The just-concluded International Education Show was witness to a huge rise in the number of students seeking higher education opportunities, as thousands of visitors thronged Expo Centre Sharjah during the three-day fair.
Predications that the education sector is poised for massive growth were supported by the excellent visitor numbers, both from schools and colleges, with a total turnout of 12,149 visitors during the show.
A recent report by Alpen Capital, Dubai, said that the GCC education sector is all set for strong growth along with fundamental and structural changes. The governments in the region are taking necessary steps to implement key changes required to raise the standards of education in the region, the report added.
Governments are also promoting technical and vocational education to make the workforce skilled for private sector as well.
These factors are set to boost the growth of the education sector further and the International Education Show turned out to be a comprehensive platform for students seeking higher education opportunities.
"The UAE is in the forefront of introducing reforms in the education sector so as to align it with the current needs of the market. At both the federal and zonal levels, policy changes are being implemented to improve the standards of education and better prepare graduates to take up key positions in the workforce," said Mr Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, Director-General of Expo Centre Sharjah.
"The UAE is also set to scale better economic growth rates, thus providing better job prospects and opportunities of career growth for both nationals and expatriates," he said.
"The excellent turnout of students at the International Education Show stands testimony to the fact that government initiatives are paying rich dividends," he added.
The 70 leading local and foreign colleges, universities and technical institutes and other educational institutions and related establishments that took part in the show reported good response from students.
Professor Peter Douglas, Director, University of Waterloo, the UAE campus, was overwhelmed by the number of qualified students and parents who came from all the Emirates during the three days of the show.
University of Waterloo (UW) offers unique co-operative (work-study) programmes, the only one of its kind in the UAE, which generated keen interest from many students and education counsellors.
"It was our first participation and the show was a great experience. The International Educational Show was a great place to promote our technical courses, we thank Expo Centre Sharjah for its commitment in hosting such a wonderful exhibition," said Mohammad H. Motavasel, Relationship Officer, N2 Training Center.
"We are pleased with the turnout at the International Education Show. We were happy to see so many prospective students and their families enquiring about a variety of course options and the assistance available at Murdoch University Dubai. The team has organized and planned the event very well," said Aarti Jethwani, Sr. Business Development Executive, Murdoch University International Study Centre, Dubai.
Students from public and private schools and colleges showed keen interest in undergraduate and postgraduate courses, vocational training programmes, short-term certificate courses, diplomas, professional development programmes and distance learning courses.
There was a rise in the number of working executives visiting the show in search of education programmes that will help them grow in their professional careers. "I am planning to do a management course that is offered either in the evenings or on Fridays and Saturdays," said Hashem, who is working in Dubai. "An additional qualification is always handy when it comes to job hopping and promotions," he quipped.
The majority of the participating institutions came from Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Malaysia, Oman, the United Kingdom, the United States and the UAE.
The profile of exhibitors covered universities, colleges, polytechnics, IT institutes, business schools, technical management training centres, medical schools, hotel management institutes, language centres, distance-learning institutes, and other tertiary institutions.
The International Education Show was a joint initiative of the UAE Ministry of Education and Expo Centre Sharjah and is supported by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI). The 7th Edition of the International Education Show will take place from 23 to 25th February 2011 alongside the National Career Exhibition.
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