Complex Made Simple

Dubai International Academic City visits Ecuador to promote Dubai as higher education hub

The Managing Director of TECOM Investments’ Education Cluster, Dr. Ayoub Kazim, was recently invited to travel to Ecuador, South America, by the organisers of “The Future of the University and the University of the Future Forum”, held at the Technical University of Ambato, Ecuador. As part of the visit, Dr. Ayoub was invited to present to high ranking officials and Academician from South America, United States, Spain, Turkey, Taiwan and other countries.

As part of the symposium, Dr. Ayoub spoke to the delegates in attendance about Dubai International Academic City’s (DIAC) history, experience in setting up educational free zones and hub and growth story over the years. He highlighted its academic partners, international affiliations, and continued best practice in branch campus set-up. He also touched upon the rising cost of living, its effect on the affordability of higher education, as well as the higher education options available within DIAC and Dubai Knowledge Village (DKV). Moreover, he stressed on the significant contributions made by DKV and DIAC training and academic partners in the country’s competitiveness ranking, which was 6 in the world in the higher education and training pillar.

Higher education institutions in Ecuador and the wider Latin American region are becoming increasingly more international in an effort to boost recognition among English language-focused university rankings. Currently, there are no universities from Latin America in the top 100 institutions in the 2013/2014 Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, China’s Academic Ranking of World Universities or the QS World University Rankings 2014/15.

Commenting on the visit, Dr. Ayoub said, “Global transnational education (TNE) students are increasingly seeing Dubai as a global higher education hub akin to the USA, UK, Australia and Canada. Connecting with markets such as Ecuador is an important step on the path as we seek to share our educational knowledge and expertise, particularly on how to successfully attract TNEs. A key part of this is to ensure that the destination is delivering on all fronts, from competitive living costs and airport connectivity, to international recognition of qualifications and availability of future employment. I hope that all parties involved benefited fully from and learnt from shared experience, and I look forward to future events of a similar nature.”

Since 2009, there has been up to a five-fold increase in TNEs considering the UAE as a study destination, which TECOM’s Education Cluster has directly impacted through a ten-fold increase in its student body to over 20,000 students since 2003, offering over 400 academic programmes.