By Shane McGinley
Mubadala in talks with University of Washington to offer aerospace degrees in UAE
Abu Dhabi wealth fund Mubadala is in talks with the
University of Washington to sign a $100m ten-year deal to offer bachelor's
degrees in aerospace engineering in the UAE capital.
The negotiations have the backing of Boeing Co, which
reportedly said the proposed Mubadala-funded programme could help with sales of
its aircraft in Abu Dhabi.
The wealth fund confirmed negotiations were ongoing but said
a deal had yet to be reached.
“Mubadala Aerospace has facilitated discussions between the
University of Washington and the United Arab Emirates University in relation to
aerospace-related courses, as part of its role to help establish Abu Dhabi as a
global aerospace hub,” a Mubadala spokesperson said.
“However, the final details are yet to be confirmed and it
would be premature to make any comment at this stage.”
The proposed degree course would begin with 36 students in
2013, rising to 71 by 2018. Graduates would receive a dual degree from UAE
University and the University of Washington.
Boeing and Mubadala have existing ties. UAE aerospace
company Strata, which is wholly owned by the wealth fund, signed a deal in
March to supply parts for the much-delayed Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The Chicago-based company has forecast the Middle East’s
fast-growing carriers will buy up 2,520 aircraft by 2030 as part of a $4
trillion global market for new planes.
Boeing said the buying boom will trigger a need for aviation
manpower, including 36,600 pilots and 53,000 technicians by 2030, in order to
keep its carriers mobile.
“Clearly, the sheer size of this vital pipeline is staggering,”
Sherry Carbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services said in June. “To meet
the demand for capable, well-trained people, Boeing and the aviation industry
need to move with the speed of technology.”