At the World Government Summit in Dubai earlier this year, The Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, announced its plans to make a global debut, having signed an agreement with the UAE-based BRS Ventures to set up its overseas extension centre in Dubai. The IIMA Dubai centre will begin with an executive education programme and will include both open learning as well as customised training. With this partnership the IIMA becomes the latest addition to the growing list of Indian higher education institutions that have their presence in the UAE.

The UAE is home to more than 2.5 million Indians and there is a great demand for Indian colleges and universities that have set up their branches and campuses in the UAE. For most Indian parents, institutes such as the Manipal University of Dubai, the BITS, Pilani Dubai, Amity University, the Pune University in RAK or the XLRI Jamshedpur, are preferred places to educate their child as they provide the right mix of cultural values and competitive edge for their children.

DEVELOPING SKILL SETS

While the IIMA’s executive programmes are already high in demand across industries and corporations, the chairman of BRS Ventures, BR Shetty said the Indian management school’s extension centre in Dubai would benefit the UAE’s economy, executive skills and public policies. In the past the UAE-based Allied Institute of Management Studies has also partnered with XLRI Jamshedpur to develop managerial skills of Emiratis in line with the UAE government’s Emiratisation programme.

For most Indian children growing up in the UAE, these colleges prove to be a natural choice as they provide a highly supportive system of learning and give them the opportunity to achieve their best academic performance across a range of subjects such as engineering, management, science and information technology.
Graduates of Indian higher education institutes also gain recognition and respect internationally and many students have gone on to become heads of several financial, scientific and business organisations in other bigger economies such as the US, UK or Asia.

For many Indian students living in Dubai as well as for Indian students in India it is often a huge challenge getting an engineering or medical seat in India as there is huge competition among students. In such cases many opt for campuses outside India. The Dubai campus of the Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS) Pilani, a prestigious Indian engineering college, has many of its students from India as well as from the region.

The institute’s graduates secure not only great internships in the Dubai offices of engineering companies such as Siemens, but also end up doing their Master’s programme from top US schools such as Cornell, Purdue and Carnegie Mellon.

FLYING THE NEST

For many Indian parents living in Dubai it is always satisfying to see their children close at hand rather than send them overseas at a young impressionable age. Sometimes sending them back to India is also not an option as many are unable to adjust to cultural changes having grown up internationally. Also, the fee structure in the Indian engineering colleges in Dubai is also much less than the US and UK and most of all, it is the joy of seeing children mature in a vibrant cosmopolitan city before they fly the nest altogether. Like BITS Pilani, the Manipal University, one of the largest private universities in India, has a presence in the UAE since 2000. The institute is a pioneer in providing a PhD programme in biotechnology and houses an automobile lab sponsored by Arabian Automobiles and a research lab sponsored by Dubai Equine Hospital.

Be it research, hands-on training, a perfect academic environment, and a good mix of theory and practice, Indian higher education institutes in the UAE have always paved the path to excellence.

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