Universities in the UAE see high demand for entrepreneurship and design courses – News

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Students have understood that if they choose to start a business, they won’t have to depend on others, according to an expert



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Published: Sat 8 Oct 2022, 5:32 PM

Creativity, entrepreneurship and business programs are rapidly replacing old favorites – such as engineering and medicine – as the top career options among students, experts say.

On the second day of the Khaleej Times’ UniExpo many universities put their best foot forward showcasing their entrepreneurship, design and creativity programs which they believe are favorites today and will be in the future.

The Italian fashion and design university Istituto Marangoni is one of the biggest names in the exhibition offering study options in the field of creativity, design and entrepreneurship.

“We offer short courses and degree courses,” said Owais Majid, head of student recruitment and admissions at Istituto Marangoni. “The short course provides students with an understanding of product design skills and paves the way for them to make a mark in the design and creative industry,” he added.

The design school also offers a five-month fashion entrepreneurship program where students gain skills and ideas to help them advance the global fashion industry through design innovation and to new business models. “However, the core subject of all courses is entrepreneurship,” Majid said.

Majid said the creative industry is on an upward trajectory in the UAE. “In 2020 alone, the industry helped create one hundred thousand jobs in the UAE, and current statistics show that the creative industry contributes 4% of the UAE’s GDP,” Majid said.

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Daniel Adkins, CEO of Transnational Academic Group, Curtin University’s management services provider, said student interest in entrepreneurship and business courses is huge compared to a few years ago. The university, which offers engineering, business, and humanities programs, also provides skills and prepares students to start their own business. “Dubai is the center of entrepreneurship, innovation and business in the Middle East. And there has been a surge in demand for entrepreneurship-related courses,” Adkins said.

Adkins said students are more inclined towards creative and business programs today and there is also a clear shift in parental preferences from engineering and medicine to business and entrepreneurship. “Young people have understood that as entrepreneurs, they will not have to depend on others. And the mindset of parents is very much in sync with their children, for now, and we can expect more transformation in the near future,” Adkins said.

He said there was also a massive shift in pre-pandemic and post-pandemic academics and learning. “The whole field of education has changed, and students are having off-campus classes and also studying in hybrid models.”

We have six campuses around the world and our students can take specific courses at our universities in any part of the world, Adkins added.

Virtual learning

There is no age limit for learning and Westford University College offers programs for all age groups in different specializations ranging from pre-degree courses to doctorates. The college has collaborated with UK, Scottish and Spanish universities and many students are learning virtually through live interactive sessions. “Our student clientele spans over 125 countries and the live interactive sessions are recorded. If a topic is missed, students can still learn from the recording,” said Gorette Fernandes, Admissions Officer at Westford University College.

“Most of the students here are working professionals and they don’t have the time. Virtual learning is the best option for them, as employers look for specific specializations in an employee,” added Fernandes,

Fernandes, who has worked in this industry for more than 12 years, said the education system is slowly transforming by launching study programs based on student demands and labor market needs. “Industry requirements are also increasing, and the system has improved, and students have a vast opportunity to specialize in different areas. In previous years, they only had a few classes.

Giving an example, she said that within the field of information technology itself, “students can now choose between computer science, cybersecurity, network engineering and much more,” Fernandes said.

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