Khalifa University of Science and Technology: Strength in Unity

KUBy Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf for The National

The newly established Khalifa University of Science and Technology has attained the highest ranking for a UAE university in the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings, placing in the 301-350 bracket of the ranking, which covered 1,102 universities across 77 countries. It also achieved the highest university ranking in the UAE in the subject of engineering and technology, placing among the top 250 out of 500 universities surveyed worldwide by THE.

What makes this high ranking more exceptional is the fact that the Khalifa University of Science and Technology was established in February 2017 through the merger of The Petroleum Institute, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research just seven months ago. This unprecedented high ranking for a UAE university, and that too within just months of its formal creation, is a testament to the UAE’s visionary leadership, which recognised that these three great universities would be able to do even more as one.

Indeed, this achievement could not have been realised so quickly by any one of our constituent universities. By consolidating the component institutes’ research and academic strengths, the Khalifa University of Science and Technology now boasts a broad mix of academic disciplines across undergraduate and post-graduate levels, with 13 bachelor’s, 22 master’s and seven doctorate programmes.

Research at the merged university also now encompasses a wider range of topics of relevance to Abu Dhabi’s targeted knowledge economy transformation, from petroleum engineering and sustainable technologies, to space systems and robotics. This breadth and depth of research and academics is what allowed us to achieve such heights in the THE ranking, which judges research-intensive universities with undergraduate and graduate programmes, across all of their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook.

Our university ranked high in several of the performance indicators judged by THE World University Rankings. In the category of citations, which refers to the number of times a university’s published work is cited by scholars globally, we received a score of 71.4. In Industry Income, which seeks to capture a university’s ability to attract funding in the commercial marketplace, we received a score of 84.5. Our highest score however was in the International Outlook category, where we scored a 97.9. This category looks at the diversity of a university’s student and faculty body, as well as the diversity of the authors on published research papers.

This ranking validates the preceding efforts of Masdar Institute, the Petroleum Institute and the Khalifa University to advance the UAE’s innovation ecosystem and establish Abu Dhabi as a hub for innovation and technology transfer through the cultivation of a research-driven university. Prior to the merger, the latter had made it into the World University Rankings 501-600 bracket in 2017, and was also the youngest university ranked in the list of top 100 universities under 50 years of age. In 2016, Masdar Institute was ranked as the UAE’s top academic institution in the Nature Index rankings and the top engineering university in the UAE by US News and World Report, while in 2015, the Petroleum Institute achieved 20th position in THE’s first-ever ranking of the Middle East and North Africa region’s top 30 universities.

The ranking also strengthens and supports the rationale behind the Abu Dhabi leadership’s ongoing consolidation efforts in the public sector, which have included mergers in banking and investment. Mergers in complementary entities are aimed at producing a single entity that benefits from greater leverage, resources and market position. By bringing these three institutions under one banner, the Abu Dhabi leadership has strengthened the country’s position as a global research and education hub and produced the highest performing science and engineering university the country has ever known.

Going forward, I urge our faculty, students and staff to continue to do the high-quality work that helped Khalifa University of Science and Technology achieve its high THE ranking. By focusing on the goal, transforming the UAE to a competitive and innovative knowledge economy, we will continue to pursue the impactful research, collaboration, and publications that result in rankings. With an even sharper focus on our research and academic output, external recognition will naturally follow.

Dr Behjat Al Yousuf is interim Provost of the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, part of the Khalifa University of Science and Technology

CWUR Rankings: UAE University Makes the Top 1,000 Universities

UAEUUAE University (UAEU) has been ranked in the top 3.5 per cent in the 2017 list of the world’s top 1,000 universities by the Centre for World University Rankings (CWUR).

The rankings, revealed recently, also placed the Al Ain-based government university at top position in the UAE. CWUR says it is the publisher of the largest academic ranking of global universities.

“In addition to its high-quality research output, the two key factors that were fundamental to UAEU’s success were alumni employment and research innovation and technology transfer,” it said.

Dr Nadim Mahassen, president of CWUR, said: “For the 2017 edition of the rankings, 27,770 degree-granting institutions of higher education worldwide were evaluated, among which the top 1,000 research-intensive institutions received rankings based on eight objective indicators covering education, alumni employment, and research.”

The world rank for UAEU is 957.

Mahassen added: “It is fantastic to see the UAE represented among the world’s best in education and research. More funding for research will increase the country’s competitiveness on the global stage.

“This year, 61 countries — more than ever before — feature in the top 1,000 list, which represents the top 3.7 per cent of degree-granting institutions of higher education globally. The US remains the dominant force in higher education worldwide, claiming the top three spots, eight of the top 10, and 54 of the top 100. It leads with 225 universities represented in the top 1,000, followed by China (97), Japan (71), the UK (65), and Germany (57).”

