There was a time when Indian students were keen on going to the UK or the US for higher education. However, as times are changing, the UAE is becoming a preferred destination for these students. Recently UAE hosted the two-day global conclave on education ‘Schools for the Future’, on January 19, 2023. It is recorded that the event was a huge success as 250 participants were present in person, and thousands joined virtually.
The education conclave was organized by Kyra Global, a company founded by Indian publisher KPR Nair, in partnership in association with the American University in the Emirates (AUE). The agenda was to ideate and explore potential solutions to elevate the current scenario of schools and build institutions for the future. The event was attended by educators, experts, ed tech leaders, and students from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and beyond.
The chief guest of the conclave, Tadu Mamu, Consul (Press Information, Culture, and Labour) of the Indian Embassy said that India will be glad to partner with the UAE to make the Emirates the next emerging educational hub. The event also investigated the increased opportunity for online learning. She emphasized the rise in demand for online education and learning that gained momentum after the Covid-19 pandemic.
She also shed light on the need for balancing traditional physical or classroom learning with educational technology. She added that notable universities from different parts of the world have already set up campuses in Abu Dhabi and the UAE. They are expecting more universities to enter the market soon. NYU is a prominent university in the UAE. From India pedigree schools like BITS Pilani and S P Jain has their campuses in the UAE. Mamu also added that the cultural and political relationships shared between the two nations will benefit the goal and students in the long term. In 2022, setting up an IIT campus in Abu Dhabi was announced as a part of the trade deal.
In the two-day-long education conference experts, and thought leaders brainstormed ways to equip schools with tools to meet the demands of the future of schools. They also discussed other points including teachers in the emerging knowledge society, leadership for excellence, skills for the future, and the role of ed-tech: prospects and perils.
Besides a trade and commerce hub, leaders in the UAE are striving to establish the region as an educational hub. UAE is the third-largest trading partner of India and the second-largest export destination.
If both nations forge an educational partnership in the near future, it would open new avenues for students and provide a platform for better education.
Professor Heather McGregor – Provost and Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University, said that students of Indian nationality form the largest group in the Emirates. It is one of the first universities to set up a full-fledged campus in Dubai outside Britain. It offers an array of research-based academic programs including courses in artificial intelligence and sustainable engineering. She believes that the UAE is growing popular amongst Indian students because of simpler visa regulations, high cosmopolitan environment, and short flights from India.