x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

British University in Dubai plans move with an eye on expansion

The British University in Dubai will move to Dubai International Academic City by the start of its February intake to allow it to expand as it launches new courses.

The British University in Dubai (BUiD) will move to Dubai International Academic City (DIAC) from Knowledge Village by the start of its February intake to allow it to expand as it launches new courses. Both sites are run by Tecom Investments, and officials there have previously indicated that they expect most universities in Knowledge Village to eventually move to DIAC, leaving Knowledge Village as a centre for human resources companies.

"To accommodate the growth in demand for our programmes, and to meet our goals in expanding and upgrading our facilities, our move in February next year will further establish the British University in Dubai as a truly local university with a global vision," Professor Abdulla al Shamsi, the university's vice-chancellor, said in a statement. Among the courses starting on February 10, when the new intake of students arrives, is a master's degree in construction law and dispute resolution. The university also offers a new doctorate in education that is drawing students.

In a statement, the institution said the new campus at DIAC would have bigger library facilities, increased classroom capacity, more open-access space and more staff offices. Prof al Shamsi said DIAC, which is near the Dubai-Al Ain road and not far from Emirates Road, would offer a more convenient location than Knowledge Village, which is close to Dubai Media City. "We are planning to be as flexible as possible," Prof al Shamsi said. "With the move, it will provide better access for our growing number of students from all the emirates."

Officials at BUiD were unavailable for further comment yesterday. The University of Wollongong in Dubai had previously indicated that it, too, was considering such a move, but since land prices in Dubai have dropped it may build a stand-alone campus at a different location. Martin Prince, the BUiD registrar, said the university was following the "strategic advice" of Tecom in moving to DIAC. Among the universities already with campuses at DIAC are Michigan State University, Manipal University, Heriot Watt University and the French fashion university Esmod.

Dr Ayoub Kazim, the executive director of both Knowledge Village and DIAC, said the relocation of BUiD would offer the university "enhanced facilities and increased space". It would also "provide greater opportunity for collaboration and dialogue" with other universities, he said. Like Knowledge Village, DIAC is a free zone, meaning that universities there do not need a licence from the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to open. Nor are they required to secure accreditation for their programmes, although some choose to do so.

dbardsley@thenational.ae