The University of Manchester Middle East Centre celebrates 15th anniversary in Dubai


5 April 2022 (Dubai – United Arab Emirates): The University of Manchester Middle East Centre in Dubai has celebrated its 15th anniversary with a special event hosted at the Centre in Dubai Knowledge Park attended by Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director, Dubai Knowledge Park and Dubai International Academic City, the University’s regional alumni ambassadors, and staff. Since launching in 2006, the Centre has supported and graduated thousands of part-time Master’s students (all working professionals) from across the Middle East. Today the Centre is the largest and fastest growing in the University’s international network of centres.


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 – Manchester, Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, and Dubai. It is also the most diverse, with students of over 100 nationalities. The Middle East Centre offers a range of part-time Master’s programmes, including three MBA options, the MA Educational leadership in Practice, and MSc Financial Management. It 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 Centre enrolls around 200 new students across all programmes, each year, of which around 15% are female and 50% reside in the UAE.


Speaking at the event where he received an appreciation award from the University, Mohammad Abdullah, Managing Director, Dubai Knowledge Park and Dubai International Academic City, said: “Dubai’s achievement of a knowledge-based economy has been realized through the foundations of a robust education system that equips future generations with the necessary skills and tools to define and lead the path of tomorrow. As a leading ecosystem for education and training, we have impacted talent development not only for our emirate, but the region as a whole, and The University of Manchester Middle East Centre has been a long-standing partner in our journey.


“As the pioneers of business education in the Middle East and other world-class academic programs, this institution is responsible for nurturing a knowledgeable and ambitious cadre of students, professionals and entrepreneurs. We are proud to see how they have grown as part of DKP over the last 15 years, attracting diligent students from the world over and evolving their offerings to drive innovation and economic development.”


In a recorded video message played at the event, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell – President and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Manchester - commented: “Over the last 15 years, the Middle East Centre has really pioneered business education, flexible learning, and supported 3,000 students and 2,000 graduates on their life journeys. Perhaps as much as this, it is evident that the team has very close relationships with students and alumni. Our alumni ambassadors play a vital role in promoting the work of the Centre and University and some have become Teaching Assistants and even adjunct faculty, which is a wonderful testament to our lifelong relationship. On behalf of the University, I would like to thank you for 15 years of making a real difference and an impact on the community and so many individuals’ lives and careers – we are very proud of your achievements.”


As part of the 15th-anniversary activities, The University of Manchester Middle East Centre developed a series of 15 social responsibility projects, including a special focus on the Dubai Cares’ ‘Adopt a School’ programme. The Centre has reached 75% of the fundraising target for a school for 90 children in Nepal and together with Dubai Cares, unveiled the project at the Dubai Cares Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. The project has involved the University’s regional community of students and alumni in fundraising to build and equip the school.


Founding Director of The University of Manchester Middle East Centre, Randa Bessiso, added: “The Middle East Centre has proved to be a tremendous asset for the University and for the many thousands of students and alumni we support. We are also a UK higher education success story and playing a role in enhancing UAE-UK relations through our various collaborations in research and development. The UAE and Dubai authorities have been very supportive over the years and we are very grateful to them. The Centre has also established a wide range of collaborations with companies, professional bodies, and social responsibility partners such as Dubai Cares. Our aim is to make a difference and an impact through our work across the University’s mission of teaching, research and social responsibility, and through our community of students and alumni.”


The Centre was originally launched as the Alliance Manchester Business School Middle East Centre and was renamed as the University’s Centre in 2017. The University of Manchester is ranked as the world’s 27th best university in the QS World University Rankings, sixth in the UK, and eighth in Europe; and is ranked number one in the world for the quality and scale of 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.


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