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Student enrolment in universities continue to increase

Dubai: Universities in the UAE continue to witness an increase in student enrolment, causing them to increase their programme offerings to keep attracting students and help serve their needs better.

According to Warren Fox, Executive Director of Higher Education at the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), the introduction of new programmes is one of the reasons for this increase.

“Dubai has witnessed a steady growth in student enrolment over the past few years due to a number of factors such as the introduction of new and more diversified programmes. We expect a continuation of this growth trend in the future.”

One of the universities that has experienced an increase in enrolment this year is the American University of Sharjah (AUS).

“More than 1,400 new students have enrolled this year, increasing by 15 per cent over last year. AUS has been attracting students from different parts of the world due to its rich educational and a multicultural experience,” said Ali Shuhaimy, Vice Chancellor for Enrolment Management at AUS

Among the new programmes that AUS is offering this year is a master’s programme in accounting.

“This particular programme is of great benefit to students since students are allowed to enrol in its courses even as undergraduate students which would allow them to complete their graduate and undergraduate degrees in a total of five years,” added Shuhaimy

The Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) has experienced a huge increase of 35 per cent according to Vice Chancellor Tayeb Kamali.

Tayeb said the increase is attributed to more students enrolling in the university’s foundation programme.

“There have been 6,380 new students enrolled with HCT for this academic year, an increase of about 35 per cent from last year. The increase is due to the greater number of Foundation Programme students. The total number of students will be 20,474.”

HCT is working in conjunction with Zayed University and UAE University to present a national course on Arabic language and Emirati culture and identity for students

Heriot-Watt University Dubai campus is still in the process of admitting students and so far it has witnessed a 12 per cent increase in student enrolment

“We are still admitting students but so far we are showing a 12 per cent increase in undergraduate student recruitment and 20 per cent in postgraduate. We expect that the student population will approximately increase from 3,500 to 3,700,” Said Professor Ammar Kaka, Head of the Dubai campus.

Professor Kaka thinks that Dubai’s economic recovery has contributed to the growth. He added, “Overall, the international market is growing particularly as awareness of Dubai as an education hub is increasing. I also believe that our new on-campus accommodation has helped in attracting international students.”

William O’Brien, president of American College of Dubai (ACD), said that his university has experienced an increase of only four per cent from last year.

“Approximately 650 students have enrolled so far, ACD’s evening programme is still taking applications. At the moment it is an increase of approximately four per cent from last year.”

O’Brien attributes the increase to the college’s affordable fees and convenient evening programmes.

Ajman University of Science and Technology also experienced a small increase of two per cent in both university campuses in Ajman and Fujairah.

Student enrolment has reached 10,000 students registered in the different academic programmes with a small increase of 2 per cent.

Osama Saeed Salman, Vice President of Ajman University of Science and Technology, said that the university will focus on upgrading its existing 43 academic programmes.

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Taken from: www.gulfnews.com