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University of Birmingham opens Dubai campus

The University of Birmingham Dubai (UBD), officially inaugurated on Tuesday, will have the same degrees and quality as the University of Birmingham in the UK, one of the top 100 universities in the world, officials said.

The degree awarded by the Dubai campus, located in Dubai International Academic City (DIAC), will be identical to the one in the UK, and accredited here by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) of Dubai, officials said on Tuesday.

The university is already in talks with the federal Ministry of Higher Education regarding its accreditation with the ministry as well, said Ben Bailey, director of campus operations at UBD.

Courses at the Dubai campus will begin in September, and the initial offering includes undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in business management, computer science, economics and mechanical engineering. There will also be teacher-training degrees, with further programmes to be offered subsequently.

Fees at the Dubai campus will be around the same as the UK campus, officials said on Tuesday. The Dubai campus fees are not listed on its website and depend on the course of study. However, at the Birmingham campus, the full-time standard international student fees for 2018-2019 are listed as between £17,520 (around Dh89,700) and £36,840 (around Dh188,600) for undergraduates.

“Your tuition fees will be set out in your offer letter,” the university says.

The Dubai campus represents phase one of the campus, which will move a new, larger purpose-built campus in 2020 or 2021, with a capacity of around 4,500 students, said Bailey.

On Tuesday, the University of Birmingham became the “first global top 100 and UK Russell Group university” to establish a campus in Dubai.

University of Birmingham Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood was joined by local education officials in Tuesday’s inauguration and tour. He stressed that UBD was “not a branch campus” but rather another campus of the University of Birmingham.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony was followed by an evening reception at the British Embassy in Dubai, attended by approximately 100 guests from Dubai and the UAE, and senior members of the university.

Sir David Eastwood said: “As a global university with a civic outlook, we are committed to contributing to UAE society and playing our part in supporting the UAE as it drives economic progress through knowledge and innovation, whilst contributing to the development of a growing international education hub in Dubai.”

Dr Abdullah Al Karam, director-general of KHDA, said: “The opening of University of Birmingham is an important milestone in our goal to build a world-class education hub in Dubai. It represents new opportunities for students who can now look at a wider offering of education and research led programmes that are driven by Dubai’s ambition to be a global leader in innovation.”

Mohammad Abdullah, managing director of DIAC and Dubai Knowledge Park, said “recognised as among the top one per cent of universities across the globe and renowned for its academic research, we are confident that the University of Birmingham will be a world-class partner committed to enhancing the UAE’s vision to drive innovation and diversified growth”.

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