Video: Inside Heriot Watt University Dubai’s new campus
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Video: Inside Heriot Watt University Dubai’s new campus

Video: Inside Heriot Watt University Dubai’s new campus

Located at Dubai Knowledge Park, the 218,000 square feet campus offers blended education to its roughly 4,000 students


Heriot-Watt University Dubai (HWUD) opened its sprawling new campus at Dubai Knowledge Park earlier this month.

The new building occupies 218,000 square feet across seven floors, with eight different types of teaching spaces.

Set to serve roughly 4,000 students, the new campus features collaborative lecture theatres, pod rooms designed to offer group-based learning, as well as seminar rooms which have been designed as flexible spaces.

It also includes laboratories and workshops for automotive, chemical, civil, mechanical, electrical, energy, robotic and structural engineering.


“A couple of years ago, Heriot-Watt University launched its new strategy which really defines where we want to be in the future,” explains Professor Ammar Kaka, provost and vice principal at Heriot-Watt University Dubai.

“It’s a very ambitious strategy and applies to all our geographical locations. As part of this strategy, we aim to grow our research and global impact, but equally importantly, we want to transform the student experience. This was a key driver for our decision to establish this new campus.

“We want our students to be future-ready and that means that the emphasis is not only going to be on the gaining and creation of knowledge, but also on the development of the skills to use and apply this knowledge. So our new campus is really all about empowering the students to develop those skills, work together, innovate, and learn from each other and the wider Heriot Watt community,” Kaka adds.

In terms of Covid-19 precautions, the university has been taking several measures since the outbreak began.

“Here in Dubai, we worked with KHDA [Knowledge and Human Development Authority] and set out protocols for our staff and students – from mask-wearing and hand sanitising through to social distancing,” says Professor Bryn Jones, deputy vice principal, Heriot-Watt University Dubai.

“We have also modified our timetable to manage footfall on campus and remove chokepoints. So, most of our students have the opportunity to be on campus for up to three days each week.”

Looking ahead, while the university has long been involved with distance learning, the Covid crisis accelerated the shift towards a more blended approach for the future.

“The past 12 months have given us a lot of think about and learn from. It has certainly helped to break important barriers in virtual learning, and we are determined to capitalise on this and accelerate our plans for blended or hybrid learning. For example, one of the benefits of our blending learning approach is being able to leverage our global resources – so our students – no matter what campus they are at, can be supported by our global faculty,” says Kaka.

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