Abu Dhabi University to offer landscape architecture course

University plans to rerun course cancelled last year due to lack of demand.
Abu Dhabi University to offer landscape architecture course
By James Boley
Mon 18 Aug 2008 04:00 AM

Abu Dhabi University will for the first time offer a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture this autumn, Commercial Outdoor Design has learned.

The first year of the course will cover basic requirements, such as English and mathematics, while the major courses relating directly to landscape architecture will begin in autumn 2009, a spokesperson for the university told COD.

This is not the first time that Abu Dhabi University is offering the course: the university originally intended to run the degree from September 2007, but had to cancel the course due to a lack of interested applicants, a representative from the university told COD at the time.

In comparison to Europe or the US, there are relatively few landscaping courses on offer in the Middle East.

It is understood that only three universities in the UAE include some element of landscaping in their degree programmes, with the American University of Sharjah running a Masters in Urban Planning, and Ajman University of Science and Technology providing modules in landscape architecture and urban planning within its faculty of engineering.

Outside of the UAE, universities in Egypt, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia also offer courses in landscaping.

Part of the reason why more specialised courses are not on offer at regional universities is because of the lack of interest on the part of locals, who perceive landscape design as a ‘soft’ science, and opt instead to pursue more traditional courses such as law and medicine, according to industry insiders.

The paucity of courses in the region is a strong contributor to the problems many regional landscape firms face in recruiting qualified staff, leading to greater recruitment of landscape architects from other countries and pushing up salaries as firms seek to compete for candidates on a global marketplace.

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