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Fri 16 Nov 2018 01:34 AM

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Dubai bucks global trend as international students soar

A total of 27,500 students have registered for the new academic year in Dubai, marking a jump of more than 7%

Dubai bucks global trend as international students soar
The number of students at Dubai International Academic City has witnessed a surge in 2018/2019.

The number of students at Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), the largest community dedicated to higher education in the Middle East, has witnessed a surge in 2018/2019.

A total of 27,500 students have registered for the new academic year, marking a jump of more than seven percent over the previous year.

The increase is significant considering the latest trends in the global education market where the US has experienced a drop in trans-national student numbers, down 40 percent from its 2015 peak.

India and China have also taken the biggest losses with a 28 percent drop in visas for Indian students and 24 percent, respectively, for Chinese students.

In contrast, DIAC universities have reported an increase of 106 percent for Chinese students and a five percent increase in Indian students that are currently registered across DIAC’s 27 universities.

South Korean students registered the highest increase in student numbers with an increase of 161 percent, while the volume of students from Saudi Arabia grew by 65 percent.

In addition, the population of UAE nationals registered a 40 percent spike, suggesting in increase in the number of students preferring to study at home rather than travelling abroad for higher education. 

The introduction of new visa regulations and recent agreements between China and the UAE such as the accreditation of Dubai's universities in China, have enabled greater levels of collaboration between the two countries and are expected to further increase the number of transnational students wishing to study in the UAE.

The UAE has also recently replaced the one-year student visas with five-year visas and, in case of exceptional students, up to 10-year visas, acknowledging the nation’s focus on attracting and retaining professional and skilled talent. 

“As we experience a global shift in the education landscape, we find ourselves uniquely positioned to take a more central role in attracting transnational students to the UAE,” said Mohammad Abdullah, managing director of DIAC and Dubai Knowledge Park.

“With the implementation of new visa regulations for students, aimed at retaining the brightest talent and supporting graduate seeking employment in the UAE, we see the trend of increased student enrolment poised to continue in the years ahead.”

DIAC’s community of affiliated institutions continues to grow with the University of Birmingham, which began its first academic year offering degree programmes a member of the UK’s Top 100 Russell Group, joining in late 2017.

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