Video: Australia's University of Wollongong opens new campus in Dubai
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Video: Australia’s University of Wollongong opens new campus in Dubai

Video: Australia’s University of Wollongong opens new campus in Dubai

The 200,000-square-foot standalone facility is located in Dubai Knowledge Park

University of Wollongong Dubai

It’s been a remarkable trajectory for the University of Wollongong in Dubai (UOWD). In 1993, it became the first international university to enter Dubai and set up its campus opposite Al Mulla Plaza with just eight students.

It moved to Jumeirah Beach Road in 2000 and then on to Dubai Knowledge Park in 2005. Fifteen years on, the Australian university has now opened its newest campus – the 200,000 square foot “Campus of the Future” in Dubai Knowledge Park.

The new facility which will be open to students this month includes classrooms which can accommodate up to 80 students. The standalone building also includes a large student lounge with a pool table, gaming consoles and bean bags to create an informal space for students to interact with each other.

There are laboratories specialising in chemistry, thermodynamics, manufacturing, physics, robotics and media and communications, among others.

UOWD offers 22 undergraduate degrees and 21 postgraduate degrees, with over 3,500 students from 108 nationalities currently enrolled in it.

University of Wollongong Dubai
It is accredited by the Commission for Academic Accreditation of the UAE Ministry of Education and Higher Education Affairs

Lending it an edge over a few other international universities who have set up set up their campuses in Dubai, UOWD is not only accredited by the Australian Government, but locally by the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) of the UAE Ministry of Education and Higher Education Affairs, as well as Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), giving graduates from here the added advantage of having their degrees recognized by national companies in the UAE.

“A market research study conducted by Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) and BMI, a global consultancy that connects international students with universities around the world, surveyed 2,700 transnational students from 50 countries, and found that the two most important characteristics students looked for in a university were quality of education and employment. Interestingly, the least important were sporting and community facilities,” said Andy Phillips, chief operating officer at UOWD.

University of Wollongong Dubai
Every classroom and auditorium has cameras installed in them to facilitate blended learning

Figures shared by the university revealed that 77 per cent of its undergraduate students and 85 per cent of its postgraduate students were employed within six months of graduating from here. Here in the UAE, its alumni are employed by companies including Emirates, Etisalat, and Chalhoub Groub.

Ensuring that the students have access to high-quality learning, each of the professors at UOWD possess a minimum of a PhD in the subject they are teaching.

This year, UOWD has introduced three new Bachelor of Computer Science degree programmes that will now be available to students: cybersecurity, big data, and game and mobile development.

The university also introduced a new flagship Masters’ degree – Global Executive Master in Luxury Management (GEMLux) programme that features courses covering strategy, contract negotiation, luxury customer experience design and marketing, supply chain management, brand management and distribution. The advisory board for this GEMLux programme includes the likes of Daimler Middle East (Mercedes-Benz), Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons and the Chalhoub Group.

University of Wollongong Dubai
UOWD offers 22 undergraduate degrees and 21 postgraduate degrees

While the new campus has put in place all the necessary Covid-19 precautionary guidelines such as ensuring physical distancing in classrooms, the wearing of masks and thermal screening, it has also adopted to the UAE’s blended learning model.

Every classroom and auditorium have cameras installed in them so that students who choose to learn from home will have access to the same coursework and lectures as those studying on-campus. At the moment, UOWD encourages those in courses such as engineering fields to attend campus learning so that they can complete laboratory work, whereas those studying business administration, for example, are encouraged to learn from home.

UOWD has also instituted a unique “Pathways Programme” that has responded to the needs of students stranded in the UAE and unable to travel to universities outside of the country. Students are permitted to enroll for between 1-2 years at Wollongong’s Dubai campus and then transition to the any one of its three global university’s campuses in either Hong Kong, Malaysia or in Australia itself.

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