Dubai International Academic City registers surge in student numbers

Sun 04-11-2018 15:28 PM

DUBAI, 4th November, 2018 (WAM) — The number of students at Dubai International Academic City, DIAC, has witnessed a surge in student registrations in the 2018-2019 academic year, with 27,500 students registering, marking a seven percent increase over the previous year.

The increase is especially significant considering the latest trends in the global education market.


According to the Wall Street Journal, the US – widely perceived as a leading higher education destination – experienced a drop in transnational student numbers with 17 percent fewer visas been issued. That is a 40 percent drop against its 2015 peak. Yet India and China have taken the biggest losses, with a 28 percent drop in visas for Indian students and 24 percent, respectively, for Chinese students.

In contrast to these US trends, DIAC universities have reported an increase of 106 percent for Chinese students and a five percent increase in Indian students that are currently registered across DIAC’s 27 universities. South Korean students registered the highest increase in student numbers with an increase of 161 percent, while the volume of students from Saudi Arabia grew by 65 percent. In addition, the population of UAE nationals registered a 40 percent spike, suggesting an increase in the number of students preferring to study at home rather than travelling abroad for higher education.

To further amplify this trend of international student growth, the UAE has taken a more proactive stance in attracting transnational students from these regions amid the growing political uncertainties across traditionally popular education hubs such as the U.S. and the UK. The introduction of new visa regulations and recent agreements between China and the UAE, such as the accreditation of Dubai’s universities in China, have enabled greater levels of collaboration between the two countries and are expected to further increase the number of transnational students wishing to study in the UAE.

The UAE has also recently replaced the one-year student visas with five-year visas and, in case of exceptional students, up to 10-year visas, acknowledging the nation’s focus on attracting and retaining professional and skilled talent. This regulatory change is set to make it easier for students to secure both long-term residence and employment within the country, allowing students to better plan for their future following graduation and increasing the development of home-grown talent within the region.

WAM/Esraa Ismail/Nour Salman

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