Teacher's pet: UAE and UK strengthen educational ties
As the student population continues to grow in the UAE the educational ties that bind them with the United Kingdom are growing as more long-standing UK institutions sink roots in the UAE and existing ones build upon earlier successes.
The UAE student population has expanded by seven per cent in the last five years, making it the fastest growing private education market with a value of $1.9 billion (Dh6.97 billion).
Due to this growth, there has been an increase in UK school and university affiliate branches in the UAE. The number of UAE students studying in the UK is also on the upswing. Taking both educational trends into account, students with an international sense of the world are being forged.
“Educational and cultural links are encouraging,” said a British Embassy spokesperson. “Nearly 3,000 UAE students studied in the UK last year and the British Council is one of the leading providers of English language teaching in the UAE.”
Kate Owen, Deputy Director of the British Council in the UAE, told Gulf News that branch campuses are the key in strengthening cultural understanding, especially for those who cannot travel to the UK.
“In terms of building cultural understanding and academic partnerships, having a branch campus in the UAE is very important to the UK. Additionally, with the existence of British branch campuses across the UAE, students from other countries who may not be able to go to the UK (for example, due to financial constraints, conservative family) for higher education will come to the UAE, thereby supporting the growth of the UAE’s economy,” said Owen.
Bilateral relationships in education not only strengthen cultural understanding and economic growth but also support the UAE’s goal of becoming a knowledge-based society with access to an academic experience rich in tradition and quality.
Centuries of expertise
“The UK has centuries of expertise to offer and is, therefore, in a position to build long-lasting academic relationships in both teaching and research,” added Owen.
As for the advantages to the UK, Owen said that the UK branches are essential to the continued growth of academia on a global scale.