Majority prefer higher studies in the UAE
Sharjah, October 16, 2012
Top-tier universities in the UAE have been successful in adding an international dimension to their curricula and activities, helping them emerge as favourites among students who visited the just-concluded International Education Show in Sharjah.
The eighth edition of the show, held at Expo Centre Sharjah from October 10 to 12, attracted 14,200 students, parents and academics during its three-day run.
According to a straw poll conducted among the students who visited the show, the UAE remained their top choice for higher studies, which was closely followed by the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
“Most of the participating universities and college s, both local and foreign, had ensured that they have effective strategies for sustainable collaboration and establish a good position in the international student marketplace. This has resulted in the show attracting more students this time, over three per cent higher than last year’s event,” said Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, the director-general, Expo Centre Sharjah.
According to the students, the factors that influenced their decision to stay in the country to continue their higher studies include cost-effective and high-quality educational services such as a diverse range of programmes and scholarships offered by the local institutions. Government support and scholarships also weighed while evaluating universities.
"Since there are plenty of options in the UAE itself we feel more students have considered staying put to finish their higher education," said a representative from American University of Sharjah, a regular participant at the show.
"AUS is ranked among the top 500 universities in the world, while other universities have earned their own respective standing. These factors play a major role in convincing students to continue their studies in the UAE," he added.
However, the charm of studying in a foreign country and in a reputable institution, and the exposure and experience it offers also encouraged students to make a beeline at the stalls of several leading global higher education institutions that were taking part in the show.
“Students need to be better educated about the advantages of finishing their studies abroad. While parents and their friends and relatives play a key role in helping pupils decide on where to study and what, a visit to a show like the IES will sure be much more helpful in taking an informed decision,” said a representative of EducationUSA, a global network of more than 400 advising centres supported by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State.
The educational programmes that were in demand included engineering, business studies, architecture, and arts & sciences, while enquiries centered on fees, scholarships and admission criteria etc.
“The event attracted a large number of students to our stalls and we are satisfied with the level of demand witnessed this year,” said a representative of Dubai University.
The seminars and counseling sessions organized by universities and educational bodies were well attended, with visitors taking advantage of the platform to assess study programmes and clear their doubts.
A series of workshops introduced visitors to career building, online trading, distance education and genetics, and were conducted by Online Trading Academy, Growth Centre, IIMTS-Sharjah and American University of RAK.-TradeArabia News Service