A member of the British Royal Family will help open a university in Ras al Khaimah even though he will be 6,000km away at the time. Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, a son of Queen Elizabeth II, will inaugurate the University of Bolton's campus in the UAE by video-link from Britain at the end of this month. On the same day he will open the university's new £2.5 million (Dh16.3m) students' facilities at its campus in north-west England.
Around 150 students are expected to be enrolled when the Ras al Khaimah campus opens on Sept 30. "I am delighted the Earl of Wessex has agreed to open the facilities here and in Ras al Khaimah," the vice chancellor and head of the University of Bolton, Dr George Holmes, said in a statement. "The simultaneous opening with the new campus in the UAE is a unique event and builds on our international presence in China, Malaysia and Vietnam."
The Ras al Khaimah campus will offer undergraduate and postgraduate courses in subjects such as the built environment, business, IT and art and design. Officials say programmes in Ras al Khaimah will be "directly equivalent" to those offered in Bolton, with the same examination boards, quality monitoring and external verification. The university aims to increase the number of programmes it offers and increase student numbers to 700 within five years.