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Sustainable Integration Is Key to Attracting and Retaining International Branch Campuses

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Sunday, February 1st 2015 [ME NewsWire]

Speaking at Michigan State University’s (MSU) third Dubai International Conference in Higher Education, Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director of TECOM Education Cluster, emphasised the three components critical for success when setting up an international branch campus (IBC); comprehensive due diligence, seamless operations, and sustainability were identified as crucial elements in the IBC model .

“Extensive research into the local educational landscape is an integral preparatory step for any university looking to set up an IBC”, said Dr. Ayoub during his keynote presentation on first day of the conference.

“International recognition remains the single most important criteria for students when choosing a country and institution, according to the QS World Grad School Tour Survey, so IBCs remain a huge draw for transnational students to the UAE. 19 per cent of the global IBC pool has chosen the UAE as their secondary habitat and with this number set to continue to rise, it is vital that we have the resources to accommodate an ongoing influx of word-class educational institutions to the region.

“Younger applicants are also more likely to be motivated by employment and career prospects, thus preferring to stay on in the destination country to work after graduation. So ensuring that universities are aligned with current industry skills gaps is also a core focus for the education sector.

“I am proud to be part of MSU’s higher education conference as it enters its third year. It provides an important platform for industry leaders to convene and discuss academic sector issues of significance,” he continued.

MSU’s three-day conference brings together higher education representatives from across the globe to participate in a dynamic and interactive forum. The event focuses on three main themes: education, employability, and employment; maintaining quality while widening access; and innovation in teaching and learning.

To remain competitive in the 21st century, higher education institutions should focus on three key areas. Firstly, they must demonstrate their relevance to the needs of the workforce in a landscape of constant and rapid economic and social change. Secondly, they must maintain the rigorous academic standards that are the hallmark of a quality institution. And thirdly, with the accelerating power and reach of the web, it is important that universities embrace technological innovation, incorporating it into their traditional business models to create a more contemporary and holistic learning experience for students.

“We welcomed delegates from over twenty countries at this year’s conference under the theme of ‘Relevance and Rigor’. We are challenging universities to demonstrate that they are meeting the needs of the workforce in a landscape of constant and rapid economic and social change, whilst still maintaining the rigorous academic standards that are a hall mark of any quality institution,” said Dr. Tessa Dunseath, Executive Director, Michigan State University in Dubai, at the conference.

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

About Dubai International Academic City

Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) is the world’s largest Free Zone dedicated to Higher Education. Established in 2007, as part of TECOM Investments – a member of Dubai Holding – DIAC aims to develop the region’s talent pool and help establish the UAE as a knowledge-based economy through the provision of multi-tiered academic institutions that are internationally accredited.

DIAC is located on a fully-appointed 18 million sq ft campus with state-of-the-art facilities. It is home to a large number of  universities from 10 countries, including Amity University, Heriot-Watt University, Michigan State University, University of Wollongong, BITS Pilani, Hult International Business School, Murdoch University, and Manchester Business School, to name a few.

DIAC provides more than 400 certificate, diploma, undergraduate, post graduate and PHD programmes to over 20,000 students of 125 nationalities.


Harriet Daly, Bell Pottinger:
+971 55 4593260  


Brendan Vyner, Brand Manager,
TECOM Investments Education Cluster
+971 4 360 2960





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