Manipal Academy of Higher Education Dubai (MAHE Dubai) Campus is an embodiment of the academic excellence of MAHE India, which has evolved into a multi-campus, multi-disciplinary university over the years, spreading quality education worldwide. Set up with the objective of providing the same enriching educational experience for students from the UAE and neighbouring countries, MAHE Dubai is proud to have grown into a renowned and leading multi-disciplinary university in the UAE. At present, the university is home to more than 2000 students of over 40 nationalities.
“Students from all over the world study and build a successful career at our university. New not only to the university but also to the UAE, there is a need to have a dedicated focus on their admissions and stay. To achieve the same, we have dedicated teams to cater to the specific needs of its international students,” shares Dr Jason Fitzsimmons, Academic President, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai Campus. MAHE Dubai has a special team for international admissions equipped to handle queries of students from different geographies. Dr Fitzsimmons adds, “We offer special scholarships and bursaries for international students.”
MAHE Dubai has a dedicated Visa department to cater for the Visa requirements of the students. Furthermore, to make the stay of the international students comfortable, the university has a dedicated International Students Support Services department, including the International Students Centre and International Students Club. “Our International Students Support Services endeavours to make the international students feel at home. The team ensures smooth onboarding, orientation, and counselling for all international students alike. It also conducts periodic events and activities centred around the international students,” explains Dr Fitzsimmons.
Besides, MAHE Dubai has also constituted an International Students Club, a networking platform for all International Students. It encourages international students to develop a multicultural environment and establishes to bring in diversity on campus. The committee is focused on supporting the existing and new students to adapt to UAE, campus life and creating a “Home Away from Home” environment where they can interact.
“We organise various events and activities dedicated to the International Students on campus, according to the country they belong to, their culture as well as their traditions. These celebrations are organised by the International Students Club. The entire university takes part in it with enthusiasm,” says Dr Fitzsimmons. A few of the activities at MAHE Dubai include the National Day celebration of different countries, monthly Birthday Celebrations, participation Diabetes Walk, Dubai Safari Trip, UAE National Day Celebration, amongst others.
MAHE Dubai also offers its international students on-campus residential facilities. As a secure and holistic environment, the facilities allow for convenience and proximity to the university that promotes learning and a safe and stimulating environment to encourage students to socialise and pursue extracurricular activities and interests. “Our hostels offer a secure living environment with CCTV Surveillance, diverse cuisines in its dedicated hostel cafeteria, gym access, laundry services, weekly visits to Dubai’s landmarks, high-speed WiFi, and much more,” pinpoints Dr Fitzsimmons.
A Campus to Vouch for
MAHE Dubai’s iconic purpose-built University campus is spread over 750,000 square feet in the Dubai International Academic City, including its state-of-the-art student accommodation. The campus houses fully equipped laboratories with cutting edge technology, industry-standard studios and workshops, smart classrooms, a digitally powered library, a cafeteria, a state-of-the-art gym and fitness centre, a multi-purpose indoor sports hall, an outdoor sports facility, a dedicated music room, a creatively curated dance room, as well as a recreation centre among other facilities.
“We keep upgrading our infrastructure to meet the requirements of the students and the industry alike. We thrive on giving our student a simulated experience throughout their course so that they are industry-ready from the word go,” states Dr Fitzsimmons. MAHE Dubai campus houses 48 fully equipped laboratories with cutting edge technology, hi-tech labs developed in partnership with industry experts, industry-standard studios and workshops for hands-on learning, and smart classrooms enabled with touch-enabled audio-visual facilities.
The School of Business at MAHE Dubai boasts of a state-of-the-art Stock Exchange Lab developed in partnership with the National Stock Exchange (NSE) Academy. The students learn various aspects of trading in this lab and simulate transactions to get a better business understanding. Dr Fitzsimmons adds, “We offer expert, hands-on, industry-relevant programs taught by academicians with years of professional experience in their fields, thereby enhancing the learning process, both at the undergraduate as well as at postgraduate level.” In addition, MAHE Dubai’s faculty members boast of decades of industry experience, accolades across government and industry bodies, including the United Nations, active involvement in research and representation in global conferences, as well as active participation in social and environmental initiatives.
