More than 100 students face an unclear academic future after the closing of a management college in Dubai's Knowledge Village. The Postgraduate Institute of Management International Centre says it is shutting the branch because the operation was "not feasible" with the number of students who had registered. In a letter to students, the centre's director, Prof Gunapala Nanayakkara, said demand for programmes had reached "a very low ebb".
According to the letter, the college required 60 new students to join for the 2009-2010 academic year, but demand fell short, though no figures were specified. Although students were notified of the decision weeks ago, it was not clear whether the school would find a way to remain open. An official from the college, who asked not to be named, said that at the time of the closing about 150 students had been enrolled for master's of business administration (MBA) and doctoral courses.
One student, who also asked not to be identified, said he and others had been told they would be able to complete their courses by distance learning, although they were still awaiting details. "There is nothing spelt out," he said. "The professor said it was going to be through distance education, but how and when and what is still not very clear." The college is affiliated to the Sri Lanka-based Postgraduate Institute of Management, which is part of the University of Sri Jayewardenepura.
It is not the first college in the UAE to close after disappointing recruitment levels. This year, George Mason University shut its branch in Ras al Khaimah after undergraduate enrolment reached just 118 three years after degrees were launched. The American university pulled out after failing to agree on funding levels with the RAK Government. Knowledge Village has seen a previous closure, when the University of Southern Queensland shut down in 2005, less than a year after opening and despite recruiting several hundred students. The management at Knowledge Village did not return calls for comment.