x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Universities turn to industry for lecturers

As more universities launch industry-focused degrees, they are increasingly turning to professionals to do the teaching.

Melanie Swan

DUBAI // As more universities launch industry-focused degrees, they are increasingly turning to professionals to do the teaching.

At Manipal University's Dubai campus, for example, there are plans to bring in working architects as guest lecturers for its new bachelor's degree in architecture. It will do the same on its business and engineering degree courses.

Dr B Ramjee, director of the university, explained why.

"Our programmes aren't just theoretical. There are ... industry orientations or applications."

Using guest lecturers also avoids the cost of hiring multiple full-time specialists.

"It's better to have an expert than a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. It also keeps the students up to date with industry practices, which prepares them better for the workplace," he said.

Bhakti More, who will head up the architecture programme, said experts will not only be local but brought in from abroad too. The Masdar Institute in Abu Dhabi will do much the same from this autumn.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, head of the institute, said the professionals will come and teach just a handful of classes on existing courses.

"It will be around four or five lectures in areas such as healthcare and entrepreneurship."

mswan@thenational.ae