Research is at the core of the pedagogy at MAHE Dubai. The university hosts international research colloquiums every year in five major streams – Business, Design & Architecture, Engineering & IT, Life Sciences, Media & Communication. Researchers from all over the world participate in these events and present their research papers. It must be noted that we also partner with International Universities to co-host these colloquiums to foster enhanced research. “The last research colloquium before pandemic was conducted in partnership with Hochschule Bremen, Bremen, Germany, as well as our parent campus MAHE India,” recounts Dr Fitzsimmons.
The university encourages its students to take part in research paper submissions as part of the curriculum. Dr Fitzsimmons adds, “Many of our students have earned laurels for their work in their fields. Very recently, our students from the School of Life Sciences won first place for their research presentation in the “Youth Earth Summit – 2021 – Frontiers in Sustainability”, jointly organised by the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and the University of Wollongong Dubai on 22nd May 2021.” MAHE Dubai has also collaborated with various industry giants to take these research activities further, including the College of Applied Sciences, Al Qassim University, Saudi Arabia, Sharjah Museum Authority, EdNex, among others.
Preparing Students for the Future
“The current UAE Economy is driven by industries like E-commerce, retail, trading, banking, IT, entrepreneurship, and Tourism. The employment opportunities in these key industries are primarily business-focused, and they tend to hire year-round for people in Business Development, Data Analysis, Supply Chain / Logistics, Operations, HR, and Finance/Accounting,” opines Dr Fitzsimmons. Students of MAHE, Dubai School of Business, have received employment opportunities with organisations like Kantar, Damac, Dubizzle, BASF, IKEA, Aster, and numerous other organisations in various management domains.
To enable these employment opportunities, the university has a dedicated Career Services department. “It was established with the vision of helping students get prepared for their corporate stint and help them by providing them with great opportunities to help them excel in their careers. The department helps students to make informed decisions by providing access to relevant industry resources, mentorship programs and career counselling,” shares Dr Fitzsimmons. The career Services department at MAHE Dubai has organised numerous training programs to help candidates transition smoothly to the corporate world. Besides, the university has conducted many on-campus employer interactions, including the Career Fair, Employer Presentations, Industry expert talks to provide students with an opportunity to network and connect with industry experts and their organisations.
At present, MAHE Dubai offers Management Programs for undergraduate, postgraduate, as well as PhD aspirants. The BBA program for the UG aspirants offers various specialisations to the students, including HR, Finance, Marketing, Logistics & Supply Chain Management, and Business Analytics. Dr Fitzsimmons adds, “We also offer a BCom program for those with an inclination towards Accounting. The highlight of this program is the collaboration with Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), wherein the students are given substantial exemptions in ACCA final exams.”
In Business and Management, MAHE has four postgraduate programs. The university’s flagship Work Mode MBA has been curated, keeping working professionals in mind. Dr Fitzsimmons explains, “The classes are conducted in the evenings, and during weekends, allowing the professionals to upgrade themselves without having to discontinue their professional commitments.”
PG Diploma in Business Administration and PG Diploma in Logistics & Supply Chain Management are one-year programs focused on the international students who want to get an industry-oriented postgraduate diploma and dive into the many career opportunities that Dubai offers. Finally, its MBA – Global Business is a comprehensive postgraduate management program focused on your graduates who look to understand in-depth the global business markets, international trade, and so on.
On the other side, MAHE Dubai offers merit-based scholarships of over AED 5 million to all deserving candidates. These scholarships are provided in the form of Academic Scholarships as well as Sports Scholarships. “We also have Alumni Scholarships to all its undergraduate students to pursue any of the postgraduate programs at the university,” states Dr Fitzsimmons. Furthermore, in collaboration with the Embassy of India, UAE, MAHE Dubai provides Girl Child Scholarship. As part of the Scholarship, MAHE Dubai offers a 100% scholarship to a girl student every year. To help the financially distressed, MAHE Dubai has Al Daem Scholarships, which had been instrumental during the pandemic in helping those in dire financial situation. MAHE Dubai also offers special scholarships for International Students to promote diversity.
