Gulf News

Academic City will cater to more than 30,000 students

PROJECT EXPECTED TO HOUSE 25 INTERNATIO­NAL UNIVERSITI­ES

- BY REEMA SAFFARINI Staff Reporter

Knowledge Village launched the Dubai Internatio­nal Academic City (DIAC) initiative yesterday as part of a long-term strategy to develop the region’s talent pool, according to the executive director of DKV.

The announceme­nt came at a press conference at the 19th Gulf Education and Training Exhibition (GETEX) held at the Dubai Internatio­nal Exhibition and Convention Centre.

The five-day event was inaugurate­d by Dr Saeed Al Hassani, undersecre­tary of higher education and scientific research.

The education free zone is located within Dubai Internatio­nal Academic City. It already houses seven universiti­es.

“DIAC will only house internatio­nal universiti­es separating them from other public colleges and institutio­ns in the area such as Dubai Men’s College, Zayed University and other institutes,” Dr Ayoub Kazim, the executive director of DKV, told Gulf News.

The project is expected to be completed in the next five to seven years according to business projection­s, said Dr Kazim. He added, “We have a very stringent selection criteria of colleges. However, we are expecting DIAC to house 25 internatio­nal universiti­es to cater to more than 30,000 students in the future.”

According to Dr Kazim, the selection of internatio­nal universiti­es depends on a number of criteria including university ranking, strength and programmes that correspond to industry needs in the UAE.

DIAC will spread across an area of 25 million square feet. There will be areas dedicated to the internatio­nal education zone, research and developmen­t centres, sports facilities, student unions and student and faculty accommodat­ions.

Dr Kazim said DIAC was created in response to the sharp increase in the number of educationa­l institutio­ns from around the world coming to Dubai and those in Dubai Knowledge Village.

Dr Kazim added that there is no mandate for internatio­nal universiti­es based in DKV to move to the DIAC.

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