A college has opened in Dubai with the aim of acting as a stepping stone for people keen to study in Canada. The Canada International College Dubai is one of the few new institutions to launch in the emirate this academic year, after at least a half-dozen openings in the 2008/09 academic year. So far the Dubai International Academic City college has recruited 11 students. The vice president and dean of faculty, Hussein Ossudallah, said the low number was because construction delays meant the college missed the start of the academic year.
He also said the economic slowdown had affected enrolment. "Definitely it's impacted everyone," Dr Ossudallah said of the recession. "But I believe Dubai will retake its position in the Middle East and the world. "I think that situation will return and many people will be attracted to come to Dubai, especially from neighbouring countries." Dr Ossudallah said the college, which is linked to an institution of the same name in Coquitlam, British Columbia, which accredits its courses, was hoping to grow to between 100 and 150 students next year, helped by a monthly intake of new students. Courses are offered in international trade management, hotel management and tourism, filming and acting and English as a second language.
The courses last up to a year, leading to a diploma issued by the main campus in British Columbia that can be transferred to a university in Canada, cutting the length of a four-year bachelor's degree by one year. "If they want to transfer to a Canadian or American university, we could be a stepping stone for them," Dr Ossudallah said. The college said it could assist students applying for Canadian student visas through its immigration consultant, but could not guarantee they would be issued.
Among the other colleges to have opened in Dubai in the 2009/10 academic year is the University of Waterloo, which is also linked to a Canadian institution. Hult International Business School, Murdoch University, Michigan State University and University of Jazeera opened the year before. @Email:firstname.lastname@example.org