Excelling in a New World of Education
MAHE Dubai believes that reinvention is a continuous process. While many assume that the process of technological adaption last year was drastic, it was a continuous journey for MAHE Dubai, an extension of something that they had been envisioned and were working towards for over a decade. “Technology has remained at the core of MAHE Dubai, and over the years, we have developed a digital infrastructure well capable of delivering quality online education, in line with the global trends. As a result, as soon as the university was locked down, we almost immediately switched to online learning across disciplines and programs,” shares Dr Fitzsimmons.
MAHE Dubai’s academic team used to undergo regular training and workshops to conduct online sessions. So, when the need arose, they could quickly shift to the new reality. “We must also commend our students for adapting to the new ways of learning with ease and for the parents who ensured that our students had the right infrastructure to partake in the e-learning practices,” says Dr Fitzsimmons. As one of the pioneers in education, MAHE is well-equipped with e-learning platforms such as MS Teams, Google Classroom, Adobe Connect, Cisco Webex, and a dedicated LMS. Interestingly, the university even used multiple simulations and demonstration software to conduct the lab-intensive modules online.
“Over one year into the new reality, we have successfully conducted two semesters in an online as well as blended mode. Not just academics, but we also conducted a month-long virtual students fest ‘Unplugged’ wherein students were able to showcase their extracurricular talents. We also conducted several online open houses to help the students get counselled from the safety of their homes,” claims Dr Fitzsimmons. In fact, MAHE Dubai’s application and admission process already existed in a 100% online platform.
However, the pandemic has forced significant changes in international student mobility, limiting them to a great extent. Dr Fitzsimmons opines, “While international student mobility has become restricted, we are hopeful of the return of normalcy. As more and more countries continue to expand their vaccination drives, it is expected to encourage resumption in student mobility to previous degrees.” Especially with UAE’s effective management of pandemic and aggressive vaccination drives, there is a sense of positivity in the market, with many international students and parents adjudging UAE as a safe and secure study destination. Dr Fitzsimmons adds, “We are exploring many possible ways with our international teams to address the various needs of the international students. We are encouraging blended options and student transfer, wherein the students can continue their education from their home country while the restrictions exist, and then travel to UAE and complete their education when the situations get better.”
Today, MAHE Dubai is hopeful of a gradual yet positive stride towards normalcy. Currently, all the staff at MAHE Dubai have been vaccinated, and now the university is focused on getting all its students vaccinated. This will help them return to regular University life. The academic team at MAHE Dubai is optimistic about the steps taken by the government, the efficient management of the pandemic and the nationwide vaccination drives. In fact, the government has already begun vaccination for the school students and have received a positive response from the student community. These indicate positive strides towards normalcy. “We will continue to focus on the safety of our staff and students, enhance our academic delivery through new technological development, strengthen our pedagogy with more academic and industry partnership, and support our students to develop holistically,” concludes Dr Fitzsimmons.
About Dr Jason Fitzsimmons, Academic President, Manipal Academy of Higher Education, Dubai Campus
Dr Jason Fitzsimmons has been part of the Manipal Education team previously as the Chairperson at the School of Business at MAHE Dubai and Dean of Executive Education. His sheer determination and meticulous nature have driven him to be the Academic Head of this prestigious institution.
A Doctorate in Physics and MBA from the Queensland University of Technology, Dr Jason firmly believes in commitment, teamwork and efficient completion of any task undertaken. He leads several disciplines on to the path of excellence to ensure consistent delivery of quality education. He has been responsible for identifying and establishing student exchange programs through collaborations with various universities across the globe. He also focuses on R&D initiatives, Professional Society activities, Industry collaborations for internships, placements, and research activities at MAHE Dubai.