DUBAI // Six universities in Dubai are offering 600 scholarships to students in China after Beijing began to recognise degrees from the education regulator, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority.
Amity, Heriot Watt, Middlesex, Curtin, Emirates Aviation and Murdoch universities are working with the Chinese services centre for scholarship exchange, which is part of the Chinese ministry of education.
The head of higher education at the Dubai authority, Dr Warren Fox, said the news was “exciting and important”.
So far the number of Chinese students studying in Dubai has been low – only about 100 – but Dr Fox hopes that will change.
There are about 30,000 university and college students in Dubai’s free zones, which are under the authority’s regulation. A third of these have come from abroad and are not residents.
Dr Fox said there were challenges for students from abroad, including a lack of housing and transport to more remote areas such as Dubai International Academic City, but these were progressing.
“More housing is going up for students,” he said.
Students said the acceptance of Dubai degrees by Chinese authorities was beneficial, as previously only degrees issued by the Ministry of Education’s Commission for Academic Accreditation were recognised.
Chenxi Dong, 28, is studying a postgraduate diploma in international business management with marketing at the branch campus of Scottish university Heriot Watt.
“Dubai is a famous city and a good place to gain international experience,” Ms Chenxi said. “Coming from a very cold city, Dubai weather is better for me. Dubai is a young city with many opportunities.”
The student said the recognition of degrees was very useful.
“I have some friends who will be very eager to come to Dubai with this development,” Ms Chenxi said. “Chinese students usually prefer US and UK as places to study but I now expect more Chinese to come and study in Dubai.”