-time employment opportunities for Chinese graduates are on the rise in the UAE. In recent years, Dubai has seen a rapid increase in the number of Chinese businesses, as well as an expansion of existing projects such as Dragon Mart, and significant investments by Chinese businesses including leading global ICT company Huawei.
In this context, Mohammad Abdullah said: “Chinese students represent one of the fastest-growing segments of our enrolment at DIAC and, with their impressive skills and a commendable work ethic, make a significant contribution to our academic community. With the upcoming Expo 2020 projected to create more than 275,000 jobs in sectors such as aviation, construction, retail and transportation over the next six years, we are confident fresh Chinese graduates can become a valuable addition to our professional workforce.”