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Heriot-Watt opens in Dubai

02/04/2006

The new Heriot-Watt University campus in Dubai was officially opened today by Finance and Public Service Reform Minister Tom McCabe.

The 40,000 sq ft campus in Academic City offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses to 800 students.

The university's venture builds on the close links Scotland is developing with Dubai, including a daily air service from Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh's participation in the establishment of the British University in Dubai.

Mr McCabe said:

"I was delighted to open the new Heriot-Watt University campus here in Dubai - it is an extremely impressive facility which shows real ambition. Around 800 students will be able to study for a range of British degrees in a world-class facility established by a Scottish institution in one of the top emerging nations in the world.

"This is a perfect example of Scotland and Dubai working in partnership and I believe it is a win-win scenario for both of us. We have students from Dubai and further afield learning in a Scottish University in a fantastic facility. That can only be good for Scotland and Dubai.

"Our schools and universities are world-renowned and I am absolutely delighted Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh University are both exploring what Dubai has to offer in different ways - and letting them know exactly what we have to offer in return.

"This venture is further evidence of the strong cultural, economic and political ties which are developing between Scotland and Dubai."

Professor John Simmons, Vice Principal of Heriot-Watt University, said:

"Heriot-Watt's new Dubai Campus is an important strategic addition to our three Scottish campuses, in Edinburgh, the Scottish Borders at Galashiels and in Orkney. We have a long international tradition as a provider of education in 140 countries through our MBA programme and our supported e-learning partnerships.

"The Dubai Campus will offer students from the area an opportunity to study for a rapidly expanding portfolio of Heriot-Watt degrees without having to travel abroad, and builds on the University's educational provision and partnerships around the world."

Official opening of Heriot-Watt University Dubai Campus

The Heriot Watt Dubai campus will focus on a small core of high-quality, broadly-based undergraduate programmes in key strategic areas of Management, Business IT and General Engineering with a larger portfolio of related postgraduate programmes reflecting the range of Schools at the University's Scottish campuses.

It is intended that the Dubai campus will also become research-active, delivering internationally competitive programmes. It will also offer student exchanges and campus transfers, while the post-graduate programmes can be undertaken full or part-time.

It is intended to grow the student population of the Dubai Campus to 1,500 within five years, recruiting from around the Middle East in line with Dubai's own vision of being a centre of excellence in research and HE, expressed through the Academic Village and the earlier Knowledge Village.