International Educationalist Honoured at Heriot-Watt Dubai Graduation Ceremony

(L-R) Professor Steve Chapman, Sunny Varkey, HH Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan and Professor Ammar Kaka

Sunny Varkey, leading education entrepreneur and founder and Chairman of GEMS education, has been awarded an honorary Degree at Heriot-Watt's Dubai graduation ceremony.

Mr Varkey was awarded a Doctorate of the University in recognition of his pioneering, visionary and influential contribution to, and achievements in, the development and accessibility of education internationally. The award was made in the presence of HH Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research.

Sunny Varkey has been a key figurehead in the development of education in the UAE, forging alliances between education and entrepreneurship internationally through GEMS Education. He has developed a global network of award-winning international schools, which span nine countries, reaching 110,000 students from 151 different nationalities. The GEMS school model is unique in the world because it offers a range of private schools from affordable to premium. They also provide support to improve the quality of education in government schools globally. He is also responsible for directing the activities of the Varkey GEMS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of GEMS Education. The Foundation's aim is to impact 100 underprivileged children for every child enrolled in a GEMS school. The Foundations Honorary Chair is former US President, Bill Clinton.

The accomplishments of Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus over these seven years are remarkable and its graduates have contributed to the growth and development of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates

HH Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Higher Education & Scientific Research, said: "The accomplishments of Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus over these seven years are remarkable and its graduates have contributed to the growth and development of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates.

I strongly believe that the energy, education, vitality and enthusiasm of young people can and will move local and global communities to focus on important issues of common concern and to seek solutions to the most important problems of our time. As new university graduates, it is your generation who must take up the banner of peace and prosperity around the globe."

Sunny Varkey joins Professor Peter Higgs and a number of other distinguished individuals who received honorary degrees at Heriot-Watt University's Edinburgh Campus earlier this month.