Other Arab universities that appear in this year’s rankings are King Saud University, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals from Saudi Arabia, American University of Beirut from Lebanon, and Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Alexandria University, and Mansoura University from Egypt.

The rankings show Harvard is the world’s leading university for the sixth consecutive year. Meanwhile, Stanford and MIT complete the US sweep of the top three places. From the UK Cambridge (fourth) and Oxford (fifth) follow.

UAE Higher Education Prospects ‘Bright’ as Revenues Reach One Billion Dollars

505946The prospects for the higher education sector in the UAE is bright, experts speaking at the forthcoming IPSEF Higher Education Forum said.

UAE-based universities have grown consistently in enrolments and revenues at a robust compound annual growth rate of 8-10 percent. The overall student base across local and international university campuses in UAE is estimated to be 162,000, with Dubai hosting around 60,000 students, of which 20 percent are graduate students and 80 percent are in undergraduate level programs.

The current overall revenue base for the higher education market in the UAE is estimated to be over $1bn, and with the sector expected to witness the entry of new players, the market will only increase in value in the next few years.

The data was revealed by Higher Education, UAE whose co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer Ajay Shukla will be heading a panel in IPSEF Higher Education Forum on Transnational Higher Education – Opportunities and Challenges. He will be joined by Cathy Gilbert, Director of External Relations, University of Birmingham; Tariq Shaikh Managing Director, R J Fleming and Partner at RHT Partners; and Jitin Sethi, Senior Vice President, Parthenon-EY.

Taking place on 4-5 October 2017 at the Jumeirah Creekside Hotel the IPSEF Higher Education Forum builds upon the successful series of school conferences from the IPSEF stable of high-level business events for the international education community.

This HE-focused conference will address four key stakeholder groups involved in the higher education sector, about opportunities for expansion in the Middle East and North Africa, including colleges and universities who are looking to set-up branches or a new campus in the region, operators of existing higher education institutions, regulators as well as the supplier community that provides products, services and solutions for the higher education sector.

“The region has seen a tremendous growth in the higher education sector, driven by the increase of enrollment in both state colleges and universities as well as private institutions including branch campuses of many well-established entities from abroad that are expected to fill in a growing demand. We believe this new stream will be a suitable venue for sharing best practices and new insights on how the various stakeholder groups can take advantage of the opportunities and mitigate the risks,” said Mark Roelofsen, co-founder, IPSEF.

The UAE is home to one of the largest concentrations of university campuses and programs in the world. Higher Education in the Emirates reflects the population diversity (85 percent expatriates) with campuses from UK, USA, Australia, France, Russia, India and other countries. UAE has also created sector specific free-zones infrastructure including Masdar City, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Knowledge Park, Dubai Healthcare City, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City, Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai World Central (transport and logistics), Dubai Design District (D3) that provide a pathway to employability and industry exposure.

Robust local market and access to the broader region with potential to draw students from GCC and MENASA regions make it an attractive hub for student diversity. The key geographies are UAE, Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan and more recently North Africa and Eastern Europe/CIS.

“Due to clear, consistent and responsive regulations governing setting up of branch campuses or new universities, liberal student/faculty visas, and incubation infrastructure support the UAE market offers a unique opportunity and early mover advantage in establishing a high quality, globally reputed institution. Further, a liberal and modern society is an attraction for high quality academic and professional talent. It is now at an inflexion point of raising the quality and market relevance of the programs and fostering local research and intellectual base,” said Shukla.

The latest entrant to the UAE’s higher education landscape is the University of Birmingham Dubai, the latest phase in the university’s global expansion and builds on its international teaching activities in Singapore and China, as well as its extensive international research partnerships. “Our own market analysis identified a clear gap in the market for a top 100 global university to establish a campus in Dubai, with clear demand from students from the emirate itself, the wider UAE, as well as from key South Asian and North and Sub-Saharan Africa markets seeking the opportunity to receive the highest quality British education underpinned by a strong research pedigree in this easily accessible location. This alongside the commitment of the Dubai government to establishing an international education hub, which builds on its high-quality international primary and secondary education system, is driven by a strong English Language base, and supported through the creation of an education free zone, made it the right location for us,” said Cathy Gilbert, Director of External Relations, University of Birmingham.

University of Birmingham Dubai will be located in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and the first phase of the campus will open in late 2017, with the first undergraduate and postgraduate students starting their studies in September 2018. Initially, Dubai students will have a choice of study areas including Business, Economics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, and Primary and Secondary Teacher Education, with additional programmes in development. Degrees at University of Birmingham Dubai will be taught, examined and accredited to the same recognised high standards as those delivered on the University’s UK campus in Birmingham and all programmes carry the approval by the Dubai Government’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).

