UK Cabinet Office Minister of State, Nigel Adams visited De Montfort University's (DMU) Dubai campus on Friday, 18 February as part of a Middle Eastern tour to see the UK’s presence at Expo.
Attending DMU Dubai, Minister Adams opened the newly-built advanced Engineering laboratory, during which real-time laser-cutting of a plaque was demonstrated.
He also met with DMU Dubai's first student council, RTA’s Hackathon winner and the university cricket team.
He congratulated DMU student Alishan Sharafu for leading the UAE cricket team to the recent historic eight-wicket win over Ireland in the ICC Under 19 World Cup Plate final in the West Indies.
Minister of State Nigel Adams said:
"De Montfort University's global expansion from the heart of Leicestershire in the UK to Dubai and Kazakhstan is an amazing investment that will help build global alumni. It's another fantastic UK export that is nurturing talent.
"It's been great to open the state-of-the-art engineering lab and congratulate the university's cricket team. I hope to see a few of the names I have heard today playing cricket in the UK in a few years playing for the great county of Yorkshire.”
DMU is one of two founding partners of the UK Pavilion at ExpoDubai and has invested £750,000 in the UK programme to showcase UK higher education and the university on a global stage.
In December 2021, the UK-based university officially opened its third campus in Dubai.
One of the key reasons for DMU's sponsorship of the UK Pavilion is the alignment between the launch of the new Dubai campus and Expo 2020.
Through this partnership, we hope to establish and develop new relationships with businesses in the UAE region and increase student recruitment to reach objectives across all of our campuses.
We are also looking to promote DMU Leicester for those international students who would like to study in the UK.
During his visit to the Sustainability Hub, he heard about DMU’s approach focusing on a long-term plan for the region. He engaged in discussions about employability and the need for developing transferable skills.
Simon Bradbury, Pro Vice-Chancellor International and Dean of Arts, Design and Humanities of DMU briefed the Minister on the ambitious vision of the institution. He explained: “We have an excellent research record as we are committed to serving the public good, by investigating what impacts society, solve issues and make an actual change in people’s lives and behaviour through originating solutions in various life aspects".
Being the only UK university to be designated the United Nations Global Hub for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16, DMU commits to addressing the UN SDGs in its research, teaching and enterprise activity. In line with this, DMU is hosting the 8th Middle East and North Africa MENA, Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) conference at the Dubai campus from 21-24 March 2022 to create methodologies for the implementation of the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal partnerships.
“DMU is committed to shaping and promoting a sustainable world by deploying research excellence, critical, strategic thinking and well-built plans. We also have a well-established research strategy that is central to DMU’s mission", Simon added.
The gathering also heard from Dr Vidhya Vinod, Group President and CEO of Study World – the organisation running the campus in partnership with DMU – and Dr Manjeet Ridon, DMU Dubai Provost.
“We know that regardless of discipline, developing graduates for successful trajectories beyond university is of critical importance. Enabling our graduates to have a positive impact, whether that be through creating value that is economic, social, cultural, or environmental – or indeed a mixture of each, is the embodiment of our success,” added Manjeet Ridon, Provost, DMU Dubai.
Dr Vidhya Vinod, CEO of Study World Higher Education Services, said: “Study World has over two decades of experience in providing a range of educational services in partnership with international universities worldwide and this association with DMU in Dubai will prove highly beneficial for students in the UAE and the wider region. Our international network will help attract students from over 120 countries and we look forward to providing high-quality, employment-focused degrees to students.”