Director of the Abu Dhabi Campus, INSEAD
Abu Dhabi seemed like a great choice for INSEAD. It has the right mix of openness to the world and economic energy, and it is also very well connected, which is important for us. Businessmen can fly in from all over the world for our executive development programs, which are held at the Abu Dhabi campus. We have a strong partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council. We have some competition in executive education, but less so for the Executive MBA. For the latter, we have many customized programs that are developed on a case-by-case basis with each organization, in response to specific needs. We also have events, such as our Global Business Leaders’ Summit, and in 2013 we started the Career Forum for MBA recruitment, which involves working closely with recruiters. We also have chairs endowed by Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, and the Crown Prince Court. Part of our value proposition is selectivity and the international diversity of our programs’ participants, and as such we’ll never be a large local volume player.
Vice Chancellor, Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi
Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi is a unique project between the Abu Dhabi government and the French university, Paris-Sorbonne. The government is building a society where intellect from around the world comes together here in the Middle East. Higher education in the UAE is truly integrated into the Economic Vision 2030, and is seen as an economic sector in itself. We represent the French and francophone market in this sector. We are implementing a research department in 2014 and our first priority is to build a national network with the federal universities. We will use the research development to build a network at the international level, mainly based on the Francophone University of International Development (FUID). We have signed MoUs with UAEU and the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED). We started with 150 students, but now have over 700. We enroll just 40 students out of 105 that apply, and have a 95% success rate for the bachelor’s programs. The idea of obtaining a French degree in the UAE in an Arabic country boasting strong growth is very attractive.
Campus Dean, Dr. Garon Wheeler
The New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) was the first licensed American university in the UAE. The President of NYIT, Edward Guiliano, is a firm believer in global and internationalized education. We had established campuses in Bahrain and Amman earlier. On a business level, I think the market here is essentially saturated now. However, there are still opportunities for people with the right approach. We have 200 students, but our goal is to enroll 1,000 students, which I consider realistic. One thing at the Bachelor’s level is that at federal universities degree courses are free for nationals, while at the Master’s level everyone has to pay. So for universities, federal or private, it is a completely open field.
Country Director, British Council
The UAE as a whole is a remarkable country in terms of education and the development that has occurred over the past 30-40 years. Currently, we do not have any UK universities with a presence in Abu Dhabi, apart from Imperial College, in the form of the diabetes center. The local environment is complex here with the Emirate level, the federal level, and then the private and the public sectors. We work closely with the Ministry of Education, and we run a legacy program of placements for medical students in the UK each summer. Our flagship education event, the Going Global conference that took place in March 2013 attracted 1,300 participants from 80 countries, and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) were our key delivery partners for that.
UAE, ABU DHABI - Health & Education
Executive Director & Deputy Dean, INSEAD
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