Editorial Team

The University of Manchester Middle East Centre and Dubai Cares, a civil society organization formally associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications, have unveiled plans for a new school in Nepal as part of Dubai Cares’ ‘Adopt a School’ initiative. The project, which was selected for special support by the University as it marks the 15th anniversary of its Middle East Centre in Dubai, has involved the University’s regional community of students and alumni in fundraising to support the project.

A 3-D visualisation of the new school was unveiled at a special event at the Dubai Cares Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai by His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, and the University’s Middle East Director, Randa Bessiso, in the presence of a number of high-level guests including senior alumni and corporate and social responsibility partners.

The ‘Adopt a School’ initiative was launched by Dubai Cares in 2013 with the aim of building schools in underserved communities around the world and comprises school building and renovation, provision of book supplies, gender-specific toilet facilities while also focusing on teacher training and adult literacy. .

The school adopted by University of Manchester Middle East Centre in Nepal will include three classrooms that can accommodate up to 90 students, which in turn, will provide thousands of children with easy access to quality education. The University has reached around 75% of its fundraising target, thanks to generous donations from students and alumni, including major donations from partner EMIR (Emerging Markets Intelligence & Research) and alumnus Hadi Nazari and expects to hit its target by the end of Ramadan.

His Excellency Dr. Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer and Vice-Chairman of Dubai Cares, said: “Building a school for young children is one of the most important steps we can take to ensure a strong future for not only the next generation but the whole of humanity. Our ‘Adopt a School’ initiative helps provide a safe learning environment for underprivileged children from around the world who would otherwise suffer the consequences of circumstances that are beyond their control. We are thankful to The University of Manchester and all its donors for coming forward in support of this important initiative and contributing towards the educational empowerment of thousands of children in Nepal. Our hope is that more and more institutions and individuals will join us in this endeavor and make easy access to quality education a universal reality.”

Speaking at the school unveiling event, Randa Bessiso, Middle East Director at The University of Manchester, said: “We believe in the transformative power of education and social responsibility is one of the three pillars of the University’s mission, along with teaching and research, so the ‘Adopt a School’ project is a very natural fit for us and an extension of our existing relationship with Dubai Cares. Our aim is to make a difference and an impact through our work and this project has really excited our regional community of students and alumni, which has generously donated funds towards making this school a reality in improving the lives and life opportunities of these children. Our 15th anniversary included a programme of 15 social responsibility projects and the ‘Adopt a School’ initiative has allowed all our community to be involved.”

In a recorded video message played at the event, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell – President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester – added: “We share Dubai’s and Dubai Cares’ big heart and today’s unveiling of the Adopt a School project will help boost our energy in delivering this important project. The University of Manchester is ranked number one in the world for the quality and scale of our impact against the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the world’s call to action on the most pressing challenges and opportunities facing humanity and the natural world. We’re playing a leading role in tackling them through our research, teaching and public engagement activities.”

The University of Manchester Middle East Centre has developed into the largest and fastest-growing centre in the University’s international network comprising five hubs in key business cities around the world. It is also the most diverse, with students of over 100 nationalities. The Middle East Centre has supported around 3,000 part-time MBA students based in the region and has graduated close to 2,000 MBA students since opening in 2006, and supports a regional community of around 5,000 alumni. The University of Manchester has been named as the world’s 27th best university in the QS World University Rankings, sixth in the UK, and eighth in Europe.

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