Heriot-Watt expands academic frontiers in the UAE

Professor Ammar Kaka and Humza Yousaf MSP at the Dubai Campus

Scotland's Minister of External Affairs and International Development, Humza Yousaf MSP, formally announced the launch of PhD programmes at Heriot-Watt University's Dubai Campus. PhD programmes will be available from the University's School of Management & Languages, School of Engineering & Physical Science and School of the Built Environment.

More opportunities to further studies

2012 saw a significant increase in the number of students in UAE enrolling for higher education pursuing bachelors and postgraduate degrees; however, this figure was only 1% for doctoral programmes.

Minister for External Affairs and International Affairs Humza Yousaf said, "Heriot-Watt's new and extended PhD programme will offer graduates more opportunity to further their studies.

"The Dubai Campus, opened by the First Minister in 2011, now has capacity for 4,500 students and over 100 staff, a testament to the quality of education offered at Heriot-Watt and its ambitions as a truly international university.

"Scottish education is renowned for excellence across the world. We have a world-class infrastructure with 15 universities, five specialist higher education institutes and excellent teaching resources, it is sector we are very proud of and a fantastic example of Scotland's capabilities in delivering world class events which we'll see again as we host the Ryder Cup and the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Education is an international business and it is exciting to see such collaborations with the Emirates come to fruition reaping benefits for the Scottish economy.
Humza Yousaf MSP

"Education is an international business and it is exciting to see such collaborations with the Emirates come to fruition reaping benefits for the Scottish economy."

Heriot-Watt University Dubai is committed to offering  its renowned courses and educational quality in the Gulf. At present the University offers over 40 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

Professor Ammar Kaka, Head of Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus, said, "Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus understands the requirement for quality academic research options in the UAE and are excited about introducing some of the most prestigious PhD programmes from Edinburgh campus here in the UAE.

"A PhD is a commitment to one subject and it expands the student's academic expertise in that topic as well as employability. By offering these doctoral programmes the University is keen to participate in developing the Nation's research capacity and be actively involved in providing highly skilled and professional individuals to the economy."

The importance of PhD programmes

PhD programmes are important in the UAE to encourage the research community especially for students who have limited options and are not willing to move away from family to pursue doctorate degrees.

This academic development at Heriot-Watt University is also another step towards strengthening the educational and business ties between Scotland and the UAE.

Mark Hallan, Senior Director for Europe, Middle East and Africa for Scottish Development International, said, "Scotland has a strong reputation in education and this new venture further highlights the high value that other nations place on Scotland's knowledge, skills and expertise as world leaders in education and academia. Last year, the Sunday Times voted Heriot-Watt as the Scottish University of the Year, stating that its graduates are 'highly regarded' throughout the world.

"Graduates of Heriot-Watt's Dubai Campus are already making a contribution to industry in the UAE and by collaborating with Dubai we continue to make it easier for Scottish companies to trade across the region, ultimately benefitting the Scottish economy."