Through a series of case studies, panel discussions and key-note presentations the IPSEF HE Forum will raise awareness of the key components involved in developing a strategy for expansion or market entry, and will include how to design a campus abroad, top tips for finding the right partners in the UAE, understanding and complying with various legal frameworks, market reports and data, staff recruitment, student recruitment, as well as presenting case histories from the UAE and the wider MENA region.

Guests will have the opportunity to network with a broad range of senior figures with whom they can build up long-term professional relationships as well as participate in the University Campus tour that is part of the agenda.

Some of the high profile speakers who will be sharing their expert insights include Ahmed Al Ansari, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dubai South; Prof Christopher Abraham, Head – Dubai Campus, S P Jain School of Global Management; Ahmed Badreldin, Partner, The Abraaj Group; Dr Warren Fox, Chief of Higher Education, KHDA; Cathy Gilbert, Director of External Relations, University of Birmingham; Roland Hancock, Director, PwC; Clay Hensley, Senior Director, International Higher Education Outreach, The College Board; Prof. Ammar Kaka, Provost and Vice-Principal, Heriot-Watt University and Andy Nicol, Managing Director, Hobsons Solutions; Ian Pratt, Director, Scott Brownrigg; Arjun Puri, Head of admissions, O P Jindal Global University; Dr. Narayanan. Ramachandran, Pro Vice Chancellor, Amity University; Abhishek Sharma, Chief Executive Officer, Foundation Holdings; Ross Barfoot, Partner, Clyde & Co; Zalfa Chamoun Hart, Director, Chamoun Hart; Daniel Adkins, Chief Executive Officer, Transnational Academic Group Middle East; Taner Topcu, Director, RAK FTZ Academic Zone; Cameron Mirza, Head of Transformation, University of Bahrain; and Philip Corfield-Smith, Real Estate Partner, Pinsent Mason.

The IPSEF Higher Education Forum is taking place alongside IPSEF Middle East, scheduled on Oct. 3-5 at the same venue. The latter is an equally high-level conference focusing on the private and international schools market in the region. Further information on both events, including registration details, may be obtained by visiting www.ipsef.net. — SG

Source: The Saudi Gazette

UAEU Among Top 5 Universities in Arab Region

UAEUThe United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) has been named among the top five universities in the Arab world in a leading assessment of the region’s institutes of higher education.

The Al Ain-based university secured fifth place in the 2018 edition of the QS Arab Region University Rankings, published on Wednesday, a rise of one place from last year’s standings. It is the highest-ranked university in the United Arab Emirates in the study, the most widely-read and respected of its kind.

The rankings - produced by global education analysts QS Quacquarelli Symonds - assessed almost 150 universities across the Arab region on a range of criteria, including academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-to-student ratio, and number of international faculty and students. The UAEU’s elevation in this study follows its recent success in the QS World University Rankings 2018, where it was ranked as the UAE’s best university and among the top 1.5 percent globally.

Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuami, the Chancellor of the UAEU, welcomed today’s announcement, saying: “While the true mark of accomplishment for our institution is the caliber of the graduates we produce and the quality and impact of the research we generate, it is a source of great pride to see our efforts to become a truly world-class university recognized by such a well-respected higher education survey.’’

UAE to Spend $2.72bn on Education, Focus on IT

uae 67366By Arabia Higher Ed Staff

The UAE government spending Dh10 billion ($2.72 billion) on education investment through 2021 with a significant portion of it on transforming the IT infrastructure in schools.

In the UAE and Middle East, governments and private schools are heavily investing in the latest educational technology to drive differentiated learning and collaborative projects that will help students prepare for the technology-infused careers, said an expert.

Students are collaborating with schools across the country and around the world, educational institutions are storing student records digitally in the cloud, and IT teams are also deploying campus-wide cyber-security solutions to protect academic data, said Andrew Calthorpe, CEO at UAE-based IT infrastructure and information management consultancy and solutions provider Condo Protego.

For the UAE government, education is the largest share for social services spend at Dh10.2 billion through 2021, according to the Ministry of Finance. This investment is aligned with UAE Vision 2021 goals of fostering a first-rate education system with smart systems.

“UAE educational institutions are heavily investing in educational technology innovations, and as a result need to simplify and upgrade their IT infrastructure to support these initiatives,” said Calthorpe.

At one of the UAE’s leading higher education institutions, Condo Protego designed and implemented an innovative project that prioritises storage and protection of academic data. Now, the institution can centrally manage data recovery and retrieval from its 17 campuses, with full disaster recovery to a second data center.

As a result, the project has driven the institution’s operational efficiency, reduced technology infrastructure complexity, freed up staff for mission critical tasks, and supported students to switch campuses while retaining online coursework and resources.

“Educational institutions need the right channel partner to drive digital transformation, with a focus on analyzing, storing, and securing data. Channel partners are vital for upskilling educational institution IT staff, who can in turn train educators and administrators on using data to drive better education outcomes,” added Calthorpe

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