KHALEEJ TIMES, Sunday, Sep 26, 2021 | Safar 19, 1443
Universities record 25% surge in enrolments as new term starts
Dubai universities have commenced the new academic year with a 25 per
cent surge in student enrolments.
Academic experts have said the increase in enrolments was the result of a
combination of factors, including the UAE’s successful vaccination campaign and
universities’ adherence to guidelines set forth by the Dubai Health Authority
(DHA) and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
Nahid Afshan, head of admissions at BITS Pilani Dubai, said: “It’s a great start
to the new session. The demand and interest in our programmes has also seen a
sharp 22 per cent rise in the student numbers from India and 20 per cent from
UAE and GCC.”
Afshan also said there are several factors that make Dubai a coveted study
destination, including its geographical proximity, lucrative job market, safety
and security and exposure to a global marketplace.
Dr Vajahat Hussain, CEO of Amity Education Middle East, said: “We have seen
better enrolments of foreign and local students this academic year. The
three-fold surge is an optimistic articulation of this trend. The UAE has
definitely proven to have good growth potential and numerous opportunities for
students looking to grow personally and professionally.”
Universities adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic by making admissions processes
more flexible, extending application deadlines and hosting hybrid admissions
Gary Fernandes, head of prospect experience at Heriot-Watt University Dubai,
said student enrolments were higher this year compared to the previous academic
“Thirty per cent of our students are international students, while the remaining
70 per cent are domestic students,” he said. “Some popular programmes for this
year include robotics, autonomous and interactive systems engineering, data
science, artificial intelligence, and fashion branding and promotion.”
Dr Vikas Nand Kumar Batheja, the co-founder and director of Capital University
College, said the college offers scholarships and flexible teaching methods to
“We welcome and value the positive energy on our campus and look forward to
another year of dedication to excellence in education,” he said.
To welcome students for the academic year, universities hosted the annual
tradition of planting trees, signifying the arrival of a new graduating class.
Other ice-breaker events were also held, including fashion shows and dance,
singing and beat boxing performances.
“Walking into new college filled with new faces can be daunting even for the
most courageous hearts,” Afshan said. “Hence, we hold this icebreaker event
every year to acclimatise the students to their new world. The fun, engaging and
interactive event helps students get acquainted with various clubs, activities
and the BITS culture."